3 Greek islands for people with disabilities

3 Greek islands for people with disabilities

Accessible vacation guide for Greece

Which are the best islands in Greece for people with disabilities? Read useful info about accommodation, services, activities and accessibility features for your vacation in Greece.

Pedestrian Liston Street in Corfu with disabled access

The spacious Liston Street in Corfu

Vacation on the Greek islands for travelers with disabilities

Holidays in Greece can be a great option for people with disabilities. The Greek islands and mainland are introducing new disabled-friendly services and accessibility planning to cater to the needs of visitors with disabilities. With a little planning and some patience, you can enjoy a fantastic retreat on the Greek islands!

Designated beach spot for people with disabilities in Greece

Greek beach with facilities for reduced mobility visitors

Are Greek islands wheelchair-accessible?

There are several islands in Greece that are wheelchair-accessible. Make sure you research accessibility challenges before booking your trip, as many Greek islands are not particularly accessible due to their topography and age-old architecture.

Usually, larger islands are better for travelers with reduced mobility, as more accessibility facilities are normally available. Some of the largest islands in Greece are: Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Lesvos, Samos, Zante and Syros.

Tip: Some of the best beaches on the Greek islands are equipped with a SEATRAC service, offering independent sea access for people with reduced mobility.

Are there disabled-friendly hotels in Greece?

There are several wheelchair-friendly accommodation options in Greece. On the Greek islands, you can stay at an all-inclusive hotel with ramps, wheelchair-friendly toilets, as well as step-free access to the communal areas. For more privacy and comfort, you can also find private villas with enhanced accessibility amenities.

Seaside resort in Greece with accessible pool and gardens

Resort with wheelchair access on a Greek island

Can I find disability equipment in Greece?

You can find disability equipment in most major towns and islands in Greece. There are companies specializing in mobility equipment such as wheelchairs, rollators, wheelchair-friendly vehicles and more. There’s also free disability equipment at many sites and attractions, so you can explore the country’s cultural heritage with ease.

Tip: It’s common to rent or buy disability equipment in Athens, the Greek capital, and catch the ferry to the island of your choice.

The 3 best wheelchair-friendly Greek islands

There are around 227 inhabited island in Greece, with a staggering 3 islands being more accessible to people with disabilities (sad trumpet sound). These are Corfu, Crete and Syros. Find more information about accommodation, activities and beaches on the Greek islands below.

Corfu

The island of Corfu is one of the best destinations in the world for people with disabilities. Corfu is a cosmopolitan destination with diverse culture and amazing accessible beaches. The island has seen important developments in the past years when it comes to making the island accessible to people with reduced mobility. 

Hotels, beach bars and restaurants have introduced accessibility features and you can find many wheelchair-accessible resorts and luxury villas on the island. More than 20 beaches offer floating wheelchairs and there’s also a seasonal independent sea access service. As for cultural activities on the beautiful Ionian island, don’t miss out on the fully accessible palace of Mon Repos and the old town of Corfu, which is 80% accessible and features preferred route signs for people with disabilities.

The fully accessible palace of Mon Repos in Corfu

The palace of Mon Repos in Corfu with ramps, lifts and step-free access

Crete

Crete is the largest island in Greece and its bustling towns are great for visitors with disabilities. From impressive seaside resorts with wheelchair access and step-free jacuzzis to remote mountainous villages perfect for relaxation away from crowds, Crete is a paradise for travelers with disabilities.

The best accessible accommodation options are located in Chania, Heraklion and Rethymno, as well as the surrounding towns and villages. Particularly in Rethymno, the “Rethymno for All” project has made the town more accessible to visitors with reduced mobility, introducing wheelchair ramps in major monuments, disabled parking spots and wider streets. As for accessible beaches in Crete, there are at least 7 beaches all over the island using the SEATRAC independent access system, plus many more that are equipped with floating wheelchairs.

The promenade and old harbor of Rethymno with the stone lighthouse

The impressive lighthouse at the harbor of Rethymno

Syros

Syros is a distinct island in the Cyclades, offering wheelchair users many options for seaside and cultural activities. The island is the perfect blend of Cycladic culture and cosmopolitan influences. In the past 10 years, it has transformed into a great destination for people with disabilities despite its intricate architecture and narrow uphill alleys.

There are plenty of accommodation options for wheelchair users. Many large and small hotels offer wheelchair-friendly rooms and vacation amenities. There are SEATRAC machines for independent sea access at 4 beaches: Vari, Agathopes, Voulgari and Galissas. You can also find floating wheelchairs at most major beaches. Getting around the coast on foot is also quite easy as there are ramps and handrails at the promenades, as well as designated parking spots for people with disabilities. 

Since last summer, visitors can also explore the area of Ano Syros and witness the medieval past of the island. The island offers visitors wheelchairs and state-of-the-art elevators that help wheelchair users to the medieval town step-free.

Houses at the old town of Ano Syros built on the hilltop

The medieval town of Ano Syros, accessible by free-to-use mobility equipment

Can people with disabilities catch a ferry to the Greek islands?

Yes, most ferries sailing from mainland Greece to the islands offer standard accessibility amenities for people with disabilities. The majority of large ferry companies in Greece offer wheelchair-accessible cabins, ramps, lifts and boarding assistance.

You can easily catch a ferry from the mainland ports to the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese and other destinations throughout the year. On our blog, you can find useful updates about ferry schedules for the Greek islands in 2021.

Good to know: Smaller vessels operating between islands are not always suitable for people with reduced mobility due to restricted space.

Where to book ferry tickets to the Greek islands?

On Ferryhopper you can book cheap ferry tickets to the Greek islands. Compare ferry companies to find journey amenities and accessibility features on our Ferry Operators page and book your trip in just 4 clicks!

Young travelers enjoying Greek nature and the sea view

The Greek islands are best enjoyed with friends and cats!

Useful tips for vacation in Greece for people with disabilities

Make sure you do some research before booking your holidays on the Greek islands. Here are some useful info and tips for people with disabilities planning a trip in Greece:

  • Find more information about accessible ferry travel in Greece. Learn about on-board ferry amenities, accessibility features and travel regulations for travelers with disabilities.
  • The best time to visit the Greek islands for people with disabilities is from mid-June to October. If you wish to avoid the crowds, you can visit one of the larger islands off-season.
  • Make sure you inform the ferry company at least 48 hours in advance if you require assistance with boarding and getting around the ferry.
  • Visit the ExtraMilers website to explore accessible suggestions for the Greek islands. By creating an account you get personalized tips for your trip in Greece.
  • Getting around the Greek islands is not always easy for wheelchair users. Public transport is not perfectly developed, which means your best option is to have your own vehicle.
  • Bear in mind that during the winter months some accessibility services such as sea access equipment and wheelchair-friendly resorts may be unavailable.
  • Find available crossings and schedules on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries to plan the perfect itinerary.