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Traveling in Greece with Limited Mobility

My friend wants to visit Greece and go to the different archeological sites and islands. She is not in a wheelchair, but has limited mobility and uses oxygen.

Are the islands accessible? I went years ago on a cruise and it seems like there were always stairs and hills, even if they had a funicular to the top like in Santorini. Is it possible to travel the islands and still see everything? Are there any resources about how to visit Greece with Limited mobility? I”m thinking instead of a cruise we should travel by car and take the ferry from island to island.

Thank everyone in advance for your help.

Posted by
1376 posts

Generally speaking Greece has a lot of ups and downs with rough terrain including sidewalks in Athens. I would suggest Greece is not a great choice for your friend. A cruise may be a better choice but that does not help your friend on the land portion at cruise ports. Hopefully someone with similar problems may be able to give you better invoice.

Posted by
210 posts

Luckily, there are thousands of stunning and wonderful places to go to in Greece.

It seems to me that merely getting onto and off of a cruise ship repeatedly would be tiring for your friend. Similarly, public transport, ferries, planes, etc. would be taxing.

To me, Greece is tailor-made for car travel. Whether or not you are on an island or the mainland is entirely inconsequential. Anything you can find on an island is available in abundance on the mainland.

With a car, you can drive right up to the entrance of more mind-blowingly beautiful and historic sites than you could imagine. From there, your friend can do as much or little as is possible and you'll be off to another.

I might suggest getting into a car at the airport, driving towards Corinth with a stop at the canal. A mere stroll. In Corinth itself is the ancient site but that and the museum is flat.

Then, go to Nafplio. Stay in the city center. You can explore the entire town easily on foot and it's flat, too. If you friend could handle walking down stairs and not up them, take a taxi to the top of Palamidi Fortress and walk down to town.

From there, go to Monemvassia. Find an accommodation as close to the gates as possible. Yes, this town is hilly and cobblestoned but the entrance is flat and from the entrance you will still have access to plenty of thrills to occupy yourself for a couple days.

Similarly, on the Peloponnese Peninsula, Ancient Olympia is flat (though large in size, a few square miles) and includes a wonderful museum.

The sheer distances to be covered in Athens are great, no matter what you want to see. Therefore, I would strongly recommend to just get in a car and call all of the shots yourself. It's easy to do this in Greece.

Posted by
585 posts

You also need to consider the weather. Greece gets very hot in mid-summer and even in mid-October I have encountered temps in the high 90’s low 100’s. Along with the ancient sidewalks, often marble which can be quite slippery, and the crowds, it makes for difficulty. You will need to find out about getting medical oxygen during your journey. Presumably your friend will be checking with her physician before proceeding. And medical insurance will likely be expensive. There is a lot to consider, not just the mobility issues.

Posted by
832 posts

I would strongly disagree with a previous poster on a few things. There is absolutely NO way a person with limited mobility and on oxygen would be able to walk down from Palamidi Fortress, since it is over 900 steps. As for Athens, I would not want to drive in the city. Traffic and parking are both a nightmare. IMO it would be too much stress for both of you. I too agree that you need to consider the heat in Greece, as it can be stifling depending on the time of year for your visit. Not to be a naysayer for your friend, but Greece will be challenging due to a multitude of factors. But if her heart is set on visiting it, then perhaps she will be able to make the necessary accommodations for traveling there.