In response to questions from The Jewish Week, Access Israel has compiled a list in English of the top five most accessible places for tourists with disabilities:
1) Masada — Surprisingly, the impenetrable desert fortress of Masada is one of the most accommodating places for visitors with disabilities. According to Access Israel, the mountaintop (which is reached by taking a large cable car) provides numerous ramps and pathways that allow wheelchair-bound visitors to move around the trails and reach observation points. In addition, the visitor’s center provides underground parking, accessible bathrooms and screening halls adapted for people with a variety of different disabilities. Additionally, visitors can coordinate with management to obtain an electric vehicle to transport them to the mountainside and special audio-visual spectacles for the vision impaired.
2) Ilanot Forest — This beautiful spot in the Sharon region, not far from the coast, offers special parking for the disabled, ramps for people in wheelchairs and picnic tables that are easily accessible.
3) Jaffa Flea Market — Another surprise on Access Israel’s accessibility list is the historic flea market in Jaffa. With accessible parking lots nearby, curb cuts to allow people in wheelchairs to get up onto the sidewalk, and easy paths to reach the dizzying array of market stalls, this market is well worth a visit.
4) Gan Hanadiv — Not far from the picturesque town of Zichron Yaakov, Gan Hanadiv once belonged to Baron Edmond de Rothschild and provides beautiful landscapes and beach views, overlooking the beach, some ancient artifacts and a circular trail suitable for the whole family. It has easy parking for the disabled, smooth pathways for people in wheelchairs, an accessible overlook and a well-designed visitors center.
5) Apollonia National Park — Located north of Herzliya on the coastal plain, this national park contains the remains of a Crusader city that has been excavated in recent years. According to Access Israel, the park has accessible parking, benches and tables that are compatible with wheelchairs. It also has an overlook where visitors of all abilities can enjoy the incredible views of the sea.