I recently visited Valencia, Spain, and was really impressed by how wheelchair friendly it was. I expected the new buildings to have wheelchair access, but I was surprised to find that the pedestrianised walkway along the seafront had many restaurants that were not just wheelchair accessible but also had a disabled toilet on the premises. I saw a lot of other wheelchair users whilst I was there, and I can understand why.
The majority of the restaurants on Avenida Neptuna are wheelchair accessible and every single one that I used also had a disabled toilet. They serve paella both in its original form (no fish) and an excellent selection of other dishes as well as great wines. Some of the restaurants are more famous for their paella, but I ate at quite a few different ones and didn’t really notice much difference. Further into the city, the restaurants were older and less wheelchair accessible, but still I found that an effort had been made to make them more accessible for wheelchairs. Some of them even had a disabled toilet (of sorts).
Some of the popular places to eat in the city were outdoors in small squares, so they wheelchair accessible but didn't always have a disabled toilet inside.
The beach is well adapted for wheelchair users. During the summer, the lifeguards run a program to help people in wheelchairs enjoy the sea. I visited after the summer season so I was not able to see the program in action but every sign mentioned it. Most of the beach entrances from the Promenade down to the sea across the beach were boardwalks so wheelchairs could access up to about 10 m from the actual sea itself.
The lifeguard stations were closed when I was there, but I read that they contained adapted changing rooms for wheelchair users with a disabled toilet.
I stayed at Las Arenas which, apart from having a bit of a slope up from the main road to the main entrance, was great for a wheelchair user. The main entrance has a revolving door but this can be stopped and fully opened to allow wheelchair users to access it. During the time that I was there, I regularly found the doorway like that anyway. There were disabled toilets available in the main area and all of the main area was level access, including the outdoor area.
To get up to the pool there was a long walkway rather than a staircase, so everybody would use that to access the pool. There is a disabled toilet at the pool.
In the bathroom, there was equipment that was better than anything I have previously seen. A flat wall mounted horizontal bar was behind the toilet and another one ran the length of the roll in shower cubicle. When it is going to be used, 2 long drop down rails are put down on either side of the toilet. They can also be individually lifted up if side entry is required.
In the roll in shower, a drop down seat can be fixed to the wall mounted bar and it slides along the length (about 3 m) of the shower, meaning that you can get from your wheelchair onto the seat then the seat can be moved to the other end of the shower underneath the water. I thought this was great!
The room itself was large and it had a very big balcony. There was a ramp provided so that you could get outside onto the balcony with your wheelchair.