Ávila is one of the leading accessible tourist destinations in Spain. Much work has been carried out in recent years to build an inclusive offer in which everyone can live and enjoy life in the town with equal opportunities. Accessibility and inclusion have become the Town Hall's motto and has helped the walled town become a reference thanks to the work that has been carried out on options for accessibility, as shown by the many awards that have been received, including the CERMI, the Queen Sofía Award and the declaration of the town as a European Access in 2011.
The first port of call for all tourists is the Visitor Reception Centre, where they can obtain information for visiting the town. However, it is also the place for disabled tourists or tourists with functional diversity to receive the best advice for a visit that meets their requirements.
The resources tourists can find at the Visitor Reception Centre include the loan of wheelchairs for reduced-mobility visitors to the town so that they can enjoy their visit in greater comfort.
Tourists who use hearing aids or have cochlear implants can communicate more easily using the magnetic loop installed at the information desk on the ground floor.
And if tourists wish to start learning more about the town, they can use the multimedia information point that offers tourist information about the town, its routes and monuments, etc. The information point has options for increasing letter size and offers the information in various languages, including Spanish sign language.
The Visitor Reception Centre is also where tourists can learn more about five of the nine gates in the walls. They can be seen in five typhlological scale models with information in text and also in Braille. The models are there so that all tourists, not only the blind or people with visual difficulties, can learn more about our main monument through the sense of touch.
However, for all the people who visit the walls to be able to enjoy it and learn more details about it, audio-video guides are available with information in nine different languages, including Spanish sign language and international sign language. The ergonomic design of the devices makes them easy to use, intuitive and universal. The information is also available in a version adapted for children.
However, although tourists have so far visited the walls without leaving the Visitor Reception Centre, we now invite them to visit the accessible section of the allure, known as the Gate of El Puente. This section was opened in 2008 and makes it possible for reduced-mobility individuals to access part of the allure of the walled enclosure using ramps and lifts. This section also has a multimedia information point specifically for this monument. The device has the same features as the one in the Visitor Reception Centre.
And for people with understanding difficulties to learn more about the walls, there is a special leaflet in easy-reading format. Another leaflet on St Teresa has also been printed in this format and they can both be downloaded from the Tourist Leaflets section of the Organise your reservation menu on this website.
Visitors to this section can also download the Guide to the town's accessible resources, a fundamental publication containing accommodation, restaurants, monuments and cultural areas that offer accessible options or have been adapted in some way to cater for the disabled. The guide offers a full description so that the functional-diversity person can decide whether or not a certain good or service is appropriate.
Reduced-mobility tourists can learn about the parking spaces that are reserved for them on the street plan given at the Visitor Reception Centre.
While walking around the town, tourists will see various establishments with the International Symbol of Access on their doors, together with the legend 'Ávila Accessible'. The sign has been awarded by the Town Hall and, more specifically, by the Municipal Board for the Disabled and shows that the establishment meets basic accessibility requirements.
So that all tourists can enjoy the town in comfort, an accessible route has been designed for a visit to the main monuments in the town. The route begins at the Visitor Reception Centre, which is next to the Basilica of San Vicente. It then goes through the park of the same name and up to the House of Las Carnicerías. It continues through the Gate of Los Leales or El Peso de la Harina and on to Plaza de la Catedral, where tourists can visit the most important church in Ávila. This plaza marks the beginning of a number of pedestrian and commercial streets. The route continues along Calle Alemania, Reyes Católicos and Comuneros de Castilla to Plaza del Mercado Chico, which is home to the Town Hall Building. From here, in the south of the plaza, it goes along Calle Caballeros, Plaza de Pedro Dávila, Calle Pla i Deniel, Plaza del Teniente Arévalo until it reaches Plaza de José Tomé. It then goes along Calle Don Gerónimo, through Plaza de Adolfo Suárez until it reaches Plaza de Santa Teresa or El Mercado Grande, which is located outside the walls. This plaza is home to the Church of San Pedro. Next to the walls, the route continues along Paseo del Rastro until it reaches the Gate of La Santa or Montenegro, after which visitors can see the Convent of Santa Teresa, which marks the end of the route.
The Visitor Reception Centre is also connected by an accessible route to the section of the walls known as Gate of El Puente, from which reduced-mobility individuals can access a part of the allure that is open to the general public.
Ávila is a World Heritage Site and works day after day to ensure that its heritage is for everyone. Today, besides the walls, accessible monuments include the Cathedral, the Basilica of San Vicente, the Church of San Pedro, that of San Antonio, the Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás, the Church of the Convent of La Santa, the Auditorium of San Francisco, the Episcopium Cultural Centre, the Palace of Los Verdugo, the Palace of Los Deanes, the Museum Warehouse of Santo Tomé (open to the general public) and the Lienzo Norte Congress and Exhibitions Centre.
For more information about the route and accessible monuments, please click here.