Greece Is Making More Than 200 Beaches Wheelchair Accessible

Accommodations include remote-operated ramps and improvements to restrooms.

A man in a wheelchair with the Seatrac mover on a beach in Greece

Courtesy of Tobea

Greece is working to make hundreds of its beautiful beaches wheelchair accessible, installing remote-operated ramps, making restroom improvements, and more.

The ramp project, which is being designed by Greek company Seatrac, will be installed at 287 beaches across the country, according to news publication the Greek Reporter. So far, the improvements have already been installed at more than 140 beaches.

“Equal access to the sea is an inalienable human right,” Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias told the Greek Reporter. “People with disabilities and people with limited mobility are given the opportunity to participate in beach activities with family and friends, enhancing the quality of life for everyone… [They] can engage in activities such as swimming that contribute to their physical and mental health.”

The Seatrac system operates with a remote control, according to the company, and lowers users into the water with a chair along a moveable track. At the end of the track, a handrail allows users to disembark the chair and swim in the water.

The project, which has a dedicated official website, hopes to “promote Greece as an accessible sea tourism destination.” A list of beaches that are currently accessible is available on the website through an interactive map.

In addition to the new ramps, the country is working to install removable changing rooms, portable sanitary facilities, accessible parking areas, and more improvements ”in order to create integrated tourist accessible sea destinations,” according to the project’s website.

Greece isn’t alone in working to make accessible travel more widely available. Museums across the United States are installing and providing accessible features like noise-canceling earmuffs for sensory-sensitive visitors, a wheelchair-accessible carousel, hosting sensory-friendly hours, and more.

Several national parks are also accessible with Badlands National Park in South Dakota coming in as the most wheelchair friendly thanks to three wheelchair-friendly trails and its ability to accommodate wheelchairs in more than 92 percent of its restaurants. Other wheelchair-accessible national parks include Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park, which features more than a dozen wheelchair-friendly trails, and Yellowstone National Park, which has 16 wheelchair-accessible trails.

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