Seville (Cadiz), Spain
The disabled cruiser visiting Seville will quickly ascertain that the city is not the most walkable, meaning public transportation is often inevitable. Seville is an extremely flat city, but there are cobbled streets and narrow sidewalks in parts of the old city. Some attractions may have steps, but the majority will have provision for wheelchair access where possible. The city center where there are pedestrianized streets are fairly accessible for the Disabled Cruiser. Public transportation is disabled friendly with ramps for buses and trains.
Throughout Seville, most of the sidewalks have drop curbs, many shops have ramps at the entrance, most restaurants have a ramped entrance and wheelchair accessible toilets. The sidewalks also tend to be big pavers rather than bumpy stones, so they are easier to navigate with a wheelchair. In general, you will find that Seville is accessible, but you will find some places where the pavements are extremely narrow and there are no dropped curbs. Buses and trams are fully accessible and taxis will put the wheelchair in the boot.
For the Disabled Cruiser staying in Cadiz, the city is very good for wheelchair users. There are many dropped curbs and the pavement is wide enough for a wheelchair. The entirety of the old town is flat, wide and accessible. The local buses are all wheelchair accessible, the taxis are adapted as well. The beaches around Cadiz have accessible ramps and wooden duck boards almost to the water. The beach at Caleta has an area specially for wheelchair users. There is a ramp down to an area of boarding under fixed sun umbrellas.
For those Disabled Cruisers that wish to see Cadiz or Seville on the Hop On Hop Off bus tour, most of the buses are wheelchair accessible. The bus can only hold one wheelchair rider at a time and can accommodate wheelchairs up to 70 cm wide, 120 cm deep and 135 cm high.
Seville (Cadiz), Spain
Seville is the capital and largest city of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain in south west Europe.
Seville is around 2 hours away from Cadiz (where the cruise ships dock).
Places of interest include Alcazar Palace, Seville’s Barrio de Santa Cruz, the city’s circa 17th century Jewish quarter, Plaza Virgen de los Reyes cathedral and the Museo Arqueologico.
The nearest beach to Seville is Matalascañas, which can be reached by taking a bus from the Plaza de Armas bus station (not the Prado de San Sebastian station). The journey takes approximately an hour.
Where You’re Docked
Cruise ships dock in Cadiz at the commercial port, which is in the center of the city. This makes Cadiz ideal for exploring easily on foot. There is a small Tourist Information office at the port.
Seville is a popular destination for travelers disembarking at Cadiz. The easiest way is by train, the station is just off the Plaza Sevilla, which is about 15 minutes walk away from the port. Regular trains depart for Seville daily and the journey time is around 1½-1¾ hours.
Good to Know
The heat, if you’re visiting at the height of summer (in July or August), when temperatures can soar above 100F. You’ll find some tree shade as Seville is a very green city, and the cavernous interiors of Seville’s fine churches will also keep you cool. But if you’re off walking do take water, a sunhat and plenty of sunscreen with you.
Pickpockets are a concern in any major city and Seville is no exception, particularly as Spain has been in the throes of a financial crisis.
Seville’s station, Station de Santa Justas, is on Agenda Kansas City, about a 15-minute walk from downtown. If your ship is only in Cadiz for a day and you’re heading off independently, do allow plenty of time to get to Seville and back comfortably before your ship sails.
For the Disabled Cruiser needing a taxi in Seville, the company Wheelchair Accessible Holiday Taxis can make travel around Seville easier for those in wheelchairs. They can ride up to 4 people in one vehicle, including 1 wheelchair user.
The official currency is the euro. There are plenty of ATM machines and exchange bureau in town and you can definitely find them at the railway and bus stations.
The official language in Seville is Spanish, and though many shopkeepers and purveyors of tourist services have at least a smattering of English it is not widely spoken. Take along a phrasebook or language app if you really want to click with the locals.
Shops usually close between 1-3pm for a long lunch siesta. Souvenirs include Flamenco dresses, hand-painted ceramics and fans.
‘Tapas’, which is a variety of hot and cold snacks or appetizers, are very popular with both locals and tourists alike.
Points of Interest
- Alcazar – This historic royal palace began as a Moorish fortress in 913. Over time it became a stunning fusion of Spanish Christian and Moorish architecture with a number of spectacular gardens and fountains. Most of the palace is wheelchair accessible for the Disabled Cruiser. Some rooms do have a step, though, so you’ll either need to go over those with some help or be willing to skip a few rooms. There is an upper floor with lift access. The gardens are flat and sandy.
- Cathedral of Seville – The 15th century cathedral is the third largest church in Europe. Inside you’ll find magnificent architectural details and masterpieces. Adjacent is the 12th century Moorish tower, “La Giralda.” .” – an imposing 322 foot tower which was formerly a Moorish-style minaret from the mosque that stood on the same site. The cathedral has an accessible entrance for the Disabled Cruiser at “Puerta Del Principe.” Inside the Cathedral it is very accessible. It has a famous tower called “La Giralda” that could technically be called accessible because it doesn’t have any steps, but it is a very steep and rather narrow slope so it would be difficult to go up and down in a wheelchair.
- Barrio de Santa Cruz – Originally the Old Jewish Quarter, this picturesque neighborhood is at the center of Seville’s historic district where the narrow, winding streets and tree-shaded plazas evoke another time. While this is a great place to visit, for the Disabled Cruiser it is not entirely wheelchair accessible. The streets are cobblestone, and many of the paths have stairs.
- Cadiz Town Hall – Overlooking Plaza San Juan de Dios, the Town Hall is one of the most important buildings in the city. Dating back to 1799, its famous bell tower chimes to the tune of Manuel de Falla.
Plaza de Espana – is a beautiful plaza. It has tile artwork from all the areas of Spain. Architecture in the building is impressive as well. Often when you visit you’ll run into a group of Flamenco dancers performing for anyone to see. For the Disabled Cruiser the plaza is very flat and easy to traverse in a wheelchair. You can ride the tram/trolley to get there. When you get off, you still have a few hundred meters to walk through a park to reach the plaza. It was built for the 1928 expo. You will see stunning architecture, arched bridges, decorative ceramic tile railings and even a canal.
- Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art – This is the prestigious home and training facility of the famed “dancing stallions.” You can tour the grounds of this 19th century palace in addition to seeing some superb riding demonstrations.
- Arcos de la Frontera – Designated a national historic and cultural monument in 1962, Arcos de Frontera is one of the most beautiful Moorish white villages in Spain, perched 185m above sea level on a sandstone ridge with magnificent views of the local countryside.
- Los Alburejos Farm – Tucked in the heart of the Medina Sidonia countryside, this magnificent early 19th century estate is the home of thoroughbred Andalusian horses.
Seville Accessible Excursions
Seville, capital of Andalusia, is full of beautiful narrow alleys, a historic center and the district of Santa Cruz is the most picturesque part of Seville. It is definitely a place to be and there are many things to explore.
Cadiz Sightseeing with Private Adapted Transport
This 4 hour accessible tour begins when your guide picks you up from the cruise port. Your Cadiz Sightseeing with Private Adapted Transport tour continues to Murallas San Carlos which served as a defense wall in the 1800th. The tunnels built in these walls lead you to the beautiful botanical gardens also called: Parque Genovés. Genovés Park is an urban park surrounded by the walls of the old city and located next to the historic center of Cádiz.
Next stop during your tour is Playa de la Caleta. The most famous beach in Cadiz. Here you find beach bars with a relaxed ambiance, very good tapas restaurants, a luxurious Spa, beach activities, and much more. A metropolitan beach loved by many.
At the end of the tour, your guide takes you back to the cruise port by following the Carranza Bridge. Driving towards the port you will find the Palacio de Congresos which was constructed in the old tobacco factory. Plaza de Sevilla and Plaza de San Juan de Dios (Town Hall).
Seville Sightseeing Tour
This 4 hour accessible tour explores the charming barrio Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter of Seville with its narrow streets and whitewashed houses, flowered balconies, and hidden squares shaded by the orange trees. Υour guide will take you right into the heart of the historic center, where you will visit the Cathedral of Seville, the biggest Gothic Cathedral in the world, and the burial site of Christopher Columbus. You will then head to The Alcazar of Seville. Originally a Moorish fort, it is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.
This tour does not require a high amount of walking/rolling, and it can also be completely tailor-made based on each person preferences. The itinerary also avoids steps and it follows a mostly flat path along the Tour.
Accessible Rolling Tour Cadiz
This 4 hour accessible tour begins when your guide picks you up from the cruise port. The port of Cadiz is situated in the center of town, so the sightseeing begins immediately on this accessible walking/rolling tour of Cadiz. The tour includes a stop in the main historical square of the city, Plaza de San Juan de Dios. The Plaza is flat, smooth and fully accessible for wheelchair users.
You then head to the square in front of the Cathedral of Cadiz. The Cathedral is an 18th-century masterpiece is a mix of architectural styles. The surface of the square is mainly flat, but there are some mild cobblestones now and then. The Cathedral is accessible via a specially installed ramp at the entrance.
The third highlight of this tour is Plaza de las Flores. It is a popular urban area characterized by colorful flower stalls that occupy the central area. Plaza de las Flores is mostly flat, but some areas have mild to moderate cobblestones. There are no steps or hilly areas.
For the final stage of your tour you make your way to the Casa Palacio Moreno de Mora. This is a 19th-century palace filled with antiques. This will be an exterior visit. At the end of the day, your guide will take you back to the cruise port again.