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Traveling with a disability can be an incredible adventure, and my summer trip to Rhodes, Greece in August 2023 was a testament to that. Despite the challenges, the island’s beauty and accessible amenities made for a memorable experience. In this blog, I’ll share my journey, from flights to activities, and offer insights for fellow travelers with mobility limitations.

Flight and Resort: A Smooth Start

Our journey began with TUI airlines, ensuring a hassle-free experience at both Eindhoven Airport and Rhodes Airport. The assistance provided was excellent, and Rhodes Airport’s wheelchair accessibility was commendable.

We chose to stay at the Akti Imperial resort, just 4 kilometers away from the capital, Rhodes Town. The resort was impressive – top-notch service, delicious dining options, and inviting pools. The resort even boasted its own section of the beach with accessible beach beds. Accessibility was a priority; all public areas, including the beach, were wheelchair-friendly.

However, a minor hiccup occurred when we realized that the promised accessible room didn’t meet expectations. The room’s narrow entrance and cramped space made it unsuitable for wheelchair users. The bathroom, featuring a protruding glass door, posed accessibility challenges. Surprisingly, there was no genuinely adapted room, highlighting a key drawback for those reliant on wheelchairs.

General Accessibility of Rhodes for Wheelchair Users

While Rhodes’ accessibility presented challenges, the island’s allure made the effort worthwhile. Uneven pavements and high curbs were common, and many shops and restaurants featured barriers. Embracing the adventure is essential; despite these hurdles, Rhodes reveals its beauty, even to wheelchair users. Some restaurant hunting might be necessary, but the rewards are undeniable.

Exploring Old Town of Rhodes with a Wheelchair

A day trip to the Old Town of Rhodes revealed a captivating world within the city walls. This ancient enclave boasts authentic landmarks and charming streets. While the cobblestone paths posed challenges for wheelchairs, they were navigable. Notably, the Old Town offered multiple accessible public restrooms, a thoughtful touch.

Lindos Wheelchair Access: Embracing the Accessibility Journey

Lindos, perched on a hill, offered scenic views along with steep inclines. Regrettably, the Acropolis wasn’t wheelchair-accessible due to its staircase-only access. Nonetheless, observing the Acropolis from a distance was still rewarding. Lindos itself, while visually stunning, lacked accessibility in its shops and restaurants. A glimmer of hope emerged at the beach’s western end, which featured a wheelchair-accessible path.

Symi Island Adventure: Navigating Boat Accessibility

Embarking on a boat trip to Symi Island was a highlight. After careful research, we chose the ‘Nikolaos X’ boat due to its excellent accessibility features. The ramp at Rhodes’ port allowed easy boarding. The journey included a stop at Panormitis Monastery, a serene spot accessible through a ramp. Though one side of the ramp had a significant bump, the other side eased wheelchair access.

Symi Town, our main destination, showcased unparalleled beauty. The boat’s accessibility here was hindered by a higher dock, yet the crew’s willingness to assist overcame the challenge. While this minor setback existed, no better accessible boat option was found departing from Rhodes’ port. The ‘Nikolaos X’ is a top recommendation for wheelchair-accessible boat trips.

More information about the ‘Nikolaos X’ can be found here.

Wheelchair Taxis in Rhodes

Traveling on the island of Rhodes can be quite challenging. Regular taxis are everywhere, but wheelchair taxis are almost never seen. The public buses seem to be wheelchair accessible, but we were told that the bus schedules are not reliable. Because of this, we chose to travel to all the sights using a wheelchair taxi.

In the end, we found 2 companies that had a wheelchair taxi, their information is provided below. However, these taxis are considerably more expensive. For example, a ride with a regular taxi from our resort to Rhodes town cost €10 (one way). A ride with the wheelchair taxi cost us €70 (one way). Below you will find the 2 different wheelchair taxis, along with the pros and cons for each taxi company.

Rhodes Taxi Services
Website: www.rhodes-taxi.gr
Phone number: +302241068995

We traveled with this taxi for 3 days. Both from the airport to the resort and back, and on the day we went to Lindos. We also wanted to go to Rhodes with them, but they were fully booked at that time. A round trip would have cost us €100 (regular taxi €20), and the trip to Lindos (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes) cost €200 for the round trip in total. In this taxi, the wheelchair was securely fastened, and I was also given a seatbelt. In my opinion, this was the best choice for a wheelchair taxi on Rhodes.

Life & Care Home
Phone number taxi dispatch centre: ‎+306985169800
Phone number Life & Care Home:+302241114661
Email address Life & Care Home: [email protected]

We traveled with this taxi for 2 days: to Rhodes Old Town and to the Rhodes Harbor for our boat trip to Symi. This taxi was arranged by our hotel. A quick internet search suggests that this taxi is owned by a care home, so I would recommend calling the taxi dispatch center when you want to make a reservation. This taxi cost €70 one way, so €140 in total for the round trip from our hotel to Rhodes (a regular taxi costs €20). In this taxi, the wheelchair was not secured, and I also didn’t have a seatbelt.

Final Thoughts: Embracing Accessible Adventures in Rhodes

My journey to Rhodes was a mix of breathtaking moments and accessibility hurdles. From embracing the charm of Old Town to navigating the beauty of Lindos and Symi Island, accessible travel was both a triumph and an adventure. Rhodes might not be perfectly wheelchair-friendly, but with determination, its treasures are within reach. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Rhodes’ wonders are waiting to be explored.

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