Updated June 18th, 2022 by Travel the Greek Way
Do you wonder how best to visit Greece for mobility-impaired people? Are you using a walker or a rollator to walk around and you are concerned about visiting Greece? Or perhaps you have an elderly relative and you are wondering about how best to visit Greece and how accessible the country is.
Read in 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.
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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 159 beaches all over Greece that offer independent, free of charge, sea access for people with mobility issues (see details below in 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
Greece for the 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 to navigate in certain areas for the elderly or people with walking disabilities/wheelchair
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.
Greece Quick Reference
- Heading to the Greek Islands from Athens? Book your ferry tickets in advance with no-hidden-fees FerryScanner or FerryHopper
- Essential Things to Have for Athens Metro: An anti-theft design Backpack
- Private transfer with English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries. Check availability and prices on Viator here
- Don’t forget to bring along your Microfiber Quick Drying Beach Towel that looks like the Greek Flag!
Where Best to Stay in Athens for Mobily-Impaired
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 the 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.
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 Turkish periods and the history of one of the most important administrative centers of the Peloponnese, built on a mountainside 5 km from Sparta.
Mystras can be very challenging to visit 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 could 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. Check availability and prices on Booking.
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.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Nafplion
3 Sixty Hotel & Suites: A exceptionally decorated hotel in a beautiful historic building in the center of Nafplion, with one of the best fine cuisine restaurants in Nafplion and fully accessible for wheelchair users. Check availability and prices on Booking.
Mycenae, Epidaurus, Ancient Olympia
Mycenae, a UNESCO site, is a bit of an uphill hike from the Lion Gate. You can rest on one of the nice benches around with views of the lower ruins and the hills around the sites.
Epidavros 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. It can be done but I think it would be very difficult and whoever is handling the chair would have to be very fit.
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.
The Meteora Monasteries, a UNESCO site, are located in mainland Greece, in the region of Thessaly, 347 km from Athens. Meteora is an extensive complex of gigantic sandstone rocks shadowing the local town Kalambaka.
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 14-15th century.
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 driving of the loop around Meteora and stopping for pictures. Park, 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
Wheelchair and Greek Beaches Access
There are currently 159 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 here and will get back to you.
Best Greek Islands for Mobility-Impaired
Corfu Island is one of the best Greek islands for mobility-impaired people. It has 4 beaches, Palaiokastritsa, Dasia, Ipsos & Mpenitses with the Seatrac installed, the beach bars, restaurants, and watersport centers have “adopted” the equipment and are easily accessible.
There are also free disabled parking spaces available in the New Town of Corfu.
Best Accessibility Hotel in Corfu
Rhodes is a stunning island and one of the most cosmopolitan travel destinations in Greece with an amazing history. Find here useful information on Rhodes and Accessibility: https://accessible-rhodes.com/en/
Best Accessibility Hotel in Rhodes town: Elakati Luxury Boutique Hotel
Santorini island is not wheelchair accessible, has many steps, the paths are narrow, cobbled, lots of steps up & down everywhere, and very crowded. However, the main pedestrian “street” in Oia is basically flat and smoothly paved with large slabs of marble tiles.
Generally speaking, Santorini is not a very accessible island. Having said that, there are a few tips that you can follow and have a great time in stunning Santorini and many interesting places to visit:
- 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 full accessible to wheelchairs in Kamari is Secret Earth Villas – Santorini and Perissa is Amaryllis Hotel
- Go to Megalochori, mainland Santorini 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
Suggested Gear to Use during your visit to Greece
They offer adjustable height, slip-resistant rubber tip, and an ergonomic handle:
Life Space Saver Rollator
A Foldable Compact Rollator with a Convenient Perch Seat:
Soft and lightweight ECCO PHORENE anti-slippery sole and with the style and expertise of Danish shoemakers
Some of my Favorite Travel Resources for Greece
- Ferries to the Greek Islands: Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper, and get the best prices in the market with no hidden fees
- Athens Metro Website (timetables and tickets info)
- Map of Athens Metro
- Trains (OSE)
- Public Buses KTEL
- Air flights: Cheap/Fast/Best Worldwide Flights from KAYAK or SkyScanner search engine sit
- Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals on both hotels and apartments, free cancellations, and great prices!
- Best car rental prices – Guaranteed. RentalCars.com
- 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