I recently had a couple come to Can Be Done looking for the holiday of a lifetime. They were talking about hotels in the Caribbean, the USA or Istanbul – all of which we offer – but when I got talking to them I discovered that what they’d always dreamt of doing was going to Egypt and seeing the ancient pyramids.
So why were they talking to us about these other destinations? Well, they believed that –because of their mobility issues, and because they’d heard that Egypt wasn’t good at providing disabled access – holidays to the country were out of their reach.
I spoke to that same couple again last week, they’d just returned from a week-long tour that we had organised for them, along the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and back. They were overjoyed at being able to see all the sights of the ancient world and the excursions we’d set up for them.
The fact is that, while travelling with disabilities may need a little more planning, there are very few areas which are ‘out of bounds’. My team and I have travelled to all the destinations we recommend and can assure you from personal experience that there will be good disabled access. Holidays are precious, and we’re here to make sure you get what you want.
The Nile Cruise
So how did we make Egypt, not famed for its disabled access, accessible? Well the first thing was to suggest a cruise down the Nile. This is actually something that many people have on their travel bucket list anyway, but it is particularly suitable to anyone with mobility issues because you can watch the stunning landscape of Egypt as you float by, from the comfort of your boat.
We recommended a seven-day cruise which travels from Luxor to Aswan and back, as this gives travellers the opportunity to take in the sights and excursions from both the east and west bank.
Sights like the dramatic Aswan dam, the Philae Temple (built in the 1st Century and dedicated to the goddess Isis), the Temple of Komombo and the historic city of Edfu, can all be seen from the waters of the Nile itself.
Explore the Ancient Pyramids
Our Nile cruise is a wonderful, relaxing experience for those who require disabled access. Holidays to Egypt would not be complete, however, without spending some time in Cairo so that you can explore the ancient sights and artefacts of the pyramids at Giza. For this reason I always recommend travellers stay an extra three days after the cruise to take in these amazing sights.
Three of the pyramids are accessible to wheelchair users: Cheops, Chephren and Mykernius, and we can arrange tours for you which will also take in the accessible Egyptian Museum where the stunning Tutankhamen collection is housed.
Other popular excursions include: the Citadel of Salah El Din, Cairo’s Mohamed Ali Alabaster Mosque, and a trip to Alexandria with a visit to the sight of the famous former lighthouse, now the Qaitbay Citadel.
Where to Stay in and Around Cairo
A great option is to stay at the fully accessible Mercure Le Sphinx, set beside the Giza Pyramids themselves. The hotel actually boast a view of these ancient wonders from its terrace! My clients always mention the great view, as well as the ease with which they can reach the sights from the hotel on the various excursions we arrange for them.
For a more cosmopolitan option, I recommend staying in the Ramses Hilton in Cairo. Set in the heart of the city, this hotel is very accessible and is a great option for those with mobility issues, including wheelchair users.
Wherever you want to travel, just remember that no destination is out of reach; dream holidays just take a little more planning if you need to factor in disabilities. Let us sort out the details, so you can relax and have the experience of a lifetime, wherever you choose to go.
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in disabled access holidays across the world for individuals and groups who are travelling with a handicap. With over 31 years’ experience organising long and short breaks for disabled travellers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodation that offer high standards of accessibility to ensure that those with special needs can experience truly relaxing and carefree holidays.