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Accessible sports: 5 spectacular diving destinations

Have you ever thought of trying diving? With a specialised and experienced instructor, this sport can be practiced by the able and disabled alike. Under water, the differences disappear, time and space have a different weight, and it’s a fun activity to complement your beach holiday.

It is useful to know that many international associations train diving instructors on how to teach people with disabilities. These include the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), the HSA (Handicapped Scuba Association) and the ISDA (International Scuba Diving Academy).

We have selected for you 5 destinations where you can practice this fantastic sport, could it be an idea for your next holiday?

Egypt

The Egyptian coral reef overflows with life. The water, crossed by the sun’s rays together with the multitude of fish, creates a kaleidoscope of colours.

In the heart of Naama Bay, a natural bay located in the famous seaside resort of Sharm El Sheik, you find the Camel Dive Club & Hotel, a hotel dedicated primarily to diving. Entirely accessible, it includes a diving school, restaurants, a bar, a swimming pool, terraces and has 5 wheelchair accessible rooms.

From the Naama Bay pier (400 meters from the Camel Dive), you can take a boat that will take you to the place where the dives take place. To get to the pier, a mini-bus with a ramp for the wheelchair is available. In addition, most boats have accessible lounges, but bathrooms are not accessible, however you can still use the marina’s accessible toilets.

The diving school has a PADI certification to teach this sport to people with reduced mobility or disabilities of various types, you will find more information at the link to the Camel Dive Club at the bottom of the page and you can contact them directly. They regularly receive clients with disabilities both individually and in groups, being the only hotel specialized in diving that is also fully accessible.

In order to dive you must be able to:

  • Move independently
  • Swim for 200 meters continuously and know how to float without assistance

Sicily – Italy

Sunbathe or explore the Sicilian seabed? Whatever your preference is, everything is possible in San Vito Lo Capo! Located in the north of Sicily, this small, lively village is best known for its beach, washed by a crystal clear sea and made accessible thanks to the “Spiaggia Zero Barriere” project of the association Disabili no Limits. At the bottom of the page you can find their contacts and also their Facebook group that has also been reviewing all the shops and hotels accessible to people with disabilities locally. A group to follow to organize a super holiday!
Tiralos (special chairs that allows people with reduced mobility to go into the water), sunbeds, umbrellas, easy access to the water (wooden walkways) are at your disposal for a spectacular holiday.

A series of diving courses are offered by instructors certified by the ISDA and the HSA: these courses will allow you to contemplate a rich underwater fauna and flora, including turtles, groupers and various other marine species, a real paradise!

Calabria – Italy

In Santa Caterina dello Ionio, Calabria, there is a private beach considered one of the best places for scuba diving in the Mediterranean: Torre Sant’Antonio. Here you will find the historic residence “Torre Sant’Antonio” which in addition to being a residence and a bed and breakfast, also offers diving courses thanks to the support of its internal diving centre “Lo Squalo” which has specialised instructors.

The aim is to create a place where people have the opportunity to nurture their relationships, for example between children with special needs and their parents, or for interable couples.

For the team of instructors, diving is not only a sport but a real opportunity for human and social growth. The courses are suitable for people with different pathologies and disabilities, in particular sensory disabilities (auditory and visual), Down’s syndrome, and for quadriplegic and paraplegic people. The instructors will adapt their techniques and methods accordingly. Their diving holidays include: experienced instructors, theoretical and practical courses to pass the exam, the exam and license and 7 nights at the Torre San Antonio hotel with full board.

Close to the beach, this hotel welcomes you for your diving holidays in a welcoming and well-kept environment and has a fully accessible apartment.

Cyprus

Now let’s move to Cyprus! Here, in June 1980, a 165-meter ferry called Zenobia, carrying large trucks loaded with goods, cars and military equipment, sank 1.5 km from the shore. At a depth of 45 meters, the wreck of the “Titanic of the Mediterranean” is still intact today. Even some eggs survived!

This artificial coral reef is home to groupers, rays, turtles and many other marine species and is in the top 10 dive sites with a wreck! The water temperature can reach 27°C in summer and 16°C in winter. In addition, underwater visibility can go up to 50 meters. Underwater exploration is also organized for people with disabilities thanks to the specialized instructors of the local agency Accessible Cyprus, whose contacts you can find at the bottom of the page and whom you can ask for prices and further details. They can also organize your stay and all transfers with adapted vehicles.

Indonesia

And to finish with an exotic touch, we propose Indonesia, a country with one of the richest marine biodiversity on earth.

The most famous places to dive are scattered throughout the territory, from Lombok, through Bali and Sulawesi, going to Raja Ampat; there are really many great spots for snorkeling and diving.

In Bali, the local agency Accessible Indonesia offers you a diving and snorkeling instructor specialized in the management of people with mobility disabilities.  The accessible diving courses are in fact offered by an instructor of the Bali International Diving Professionals association, certified by the international association. In the program: Candidasa, Amed and Tulamben in the east of the country, as well as the island of Menjangan, a unique island located northwest of Bali. Here, too, you can ask the Accessible Indonesia team to organize not only the courses, but also the accommodation and transport (and beautiful tours to explore not only the seabed)!

Happy Holidays!!

Contacts and Addresses

EGYPTCamel Dive Club & Hotel

Centre of Na’ama Bay
Sharm El Sheikh
South Sinai, Egypt
Phone: +20-69-3600700
Email: info@cameldive.com

 SICILY – ITALYDisabili no Limits-Spiaggia Zero Barriere

San Vito Lo Capo
Trapani, Italia
Phone: +34 0 91 78 057- +39 339 289 3893
http://www.disabilinolimits.it/
Facebook Group: facebook.com/Disabilinolimits/

CALABRIA – ITALYTorre S Antonio

Contrada Torre S.Antonio
Santa Caterina dello Ionio, Italia
Diving instructors

Marco Badolato: +39 3290335432 (for bookings Torre S.Antonio)
Francesco Laratta : +39 3663650517 (Lo Squalo diving school)
Moreno Sandri: +39 331 6312551 (Lo Squalo diving school)

www.facebook.com/torresantantonio

 CYPRUSAccessible Cyprus Travel
Phone: +357 99603669
 INDONESIAAccesssible Indonesia
info@accessibleindonesia.org
Phone:   +62 812 42 966446

This article was written by Thomas Ardui, Destination Scout of Destination Everywhere. Would you like more information? Contact us

Photo credits: all photos have been provided by the associations and agencies mentioned in the article.

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