Read All About Accessible Cruising

My first cruise ever, so exciting! Living on a ship for 6 days with 4 floors, 2 elevators and 69 + 63 people in total. Cruising through 3 countries and 5 cities. The cruise ship is adjusted for people with special needs, the designers have taken everything into account. MPS de Zonnebloem is equipped with the necessary medical facilities such as hoists and high-low beds. The ship sails about 40 weeks a year across the Rhine to Germany and across Belgian and Dutch waters. With 2,850 people with a physical disability, young and old, onboard every year. The ship has 11 one-person cabins and 29 two-person cabins on the main deck. Each cabin is equipped with high-low beds, ceiling-lift systems, connection for oxygen, radio, TV, call system and one bathroom per two cabins.

Check out the complete ship on their website!

“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi

What to do?

On Monday afternoon we gathered in Arnhem to sail from there. When everyone and all things were on board we could start sailing. First, we went to Duisburg (Germany) but we weren’t able to go off the ship in Duisburg. We spent the night on board in Duisburg. We got the chance to get to know each other better because almost all of us were unknown to each other. 

I have to say that I did not quite know what to expect from a week on a cruise. But I also have to admit that it went very well. There was also plenty to do while sailing, such as sitting on the sun deck and enjoying the view.

Düsseldorf 

On Tuesday morning we left Duisburg around 08:00 and arrived in Düsseldorf around 13:00, during lunch. We were given different options to spend our day in Düsseldorf, like a bus tour or walking tour. I chose to discover Düsseldorf independently. We walked (rolled) through the Altstadt, and we visited the Königsallee. The Altstadt is the historic center of Düsseldorf. It is only half a square kilometer in size, but it is a huge draw: historic buildings, narrow streets, nice shops and a huge number of cafés, bars, and restaurants. The Königsallee is one of the top tourist attractions in Düsseldorf. It is the best known and also the most popular street in the city. A boulevard of over 1 km long, “dotted” with exclusive shops, lined with plane trees and chestnut trees, and in the middle the city moat Kö-Graben into which the Düssel flows. The cobblestones were the only downside of the city. Did you know Dusseldorf counted approximately 612.000 citizens in 2016?

One of my habits is visiting Starbucks in every city I am in. We went to the Starbucks in the Königsallee, but it was not accessible! I’ve been to Starbucks in Greece, Spain, and the US and I’ve never been to a Starbucks that is not accessible. Such a bummer, but we went to another coffee company that was accessible in the Altstadt. We went back to the ship around 17:00 to get ready for dinner. After dinner, we had a volunteer singer on board, Johan. He sang and danced for us the whole night. After Johan’s performance, we had some drinks and went to bed. While Johan was singing, we were sailing to Antwerp. We continued sailing the whole night because Antwerp is on quite a distance from Dusseldorf. I loved the sound and feeling of sailing while being asleep, so calming.

Antwerp

On the third morning, Wednesday, we woke up around 09:00. Breakfast in the restaurant is between 08:30 – 10:30, so no need to hurry for breakfast in the morning. Every morning you’ll get to hear who will be your ‘mate’ for the day, so you can go into the city with them. Antwerp has approximately 521,600 inhabitants (2018), making it the largest municipality in Belgium. When we arrived at the port of Antwerp, we got off the ship and walked to the city of Antwerp. The city was further away from the port than expected. The roads to the city were also very bad for wheelchair users, among others. After like half an hour we arrived in the city of Antwerp. This modern city is called ‘De Meir’. I’ve been to De Meir before, so it was not a new thing to me. And again, we went to Starbucks and this time it was accessible. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Antwerp, because walking to and from the ship takes one hour in total.

Around 17:00 we walked back to the ship, where we sat on the sun deck for a while. After dinner, I had reserved some time in the bathroom, like a room with a real bath. It was a special adjustable bath and accessible for the hoist. It was my first time in the bath since I’m in a wheelchair, and I loved it! After this wonderful bath, we all went to watch the women’s football World Cup. It was a pleasant evening with a nice atmosphere. And the women had won from Sweden!

Gorinchem 

On Thursday morning we were already sailing towards Gorinchem when we woke up. I had never been to Gorinchem before in my life, so I was very curious about this village. Most people get upset if you call Gornichem a village because they see it as a city. After a delicious little breakfast, we were able to enjoy the morning sun on the sun deck. Lunch is from 11:30 am, so no extensive breakfast is required. After a nice lunch, we were able to get off the ship to discover Gorinchem. The first thing I noticed was that everything looks very clean and tidy. A beautifully maintained village! There were nice shops and cafes to spend the day with. 

We also went to the historical side of Gorinchem. It is assumed that Gorinchem was founded around the year 1000 by fishermen and farmers setting up a settlement on somewhat higher ground near a mouth of the Linge in the Merwede. 36,679 people live on an area of 22.01 km² (of which 3.23 km² water) (1 January 2019, source: CBS). After dinner, we had an option to watch some old firefighters singing in their Choir. I knew that this was not my kind of thing, And some other people thought the same thing. So instead of watching these men, We went back into the village and had some drinks at a cafe. We had a lovely night, and so did the other people who stayed with the firefighters. This time we did not have to sail at night, because our next destination was not far away from Gorinchem.

Nijmegen 

The next morning, on Friday, we took it easy in the morning. From about 13:30 we were able to leave the ship again. This time we moored in Nijmegen, also our last destination of this trip. I regularly come to Nijmegen so this city was not new to me. Although I’ve been here before, it will never be boring. Nijmegen is a beautiful city with plenty to do. Part of the group went to the casino while another part did a city tour. I decided not to do any excursion and to explore the city myself. 

According to some scholars, Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands. History goes back more than 2000 years, and yet the city is still fairly modern. There are a huge number of sights and museums in and around Nijmegen. Public transport is also well arranged, making it easy to get anywhere in the area. There is also a lot of nature in the area. I spent my day in Nijmegen mainly on shopping and sitting on a terrace. It was primarily a quiet and sunny day. In the evening we had our last and also gala dinner. The chefs and restaurant staff have made this a nice evening that we will never forget. During dinner, we sailed on to our final destination in Arnhem, so we had a beautiful sailing dinner.

In the evening we had to pack our suitcases again, because we went home early on Saturday morning. It was a very nice and fun experience with wonderful people. I never expected that I would like a cruise so much, so I definitely intend to do another cruise again.

General things to know

Besides where to stay and what to do, there are some general things you should know.

Languages: 
The main official language spoken in Germany is German, but most people do speak a little English; 
In Belgium, it is Dutch, Vlaams and French; 
For the Netherlands, it is mostly Dutch and a bit of English.

Capitals:
Germany > Berlin
Belgium > Brussels
The Netherlands > Amsterdam 

Currency: 
The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium are all part of the European Union. So in all these countries, you can pay with euros.

Climates: 
Germany has a temperate maritime climate with relatively mild winters, no extremely hot summers and rainfall throughout the year;
Belgium has a temperate maritime climate with relatively mild winters, mild summers, and rainfall throughout the year;
The Netherlands has the same climate as Belgium.

Everything About Accessible Crete, Greece

Greece is a part of Europe that doesn’t look like Europe at all. But I am in love with Greece, even though I’ve only visited Greece twice. My first time in Greece was in May 2018, click here to read more about this visit.

Well in May 2019 I decided to visit Greece again, but this time to the biggest island ‘Crete’. I booked this trip through a Dutch travel agency. This travel agency consists of volunteers and people with a disability. We were with a group of 18 people in total.

“Life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better.” – Simon Raven

Where to stay?

Located in Maleme seaside village, Eria Resort Accessible Holidays for Disabled Travelers is exclusively designed for guests with accessibility needs. It features a wellness center, a heated pool and a poolside bar-restaurant with Cretan cuisine. Sports facilities include boccia, volleyball and basketball court.

Spacious and easily accessible, the air-conditioned units feature free Wi-Fi and a balcony overlooking the sea and the olive groves. They are equipped with electrically adjusted beds, trapeze bars and intercom systems. The specially adapted bathrooms include bathrobes and cosmetics. – Booking.com 

  • Accessible pool
  • Roll in douche
  • Toilet with grab rails
  • Hoist available for rent
  • Electric profiling bed available
  • Upper floors accessible by elevator

What to do?

Flight day

On Monday morning, 20th of May, we arrived around noon at Schiphol in Amsterdam. We had some time to get to know each other before checking in. I noticed that this group was very energetic and excited, just like I was. After security, we could go to the gate. We were able to board the plane first because we were with quite a lot of wheelchairs. We flew with Transavia and the flight lasted about 3 hours and fifteen minutes. At the airport, in Chania, the staff were very friendly and helpful. And the taxis that would bring us to the resort were ready, so we could go straight to the resort. The owners of the resort made us dinner, so we could eat something when we arrived. After check-in, we could go to our rooms to get some rest.

First day

The next morning we woke up around 9 a.m. and had some breakfast. While eating breakfast we could enjoy the beautiful mountain views. On the first day, we didn’t plan to do something, because we were all still tired. We sat at the pool all day and unpacked our stuff. Some of us went swimming, but I didn’t. The resort had pretty good food and the people who worked there were nice too. The resort is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Every room has one electric profiling bed (adjustable bed) and we rented a passive hoist. The bathroom was okay, could’ve been a bit bigger. More information and prices are available at their website, click here.  Eria resort has its accessible taxis with drivers, so they had brought us everywhere this week. Including from and to the airports.

Activities

On Wednesday, we went to the Beer Brewery and Olive Oil factory. I don’t drink alcohol, so the Brewery was not my thing. But talking about accessibility, it was good. They had slopes next to the stairs and there was a small toilet for the disabled. From the Eria Resort to the Brewery, we drove like 45 minutes through the mountains. After visiting the brewery, we went to the oldest olive tree in Greece. The experts think it’s between the 3000 – 5000 years old, so that is indeed very old. 

After visiting and photographing this tree, we went further up into the mountains. After a while, we arrived at the olive oil factory ‘Vittorakis’. At this factory, we saw the whole process of making olive oil, very interesting though. We also got the chance to taste some toasted bread with their olive oil. They also offered you 5 glasses of wine to taste, but I don’t drink, so I don’t know if it was good. There was a small shop where you could buy their olive oil. When we were done with tasting and learning, we went back to the resort. At the resort, there was BBQ night. We ate dinner and had a relaxed afternoon.

City Chania

Thursday, in the morning we had a relaxed beginning of the day. We played some games and just enjoyed. Around 4 p.m. we took the taxis to Chania. Chania is the second largest city of Crete. First, we went to the old market. We bought some souvenirs and stuff like that. After some walking (actually, rolling) around, we went to the harbor of Chania. To be honest, I don’t have the good words to describe how beautiful this spot is. Just check it out for yourself, so beautiful. After visiting the harbor, we had some dinner at a gyros tent. Gyros is something typical Greek, but I don’t eat meat, so I can’t tell you if it was good or not. 

It was almost time for the sunset, so we went back to the harbor. We took some very cool pictures and enjoyed (really enjoyed) the beautiful sunset and the changing skies. I don’t think the pictures can show how beautiful it was in real life, because it was fantastic. We stopped at the Starbucks, because yes they have a Starbucks in Chania. It was not wheelchair accessible, but we sat outside anyway. After some walking and shopping around, we went back to the resort. We played some games and had fun.

Maleme

The next day, Friday, was beach day. We went to the little village Maleme to eat some lunch on the beach. It was a cool tent called Mythos and the owner was such a kind person. She was very happy to make some space, and she even took some time to talk with us. The weather was great, the sun with a breeze from the sea. We enjoyed our lunch, everything was just perfect. After lunch, the owner brought us some desserts on the house, which was very kind (and delicious). When we finished our lunch and dessert, we visited some small shops for souvenirs. Btw – this village was on a walking distance from the Eria Resort. So after that, we went back to the resort. There was some time over before dinner, so we went swimming (S/O to Christel). It was a heated pool, so it was very lovely. You could enter the pool with a (shower) chair through the slope.

After dinner, we had a Greek night. What does that mean? Hmm, I’m not sure either but it was fun. 4 Greek dancers did typical Greek dances with typical Greek clothes. I was amazed by their energy because they danced for like 3 hours. But I liked it!

Beach day

On Saturday we went with the taxis to the ‘wheelchair accessible’ beach. It is quite funny that they call this the wheelchair-accessible beach, as this was certainly not wheelchair accessible. It was a normal sandy beach, so it was almost impossible to come up with the wheelchairs. But with the help of others, we succeeded, and we were able to sit on the beach all afternoon. It was a hot day with lots of sun. In the afternoon we were picked up again by the taxis. After we arrived at the hotel I went swimming, which was very nice again. After swimming, I took a quick shower and prepared for dinner. The resort has its cook for lunch and dinner. Most days we had fish or meat on the menu, but always including something vegetarian. The food was good, some days it was better than other days.

Accessible Jacuzzi 

Sunday was our last full day in Crete, unfortunately. We didn’t plan things on this day, so we could do what we wanted. After lunch, I went swimming and then I went into the Jacuzzi. Yes, the Jacuzzi. The resort has a Jacuzzi with a very nice hoist. Unfortunately, the bubbles didn’t work, but the water was hot! After this, I took a shower and it was already time for dinner. After dinner, we went to the village Maleme to have some drinks at the Mythos cafe. The owner remembered us and was very happy to see us again. We sat there for like 2 hours at the beach and around 11 p.m. it became colder, and we went back to the resort.

Yep, Monday arrived and it was our last day. In the morning we had breakfast and packed our suitcases. After lunch, I went swimming for the last time, it was short but good. I showered and packed my last things. We had to leave around 5 p.m. to the airport. One of the last things we did was eaten an ice cream (S/O to Samantha). Everything was packed, and we were able to go to the airport. At the airport everything went smoothly and again we could enter the plane first. After some delay, we arrived at Schiphol around 1 a.m. instead of 11:30 p.m. so we had a little longer vacation. It was a good trip with great people. Thank you, Greece for being great again!

General things to know

Besides where to stay and what to do, there are some general things you should know.

Language: 
The main official language spoken is Greek, but most people speak English too

Capital:
The capital city of Crete is Iraklion

Currency: 
Just like the rest of the countries in Europe you can pay with euros 

Weather: 
The climate is a mild Mediterranean climate with stormy winters and hot, bright, dry summers

Accessible B&B in Denekamp, The Netherlands

Somewhere in January my PCA (personal care assistant) and I were thinking about going to a Bed & Breakfast somewhere in the Netherlands. After some searching, we found the B&B called Mössems in Denekamp, the Netherlands. We booked this place for a weekend in May, from Friday till Sunday. So I told my best friend about it, and she was like cool, can I join? We called the B&B, and they were like of course, we’ve still got a room for that weekend.

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

Where to stay?

Mössems is located in Denekamp and features a garden and a terrace. This 3-star hotel features free WiFi and a bar. The property has a restaurant.

At the hotel, the rooms include a closet, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Mössems has certain accommodations with garden views, and all rooms have an electric tea pot. All guest rooms at the accommodation are equipped with a seating area. – Booking.com 

  • Free space under the bed, hoist fits under the bed
  • Bathroom spacious enough, roll in douche and accessible sink
  • Enough power points to charge your equipment
  • Hoist available for rent
  • Electric profiling bed available

Arriving

On Thursday morning, the 9th of May, we received the terrible news that my sweet, lovely grandmother had passed away. We were heartbroken and shocked when we heard. On Friday morning I had the weekend planned in Denekamp. After much doubt, I decided to let this continue, especially because my grandmother enjoyed it when I went traveling.

Friday morning, we drove to Denekamp which was like 150 kilometers and 1.5 hours away. We drove through beautiful landscapes and enjoyed meadows with cute cows and horses. It was a completely different side of the Netherlands. The Bed & Breakfast used to be an old farm, but the owners renovated it into a beautiful B&B.
At the entrance, you could immediately see that a lot of attention has been paid to this place and the looks of this place. The owner told us about the history and the origins of this Bed and Breakfast. After checking in we were able to go to our rooms and drop off our stuff. It was quite noticeable that they have thought about everything around accessibility. But it is arranged in such a way that it is not obvious that this place is especially for people with a disability.

We had booked rooms called ‘De Tarwe’ and ‘De Haver’ because these rooms have electric profiling beds. The owners did not charge extra for using these electric beds, super right? Directly from the rooms, you could enjoy the view over the Meadows. It was a very refreshing, green place. If you want to relax and re-charge somewhere in nature, then I will recommend this place and the surroundings.

What to do?

We also planned this weekend to explore the surroundings. On the first day, we didn’t do much, but we went to eat dinner in Hengelo. We first went to a Sushi restaurant, but it turned out this place wasn’t wheelchair accessible. Also, the owners were not what you’d call ‘helpful’.
We decided to go further and see if there was another nice tent. So we ended up at an Italian restaurant called ‘Intenzo’. The people at this restaurant were really friendly and willing to make room for two wheelchairs. The food was delicious and the vibe was perfect. We are really happy that we have eaten here.

The next morning we had breakfast with fresh pastries and croissants. On the advice of the owner of the B&B, we went to the outlet of Ochtrup in Germany. This was about a half-hour drive from the Bed and Breakfast. This outlet was very large and it also was very good accessible for wheelchair users. There were several accessible toilets and you also could enter every store with your wheelchair. After some shopping, we went to a modern cafe to have a cup of coffee with a nice German pastry.

Meanwhile, we were searching for a place where we could go to eat some dinner. We decided to try Sushi (again) because this was not successful the other night. Via Tripadvisor, we ended up at an all-you-can-eat Sushi and Wok restaurant in Enschede. This tent is called Asaka and is very well wheelchair accessible. The staff were very friendly and the food was good. You’ve got 3(!) hours to eat, they had everything. It was quite cheap and there were many options, even for vegetarian eaters. After eating dinner and some desserts (of course), we went back to the B&B in Denekamp. We watched some crime series and went to bed at like 2 a.m.

On Sunday, it was Mother’s Day and even the B&B owners paid attention to this day. 

The breakfast buffet was very extensive this time and there were certainly 20 people for breakfast. After eating breakfast we packed our suitcases, and we had to check out at 11 a.m. Before checking out I bought some local honey and homemade jam. I love buying local, homemade stuff from farms because I think this is much better than from a supermarket. Like, more from nature and maybe fairer to the farmers. It was a very nice weekend and I think I’ll go back to this bed and breakfast once again.

General things to know

Besides where to stay and what to do, there are some general things you should know.

Language: 
The main official language is Dutch. But most people do speak a little English.

Capital:
Amsterdam.

Currency: 
Since the Netherlands is a part of Europe, you can pay with euros (€).

The Biggest Balearic Island Majorca (Mallorca)

My first time on one of the Balearic Islands was in September 2018. We went to Majorca (Mallorca), the biggest Balearic Island located in the Mediterranean. Majorca has approximately ‎859,289 residents, and they’re called Mallorcans. Before visiting Majorca, I had no idea what I should expect of the Island, but I was very excited to find out. The flight from Eindhoven, The Netherlands to Palma de Majorca was approximately 2.5 hours. I’m still amazed by how quick you can enter a whole other ‘world’. It’s something very special in my opinion, don’t you think?

“Not all those who wander are lost” – J. R. R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings

Where to stay?

Palia Dolce Farniente is next to Majorca’s Egos Beach, and offers 2 tennis courts and a large outdoor pool. Each spacious room has a private balcony, fan and satellite TV. Surrounded by gardens, the Dolce Farniente Hotel consists of low-rise buildings with typical Mediterranean design. The resort of Cala D’Or is 3 km away.’ – Booking.com

The only thing I saw right away was that accessibility could have been better.

One of the things that could be better were the doorways, because those were very small. Like the space in the rooms, which were also very small. Another thing is that there were a lot of steep slopes in and around the hotel. But there were also many good things about this place. There was a pool hoist to enter and exit one of the pools. Also, the hotel staff was very friendly and willing to help. It was an all-inclusive arrangement and the food was fantastic. There were enough food choices every day and a lot of different drinks available. The water tasted extremely salty, but the other drinks were okay. During our stay we bought bottled water and with that the water problem was solved.

  • Free space under the bed, hoist fits under the bed
  • Bathroom spacious enough, roll in douche and accessible sink
  • A lot of steep slopes
  • Heavy doors to open, if you have reduced strength it can be too heavy

What to do?

Cala d’Or

One of the first things we did was discover the port of Cala d’Or. It was on a walking distance from the hotel and the weather was very good. There were many beautiful, large boats in the sea and there were many people on a discovery like us. The views, the sun and the mountains were so beautiful. After this walk, we went back to the hotel for some dinner. It was our first dinner, so I had no idea what kind of food I could expect. But we were very satisfied by the dishes they served. There was a nice vibe and everyone was cheerful and excited. After the dinner, we had some drinks at the pool and went to bed. The next day we woke up early and had some breakfast at the restaurant. We also found out that they’ve got very good coffee!

Boat tour

We did a cool boat tour like the tour in Kos. This time we did the tour with the Starfish tours. It was a cool boat with a glass bottom. The glass bottom was not very interesting for me, because it was downstairs. It was a long tour which lasted for like 3 hours. And wow! The sea was so beautiful, I couldn’t get enough of the views. A boat can never be fully accessible I guess, but the Starfish was good. There was an accessible toilet and the main floor was good for wheelchair users. You wouldn’t be able to do the tour in your powerchair, because they need to lift you into the boat. During this tour you could admire the beauties of the island. One of my favorite things to do on a trip, is a boat tour I think.

Most of the time we stayed in and around the hotel. The weather was great and there was enough to see and to do. Across the hotel there was a karaoke bar, so we visited that once or twice. We certainly did not get bored because there was always something to do. The hotel also made sure that there was a nice gig or dance every night. One evening they had a paella workshop, after which everyone was allowed to eat the paella.

Palma de Majorca

One of the other days we went to the big city Palma de Majorca. We went with the same touring-bus as we did from the airport to the hotel. It was a beautiful ride to see more of Majorca. First, we visited the big castle of Majorca, but it was not very interesting. If you’re in a wheelchair you would’ve not been able to go close to the castle. But the views from the mountains were very beautiful. You could enjoy the view of the beautiful blue sea.

After this visit the bus took us to the city of Majorca. He brought us to the cathedral of Majorca, which was very beautiful! After seeing and entering the cathedral, we went in to the streets of the city. There was enough to see, to visit and to enjoy. In the middle of the city we stopped and had a drink at the Starbucks. Btw – this Starbucks was very good accessible with a wheelchair! We saw cool things, like a wedding! We visited some shops and found some souvenirs to buy. After a while we had some lunch at the MacDonald’s. After a long day we went back to the hotel. I’d really recommend everyone to visit Palma de Majorca at least once during your holiday in Majorca.

General things to know

Besides where to stay and what to do, there are some general things you should know.

  • The main official language spoken are Catalan and Spanish. But most people do speak a little English.
  • Capital city is Palma, since December 2016.
  • Since Majorca is a part of Europe, you can pay with euros (€).
  • The climate is a Mediterranean climate with mild and stormy winters and hot, bright, dry summers.
  • The island has one airport; Palma de Mallorca Airport. Their websites about accessibility “The airport is completely accessible for the disabled. There are adapted elevators, restrooms, telephones and information is also available in Braille. For the use of a wheelchair you can contact your airline. On each floor of the parking garage there are places reserved for the disabled.”

How Accessible is Kos, Greece actually?

Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. Interesting fact: the official name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic. My first time in the beautiful Greece was in 2018, it was my first time on an Island. Greece has approximately ‎11 million residents, of which 33,388 people in Kos. I was very excited to learn more about Greece. The flight from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Kos Airport – Ippokratis was approximately 3.5 hours. We stayed at Kipriotis Village Resort.

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

Where to stay?

“Located in Psalidi, just 3 km from Kos Town, Kipriotis Village Resort features a garden, swimming pools for adults and children and all-inclusive accommodation. This 4-star resort offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service.” – Booking.com

  • Free space under the bed, hoist fits under the bed
  • Bathroom fully accessible
  • Toilet with grab rails
  • Electric profiling bed available for rent
  • Accessible pool by hoist
  • Hoist available for rent

What to do?

At the airport an accessible taxi picked us up to bring us to our 4* hotel. The taxi was not something that I’d call accessible, because it didn’t have the supplies to fix the wheelchair in a safe way. The drive to our resort was approximately 1 hour through the mountains and small streets. It was dark outside, so we didn’t see a lot of the environment, but we could see Turkey across the ocean.

My first impression of the hotel was very good, beautiful and clean entrance. It took a while before we got our keys, but that was not really a problem. In the meantime we could discover the hotel and have some dinner. It was an all-inclusive arrangement and I have to say that the food was very good. After dinner, we could finally go to our rooms downstairs. The elevator was good, but small. You could enter the elevator with one wheelchair and one (small) person. The room was clean and my (rented) high-low bed was connected and well. We unpacked some stuff and went to sleep, because it was already past midnight.

First impressions

The next day we woke up around 9 A.M. and we had our first breakfast in the hotel. The food was good and there were a lot of food choices. You could choose between three different restaurants inside the hotel. So you’d never get bored with the place nor the food they served. The hotel has 3 restaurants including a main Restaurant, Italian Restaurant and an Authentic Greek Restaurant of course.

But also many snack options like a pizza corner and a BBQ restaurant. There were plenty of facilities like a souvenir shop, Jacuzzi, fitness center and different pools. They also had a pool hoist (patient lift), so you could swim in any pool you wanted to swim in. We stayed a lot in and around the resort, but there were many things to do. The resort was very close to the sea, so we’ve been there too. This beach was without sand, but with stones. I think there were beach wheelchairs, but it was too cold to go into the sea. So I haven’t tested the wheelchairs.

Kos city

The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful with suggestions of things to do in Kos. According to them you had to take the taxi to Kos city. We tried walking, because we didn’t want to depend on the taxi’s. It was about 40 – 50 minutes on one straight road to the city. The whole road was along the sea and nice restaurants, so this was a nice walk. The city was interesting and had mixing architecture. There were very old churches and very new buildings. I love how this city was mixed between new and old.

Boat tour

We also did a boat tour through three different islands which was very impressive. We did the 3 islands tour with the Black Pearl. The Black Pearl was a very modern boat with cold drinks, music and sunbeds. The boat also had a large waterslide. We visited Kalymnos, Plati en Pserimos. And we had some lunch in Plati and then continued the tour. You could enter the boat with your wheelchair, but I don’t recommend doing that with your powerchair. The tour was very, very beautiful with gorgeous views and dolphins in the sea. The vibe was nice and the weather was wonderful. A tour to never forget.

Zia

We also went to Zia, a mountain village which is mainly focused at tourism. There are also many restaurants and shops, especially in the fields of textiles and herbs. The village is known for its exceptionally beautiful sunsets. We went to see the sunset and it was unbelievable beautiful, words can’t describe. It was a long ride, because you went up into the mountains. But it was definitely worth the time! If you’ll ever visit Kos, make sure you’ll watch the sunset in Zia.

The other remaining days we walked around in the nature, visited the beach and went to the city a few times. We did not get bored once, which is a good sign. My first visit to Greece was great, so I’ll definitely visit Greece again.

General things to know

Besides where to stay and what to do, there are some general things you should know.

  • The official language spoken is Greek, but most people understand and speak English.
  • Capital City is Athens. 
  • Greece is a part of Europe, so you can pay with euros (€).
  • The climate of Greece is Mediterranean, featuring mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.
  • The island has one airport; Kos airport. Click here for the information about the accessibility of the airport