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The Resort

The resort was definitely mobility friendly. I found it fairly easy walking around. If you use aids or any type of chair then the mostly flat surface is quite suitable. There are a few slightly hilly parts but you don’t have to go that way or use them. Access to the beach was very easy, it was completely flat. No steps and no need for any sort of ramp. Along the streets there were plenty of benches so lots of opportunities to sit when needed.

Dotted about where a few bus stops but I never used any of the buses so can’t comment on them. On the main street which was not far from anything, there was a taxi rank. Again I didn’t use them so can’t comment on their service.

Everything was close by, within managable walking distance. Due to the time of year there was only a limited number of places open but enough to go somewhere different each night. Also there was a choice of quiet or a little more busy if you wanted it.

 

The Hotel.

We definitely hit the jackpot with this place. One of the best choices we have ever made regarding accessibility and location. It was far enough from any noise of the bars but close enough to walk to everything. There were a few supermarkets around the corner and a cafe on the ground floor of the block. It was also across the road from escalators that made it incredibly easy to get to more cafes up the mountain side. But by far the best part was that it was literally on the beach.

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The apartments themselves had lifts to all floors. I have never had this before and it was a very welcomed change. I found it so much easier to cope without any steps at all. The room itself was quite large and spacious with bunk beds and two single beds, which were very comfortable with extra bedding and pillows if needed. I had no need to squish my own pillow in my case. The kitchenette was pretty much a fully equipped kitchen, however we didn’t use it much as I was able to get out to eat lunch and dinner but would of been great if we needed to stay in more.

The bathroom had a full bath with fixed shower attachment, great pressure and lots of hot water. Also there was a heater which it got lovely and warm, perfect for the time of year and for me in general as I feel the cold very easily.

The balcony had a fantastic view of the beach and the sea. It was spacious with a table and chairs and had easy access with a sliding door.

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Getting To The Hotel

So we opted for a private transfer booked via Hoppa. I have used this company quite  few times so I know they are reliable. The company that they have in Portugal are of a super high standard. We were greeted by a friendly young man with a clip board, who then alerted our driver that we had arrived. Our driver then turned up in a full suit and tie ! Again very friendly and helpful, greeted us with a smile and a handshake. He also took our bags, loaded and unloaded them. The car was clean and comfortable and the journey only took 30 minutes. On return to the airport the driver was already waiting for us and again smartly dressed in a full suit and tie. He was also very friendly and helpful, loading and unloading our bags.

My First Taste of Portugal

So I have just returned from a few days in Portugal. Having never been before I had a few concerns especially this time of year. Over the next few posts I will write about different aspects of my trip and of course include some photos.

First things first is the airport. We flew into Faro in the south of Portugal. On first impressions I was quite pleased. It was really easy to get about, very well sign posted. There were lots of stairs up and down but there were also escalators along side them. There were also lifts if needed. I didn’t use the assistance team myself, however I did take note for you guys and if I ever need them in the future. They seem to be rather good. They seemed to stay with the person through out their time in the airport, taking them to wherever they wanted to go including restaurants. Speaking of restaurants and places to eat, there was certainly plenty of choice all be it a little expensive even for airport prices.  One last thing I was extremely pleased with was the jet bridge from the terminal to the plane. I have never seen this in Greece and it was certainly most welcome to have instead of those stair cases. However it did only appear to be available to those boarding at the front of the plane so it would be a good idea to plan ahead a book seats in the front section.

Are You Covered ?

We all know that travel insurance is a MUST when going on trips but it is even more important if you have a ‘pre-existing condition’.

So many people don’t bother or only get it just before they travel. I ALWAYS get mine at the same time as booking my trip. “But you’re not going for x amount of months yet?” I hear you say. Well, in the event that I need to cancel my trip then I will be covered. When you have a chronic illness they can be so unpredictable and that is exactly what the insurance is for. Just in case the unpredictable happens. The sooner you get the insurance the sooner your trip is covered!

So when buying travel insurance with a ‘pre-existing condition’, you need to look at all the policies to make sure that you are covered. More often that not this means the costs can go up, but for peace of mind its worth it.  I would rather pay a higher premium than a huge medical bill.

There are lots of travel insurance websites, some that specialise in pre-existing conditions. I find that the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to find the right one for you is through a comparison site.

On another note, also make sure you have a FREE European Health Insurance Card, an EHIC. This entitles you have access to health care at the same rate as the locals. However, it is only available in STATE medical facilities NOT private run. So if treatment is free for a local, then it is free for you. That said don’t use it instead of insurance because it doesn’t cover as much. If you already have one of these cards then also make sure that it is in date.

This post is just a generalisation of my opinions and what I do, if you are looking for more information then I would recommend Martin Lewis’ website MoneySavingExpert.

Trips/Activities

I have touched on day trips and activities in most of my previous posts but I thought that I would do an actual post just focusing on them.

Most of the time I tend not to do any trips or just the odd one. It depends on how I am at the time or on the day. I never pre-book anything just in case the day arrives to do something and I feel that I am not up to it.

For the small trips I have done, I have done it all independently. With organised trips you are tied to time, there is usually lots of walking involved and you have to follow and do whatever the tour guide and the rest of the group wants. This is almost impossible for someone with some type of chronic illness.

Wherever I go, I research the local transport, it is almost always cheaper too. The local buses usually go directly into the little villages and also take the more scenic routes. This is a great way to view the area. Another option is the local taxis. I have found that in Greece anyway, that they are very helpful, friendly and most of all reasonably priced. The drivers can also provide any information from restaurants to bars or anything else that may take your fancy and that is usually off the beaten track.

In many of the old Greek villages, there is no traffic at all, the streets are tiny and narrow with lots of steps. However, they still have donkeys. This could also be an option.

 

My Checklist For Picking A Hotel.

Checklist Part 1 – Location.

  1. Quiet Resort √
  2. Near the beach √
  3. Close to restaurants, bars and shops √
  4. Is there a Doctors/Pharmacy √

Checklist Part 2 – Facilities.

  1. Pool √
  2. Pool Bar √
  3. Onsite Restaurant √
  4. Onsite Shop √
  5. 24 Hour Reception √
  6. Accessable √

Checklist Part 3 – Room/Apartment.

  1. Twin Beds √
  2. Bath/Shower √
  3. kettle √
  4. microwave √
  5. toaster √
  6. Accessable √