The disabled cruiser visiting Valencia will find it similar to most other Spanish cities in respect to disabled access. A number of the Metro Stations have lifts to get you up to street level and you can transfer from the airport to the city on lines 3 or 5 via a wheelchair or scooter. On the streets each crossing is on a drop curb and pavements are wide enough for you to travel on. Except in some area’s of the old town where because the town is very old there are only narrow paths. Valencia also has the Turia which skirts around the city. This is flat, accessible via ramps and has paved paths throughout so you can enjoy this area of the city if you should wish. A large number of restaurants and bar’s are accessible and will have very little problem with navigating your way around the city.
The metro has stations that are labeled as PMR, which is the Spanish abbreviation for Persons with Reduced Mobility and the trains are level with the platforms with no gap. Disabled carriages are at the front and the rear of the metro.
A visit to the Church of the St. Johns has a single step followed by ramp leading to the church entrance. Visits to the Basilica of the Virgin of the Hunchbacks, the Central Market and the City of Arts and Sciences, an iconic modern site in Valencia, are all handicapped accessible. Access to some sites will include mild cobblestones.
Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain.
Wander the ancient streets of Barrio del Carmen, visit the many museums and churches including the Cathedral in the Placa de la Reina, and the nearby Gothic Basilica of the Virgin in the Placa de le Verge.
Other places of interest include the aquarium L’Oceanografic and Turia Park – beautiful gardens with a trail known as Culturia, one of Valencia’s highlights.
Malvarrosa Beach (Playa de Levante) is the closest beach, reached via the bicycle path by foot or bike. Next to the beach is the Paseo Marítimo, a magnificent sea-front promenade.
Where You’re Docked
Cruise ships dock about 4 km from the center of Valencia. It is possible to walk into the center but some ships provide shuttles and taxis are available to take you the pretty Plaza del Ayuntamiento.
The dock area itself has a lively mix of new and old architecture, as well as bars and restaurants. Oddly enough, there is no ATM in the terminal, but you will find a drink machine and telephones.
You’ll also find plenty of shops selling cheap and cheerful beach gear, rings, watches, scarves and souvenirs (though again, prices are cheaper in town). For wine buffs, the tax-free outlet stocks a good range of local picks, alongside the usual collection of makeup, toiletries and aftershaves.
Good to Know
Cyclists and Segway riders have scant regard for pedestrians. Dubrovnik-style, pale marbled pavements in the Old Town are lovely to look at but slippery when wet, so wear good shoes with non-slip soles.
By Shuttle: Ships’ shuttle buses leave from right outside the terminal and carry you the three miles into the center of town. On the way, you’ll pass pretty parks, grand boulevards and a London Eye-style wheel, all of which will whet your appetite for exploring the city.
Most shuttles drop off at the Carrer del Salvador, almost opposite the Trinity Bridge. If you head left from the drop-off point and go left again, you’ll find yourself in Plaza de la Virgen at the heart of Old Town, near the historic courthouse and cathedral. And if you keep walking, virtually in a straight line, you’ll find Valencia’s main shopping streets and, eventually, its central market.
By Taxi: For travelers in search of tours or going further afield, right outside the passenger terminal is a taxi stand offering reduced rates on return trips to local attractions. Offers include a round trip to the central Plaza de la Reina; L’Oceanografic and the Bio Park. About EUR30 an hour buys a tour for up to four passengers of the main sights, including Turia Gardens.
There’s plenty to choose from here. Lovers of kitsch will have a heyday snapping up junior flamenco outfits, Spanish dolls and elaborate fans. The upper end of the price scale will buy a beautifully hand-embroidered shawl or a solid silver hair comb. Leather shoes and belts are more affordable good buys. Valencia is home to the famous Lladro porcelain.
Valencia is famous for it’s rice dish, Paella. For foodies, pick up a paella pan or hoof around the market to purchase local goodies like blocks of artisan chocolate and tins of smoked paprika. A handful of pirulettas (huge, multicolored lollipops in individual designs) would look great in a kitchen jar.
Points of Interest
- Plaza de la Vergin – A walk around Plaza de la Vergin and the cathedral quarter is a must. With vast plazas, fanciful fountains, a 2,000-year history and beautiful churches like the Basilica of the Virgin, this region lies right in the center of Valencia and at the heart of its cultural life, rivaling Italy in architectural beauty. The city’s oldest district, Barrio del Carmen — which lies between the ancient Islamic and Christian city walls — is particularly rewarding. Its labyrinthine cobbled streets, lined with medieval houses and guarded by two ancient towers, will make you feel like a time traveler.
- Plaza del Mercado – Valencia’s historic market is an easy walk from the cathedral and is well worth a visit. Architecture buffs will enjoy its colonnaded, two-tier market hall, which was built in 1914 and is a prime example of Modernist architecture. Foodies may be more interested in the vast array of goodies on its 400 or so stalls, at least one of which specializes entirely in Spanish and international beers. The area around the market, rich in pretty plant stalls and cafes, is a good place to grab a coffee and watch the Valencian world go round.
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento – A triangular area enlivened by a spectacular central fountain and colorful flower stalls, Plaza del Ayuntamiento is the very heart of local life. It’s home to some of Valencia’s most eye-catching buildings, including the Estacion del Norte rail station, the Ayuntamiento de Valencia (town hall) and the Edificio de Correos (Central Post Office).
- The City of Arts and Sciences – This vast, futuristic complex comprises a range of attractions, including an IMAX theater; Europe’s largest aquarium, the Oceanografic; a science museum, and an avant-garde opera house. Like much of Valencia’s parkland, it lies in what was formerly the bed of the Turia River. Entrance fees are complicated, as they depend on which attractions you want to visit.
- Turia Gardens – Turia Gardens is a nearly six-mile stretch of the Turia river bed that runs right across Valencia. It has been transformed into beautiful parkland and now acts as a ‘lung’ for this bustling city, and a haven for locals and visitors who like to get back to nature. If you want to get even closer to nature, the wild and beautiful Albufera Nature Reserve is a six-mile cab ride from downtown.
Valencia Accessible Excursions
Enjoy Spain’s third largest city on these accessible shore excursions of Valencia, that include round-trip transportation from the cruise dock. Your knowledgeable, English-speaking guide has experience with the needs of disabled travelers and knows the best accessible, step-free routes through the city.
Highlights of Valencia Accessible Cruise Excursion
This 3 hour accessible Valencia cruise excursion includes a private walking tour on a step-free route through the city and round-trip accessible transfers from the cruise terminal.
Your guide and driver will pick you up from the cruise terminal in a wheelchair accessible van to begin your Highlights of Valencia Accessible Cruise Excursion. From there you will drive into the city where you can enjoy the baroque architecture of the Basilica of the Virgin of the Hunchbacks, as well as the modern design of the City of Arts and Sciences.
Your guide will also take you to the Central Market of Valencia where you can taste Horchata (traditional drink of Valencia) and other local specialties. At the end of your accessible cruise excursion of Valencia, you will have the option to stay longer in the city to spend some time shopping or exploring on your own, enjoy lunch in an accessible restaurant, or visit the City of Arts and Sciences before returning to the cruise terminal.
The Highlights of Valencia Accessible Cruise Excursion follows a step-free route, uses a wheelchair accessible van, and the guides are able to push a wheelchair if needed. The tour minimizes routes over cobblestones.
Essential Valencia Accessible Guided Tour
Your guide and driver will pick you up from the cruise terminal in a wheelchair accessible van to begin your 2.25 hour accessible guided group tour of Valencia includes round-trip accessible transfers, an English-speaking guide, and step-free route. At the end of your tour you will have the option to have lunch in the city and add a visit to the Oceanographic Museum before returning to the cruise terminal.
This accessible guided group tour of Valencia includes inside visits to the Basilica of the Virgin of the Hunchbacks as well as La Lonja de la Seda civic building. An optional inside visit to the Opus Dei Church of St. John of the Hospital requires a small step to enter. Your guide may be able to help you maneuver over the step or you can opt out of this part of the tour.
Along the way you will also stop at the Central Market to taste some Horchata (a local drink of Valencia) as well as other local specialties. If you would like to stay in the city after the tour to have lunch in an accessible restaurant and visit the Oceanographic Museum, this can be added to the tour (additional fees may apply). Your driver will then return you to the cruise terminal before your ship departs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Participants in this group tour need to be able to keep up with the group even while walking/rolling over cobblestones. If you are not 100% certain you can do this, please consider alternate excursion.