Increasingly, people with physical disabilities who travel abroad will find more options and resources than ever before. However, few concessions exist for travelers with disabilities in Greece. Steep steps, uneven pavements, almost no cuts at curbstones, few ramps, narrow walks, slick stone, and traffic congestion can cause problems. Archaeological sites are, by their very nature, difficult to navigate, and crowded public transportation can be all but impossible.
The new airport and the Athens Metro system are wheelchair accessible, and thanks to the 2004 Olympics, an elevator now takes individuals in wheelchairs to the top of the Acropolis; but even this requires that the wheelchair be pushed up a lengthy path. More modern and private facilities are only now beginning to provide ramps, but little else has been done. Increasingly, hotels are setting aside rooms that they advertise as "disability-friendly" or "handicap accessible," but that may mean nothing more than handrails in the bathtub. Nonetheless, foreigners in wheelchairs -- accompanied by companions -- are becoming a more common sight in Greece. Several travel agencies now offer customized tours and itineraries for travelers with disabilities; one is the British-based Makin' Tracks: www.makintracks.eu. A number of agencies offer customized tours and itineraries for travelers with disabilities. Among them are Flying Wheels Travel (tel. 877/451-5006; www.flyingwheelstravel.com) and Accessible Journeys (tel. 800/846-4537; www.disabilitytravel.com).
There is now one particular establishment in Greece that should have a special appeal to those with physical disabilities: the Eria Resort Hotel on Crete, designed, built, and dedicated to provide as convenient, comfortable and active a stay in Greece as possible.
Organizations that offer a vast range of resources and assistance to travelers with disabilities include MossRehab (tel. 800/CALL-MOSS [225-5667]; www.mossresourcenet.org); the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB; tel. 800/232-5463; www.afb.org); and SATH (Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality; tel. 212/447-7284; www.sath.org). AirAmbulanceCard.com is partnered with SATH and allows you to preselect hospitals in case of an emergency.
British travelers should contact Holiday Care (tel. 0845-124-9971 in the U.K. only; www.holidaycare.org.uk) to access a wide range of travel information and resources for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.