Do you wonder how best to visit Greece for mobility-impaired people? Are you a person with disabilities and you are concerned about visiting Greece? Or perhaps you care for an elderly relative and you are wondering about how best to visit Greece and how accessible the country is.
According to a report by UpCounsel, a US-based online marketplace for legal services, Greece is an accessible country for people with disabilities but needs to further improve its infrastructure.
Read this post about accessibility, how best to visit the most famous Greek sites, and what is the general status of Greece for mobility-impaired people. I have also included information on which beaches/hotels to choose in Greece if you are in a wheelchair or have any physical limitations.
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Greece for mobility-impaired people: The Positive
- The major museums all over Greece, are wonderfully accessible with ramps, and the staff is willing to take you to the lifts and lead you on shortcuts through the galleries; you only have to ask
- There are 220 accessible beaches all over Greece that offer independent, free-of-charge, sea access for people with mobility issues (see details below in the Greek Islands section)
- Most large resorts are equipped to host people with heavy motorized wheelchairs (will provide hotels below)
- All guide dogs are accepted everywhere
- Athens central pavements (sidewalks) are wheelchair friendly
- Metro and trains are wheelchair friendly
- You can drive/ be driven almost to all of the sites/hotels and park right outside
- Greeks are very friendly and always eager to help with directions or any other help you may need, please don’t be shy or feel embarrassed, just ask for help if you feel you need it
- There are excellent Dialysis Centres on the larger Greek Islands such as Crete, Rhodes or Santorini
- Make sure you take some proof of the disability as the authorities always ask for this
Greece for mobility-impaired people: The Negative
Greece’s terrain is comprised of 80% of mountains and both mainland and the Greek islands can be quite hilly, with many steps and difficult (or even impossible) to navigate in certain areas for the elderly or people with walking disabilities /wheelchairs.
The terrain can be uneven, the sidewalk’s surface can be broken or there might be a tree, they might have parked a car on the pavement, or any other obstacle you can think of on the sidewalk (not in central Athens though), with wobbly cobblestone streets on islands and mountain villages.
Athens Greece for mobility-impaired: Accommodation
Stay in a hotel near one of the Metro stations like Acropolis or Syntagma. All of the Athens metro stations are wheelchair accessible by using elevators at all levels of platforms. Two very nice hotels near Syntagma are Ergon House and Electra Metropolis.
There are 2 entrances to Acropolis Hill but the best entrance for mobility-impaired people is the central, main one, across from Dionysus Parking, at the end of Rovertou Gkali St.
From there, you can easily take the lift up to Acropolis. Find here details about how to get to the Acropolis lift and the map with the dotted routes for people in wheelchairs.
If you walk Acropolis, you should keep in mind that both Acropolis entrances are uphill with steps up to the Parthenon and the other Temples.
Walking Acropolis with a cane is doable as long as you are OK with climbing steps and you can always take as much time as you may need.
Park in Greece for mobility-impaired
A theme park for people with disabilities is to be constructed in the coastal suburb of Ellinikon, one of the areas in Athens Riviera. The park will include pools and treatment areas and will be able to cater to the needs of some 500 children with disabilities and people with multiple sclerosis. As soon as they have put the project together, I will post the info here.
Sounion Cape and the Temple of Poseidon
Sounion Cape archaeological site has a paved area suitable for wheelchairs from the parking up to a certain point before the Temple. After that, there is a dirt road and if your chair is not a mechanical one, you may need some help for a few meters. After that, there is again a paved area to easily wheel and go around the Temple.
Some of the Peloponnese’s sites might be a problem for accessibility as they have been built on mountains. But there are plenty of seaside towns, villages, and sites that are accessible and flat for your vacation. Find below some of Pelponnese’s most popular sites which may pose a difficulty for people with mobility issues.
Mystras is a spectacular UNESCO site, which incorporates numerous elements of the late Byzantine and Ottoman periods. It was one of the most important administrative centers of the Peloponnese, built on a mountainside 5 km from Sparta town.
Mystras can be very challenging for mobility-impaired people as it has many steps and people on canes always find Mystras the toughest site to walk. I suggest you book a private guide for Mystras, meet him/her at the bottom of Mystras, and drive to the top of the fortress so that you can tour while walking down, which will still be lots of stairs descending. The paths in Mystras are also very uneven, as well as some being steep.
If walking down the stairs is not possible, there is plenty to see from the lower entrance and places to sit around.
INFO: The Greek Ministry has promised that it will make the area wheelchair accessible by the end of 2023.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Mystras
Mystras Grand Palace Resort & Spa: This gorgeous property overlooking Mystras, offers 4 rooms on the ground floor level with a wonderful view of the garden. They are fully accessible with widened doors and have a bathroom with a special layout and support bars for the comfort and convenience of guests. All areas of the hotel can be accessed. Check availability and prices on Booking.
Monemvasia will be relatively easy to walk around as long as you skip the Upper Town in Monemvasia which is a bit like Mystras and has a steep path to reach it. If you can walk slowly, and maybe use trekking poles, you can visit and see the site in an enjoyable fashion.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Monemvasia
ALKINOI RESORT AND SPA: Set by the Monemvasia seafront, the beautiful Alkinoi Resort has rooms specially designed for mobility-impaired people and access to all the facilities of the hotel.
Greece for mobility-impaired: Nafplion
Central Nafplion is flat, but a part of the town is built on hills accessed mainly by steps so you better book a hotel that isn’t on a hillside. You can easily walk around Nafplion or if you wish to visit Palamidi fortress you can go there by car.
If you’re looking for deeper information, check out my in-depth Nafplion travel guide for a ton of details on accessing all these places.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Nafplion
3 Sixty Hotel & Suites: An exceptionally decorated hotel in a beautiful historic building in the center of the town, with one of the best fine cuisine restaurants in Nafplion and fully accessible for wheelchair users.
Mycenae, Epidaurus, Ancient Olympia
Mycenae, a spectacular UNESCO site, is an uphill hike from the Lion Gate. There is a paved path that you can use if you are in a wheelchair which is taking you to some parts of the site.
If you are on a cane, you can rest on one of the nice benches around with views of the lower ruins and the hills around the sites.
The entrance to the Treasury of Atreus, the most impressive domed Mycenean tomb in Greece, is a few hundred meters from the Mycenean Palace. The ground is dirt and comparatively easy to visit by wheelchair or cane.
Epidaurus archaeological site is flat, with a little bit of hike around, you shouldn’t have problems navigating the site. Read here more about the Sanctuary of Asclepios in Epidavros.
Ancient Olympia, a UNESCO site, is very easy to visit as it is a flat area.
Delphi Archaeological Site
Delphi, a UNESCO site, is not wheelchair accessible as it is placed on a hillside with a steep path, rocky with some uneven stone steps.
You can visit the great Museum which is wheelchair accessible. Overall it’s a fantastic area and you can combine it with a visit to the traditional town of Arachova.
Read a dedicated post on Delphi Site here.
Greece for mobility-impaired: Meteora
The Meteora Monasteries, a UNESCO site, are located in mainland Greece, in the region of Thessaly, 347 km north of Athens. Meteora is an extensive complex of gigantic sandstone rocks shadowing the local town of Kalabaka.
On top of the megalithic rocks, an average of 300 meters above ground, are perched the 6 awe-inspiring Meteora Monasteries built by Greek Orthodox monks in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Most Monasteries have 150-300 steps to reach their entrance. The Monastery of the Holy Trinity has a cable car that you can use to go up. The Monastery of St Stefanos is the most accessible Monastery. There is a small solid bridge leading straight to the entry from the car park and only a couple of wide steps to enter the main complex.
Many people who can’t walk up the stairs, enjoy the ride of the loop around Meteora and stop for pictures. I would suggest stopping at the nearest possible to each monastery entrance as they are good vantage points and fun to watch the hordes of tourists climbing up and down the many stairs, like lines of ants.
Read here a detailed article about which Meteora Monasteries are open on the day you are visiting, details of what to see, and most importantly the dress code.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Meteora
Theatro Hotel Odysseon: Every room is unique and its decoration is inspired by a famous theatrical play with Meteora and Pindos Mt views.
Wheelchair and Greek Beaches Access
There are currently 225 beaches all over Greece that offer independent sea access for people with mobility issues (free of charge). According to the site, ‘Most SEATRAC beaches also include additional amenities such as parking, a beach track, restrooms, changing rooms, shaded areas, and shower, all of which help to create a fully accessible and free day at the beach!’.
To find your destination beach in Greece, check the SEATRAC website here. If you need help with finding your desired location leave a message at the end of this post and I will get back to you.
Greece for Mobility-Impaired: The Islands!
Corfu Island is one of the best Greek islands for mobility-impaired people. It has 9 beaches with the Seatrac installed, and the beach bars, restaurants, and watersport centers have “adopted” the equipment and are easily accessible. See all available beaches in Corfu here.
There are also free disabled parking spaces available in the New Town of Corfu.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Corfu
Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa: Located in a stunning setting in the Mpenitses area, Angsana Resort offers exceptional stay and service.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Rhodes Town: Elakati Luxury Boutique Hotel
Santorini island is not wheelchair accessible, has many steps, the paths are narrow, and cobbled, with lots of steps up and down everywhere, and very crowded in summer. However, the main pedestrian “street” in Oia is basically flat and smoothly paved with large slabs of marble tiles.
Generally speaking, Santorini is not an accessible island. But if you do want to visit you can, you just have to find a hotel in a flat area and use private driving around the island. Find below some useful tips for your visit to Santorini:
- Let your hotel know that you have a mobility-impairment issue and they will organize your transport to their hotel
- There are Seatrak facilities on both Kamari and Perissa black beaches, book your hotel there. You will pay considerably less to stay there than at a place overlooking the caldera and you can still travel to places overlooking the caldera during the day for the views. Kamari has loads of restaurants all along the beach road and there are no steps (or very few)! The best Hotel fully accessible to wheelchairs in Kamari Beach is the Secret Earth Villas – Santorini and in Perissa Beach is the Amaryllis Hotel
- Go to Megalochori, in mainland Santorini which has no steps, easy parking, and still a caldera view, but you would need a car to get around. Stay at the Grand View – Megalochori Santorini
- Read here some of the most enjoyable things you to do in Santorini.
Suggested Gear to Use during your visit to Greece
They offer adjustable height, slip-resistant rubber tips, and an ergonomic handle. Find them on Amazon here.
Life Space Saver Rollator
A Foldable Compact Rollator with a Convenient Perch Seat
Soft and lightweight ECCO PHORENE anti-slippery sole, with the style and expertise of Danish shoemakers.
How to Get to Athens Port (Piraeus) from Athens Airport
- Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance), which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
- Metro: (€9) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
- Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
- Rent a car with Discover Cars to rent reliable new cars at affordable prices
- You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
- Check out an entire post on Lavrio Port in Athens
Are you going to Greece this year, do you have any exciting travel news? Let me know what you did in the comments, I’d love to hear whether I managed to help you! Till next time, Evgenia❤️
Some of my Favorite Travel Resources for Greece
- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Ya sou” and “Efharisto”
- Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals on both hotels and apartments, free cancellations, and great prices!
- Find Long-Term Rentals in Greece: You will find the best prices in Flatio
- All-Inclusive Resorts in Greece
- FerryScanner to book ferries to the Greek Islands
- Rent an Affordable Car in Greece
- Athens Metro Website (timetables and ticket info)
- Map of Athens Metro
- Trains (Hellenic Train)
- Public Buses KTEL
- Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
- Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100– EMERGENCY NUMBER 112
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