Welcome back to the Disabled Travelers blog!
Today, I’d like to address a concern on the minds of many globetrotters, including disabled travelers and their travel companions; what’s the situation for travel in Greece?
As the birthplace of democracy and haven of so many sites that influenced ancient culture around the world, this proud country has long played host to tens of millions of tourists every year.
With recent economic trouble, many have wondered if they should put off their Greek vacations – and even if it’s safe, how’s the accessibility situation?
We hope to answer both these questions today!
The Travel Situation in Greece
Greece is, and remains, one of the safest countries in the world, with a comparatively low rate of violent crime. However, visitors should be aware that there are some areas – including some neighborhoods near typical tourist destinations – that should be avoided. Theft can be a problem in evening hours. Likewise, with the changing political situation, all travelers should be alert to resources that can protect them. Particularly, stay aware of your local embassy, and notify it when you enter and plan to leave Greece.
Travel to common tourist destinations such as the Acropolis in the daytime. Refrain from night tours, and particularly avoid public transportation after daylight hours. As always, if you have any doubt, use an established and trustworthy tour group. You can choose from local tour groups or larger, international ones – either way, select companies that have a strong focus on accessible travel and custom itineraries. Local insight is the best way to avoid issues, but also check sites like Virtual Tourist for recent advice from other visitors.
Is Athens Accessible to Disabled Travelers?
Any city that maintains traditional, largely untouched historic districts will present some challenges, due to the slowness of accessible travel improvements around heritage sites. Athens is definitely one of these cities, so we recommend caution in developing an itinerary that takes this into account. Despite all this, a lot of progress has been made in barrier-free access in central Athens. Unlike Rome, which is known for its challenges for physically disabled travelers, Athens has a reputation for a progressive attitude.
Here are some of the latest accessible travel links on Athens:
Sage Traveling, Athens: A strong overview of the accessibility outlook in Athens, focusing on such amenities as transportation, dining, and attractions. For further information from the same authors, Disabled Access in Athens offers some insight in the city’s layout that could help you plan your accessible itinerary.
Greece for the Disabled: A very detailed page which includes special disabled hotels, accessible cruises, tour operators, and plenty of facts about some of the ancient landmarks that many folks will want to visit. I was pleasantly surprised to find such eclectic and engaging resources – including “The Best Taxi Driver in Greece!”
Notes for the Disabled in Athens: From the prominent and trustworthy AngloINFO, an introduction to resources and emergency contacts for those staying in Athens. Want to go deeper? Check out Disability Now, a Greek advocacy nonprofit that provides some fact sheets in English. Rumor is you can contact them to get questions answered!
I hope everyone can breathe a little sigh of relief now knowing the situation in Athens is still welcoming to tourists – and that disabled travelers have a lot to look forward to when heading to some of civilization’s most precious landmarks. Thanks for visiting, and drop by next week for more of the latest in global accessible travel. We look forward to having you then!