Kalamata in Greece, the second biggest city of the Peloponnese peninsula by population it’s known for growing the large, dark brown Kalamata olives used in delicious meals around the world. But you do not need to be an olive enthusiast to find something to do in this city. If you are a fan of historic Greek sites, modern Greece nightlife, or even Mediterranean beaches, the people of Kalamata want to help those living with disabilities enjoy this and more.
Kalamata has ties to history going back before the Greeks, while the majority of its ancient building blocks have been eroded with time, plenty of history built afterwards still exists today. For those living with disabilities this means some things will just not be accessible. For example, the local castle may have wonderful views of the city, but the stairs used to access it make it very difficult for anyone using a wheelchair. However, all is not lost for us travelers with wheels!
Finding a ride to Kalamata’s Plateia, or town square, is a good place to start your day or night. Just like any Greek community, the Plateia is where the people meet, shop, chat, and share a meal. If you’re the type to shop, then you could easily spend a day visiting the numerous shops available down the main street. The nightlife hear can be equally enjoyable, as much of it is lit up with warm inviting lights coming from romantic eateries and picturesque storefronts (especially so during holidays/festivals). Most of the Plateia is also very accessible with nice, wide, inviting sidewalks that give plenty of room for those in a wheelchair or not.
If you’ve had enough of shopping and just want to enjoy the Mediterranean weather, why not head to the beach. Eastern Kalamata-Anastasi area beaches has established accessible areas for those in wheelchairs to access the water. You read that correctly, the water, not just the parking on the beachfront! The local government of Kalamata has just announced they will be deploying a special type or track/ramp system that goes into the water itself, allowing a mounted chair (transferred from a wheelchair to this chair) that can be remotely moved into the water. This system, called the Seatrac (more information here: https://seatrac.gr/en/), is an interesting solution for anyone who has difficulty swimming but wants to enjoy the water alongside friends or family. See Seatrac in action:
It’s very nice to see that this old popular city is caring enough to make efforts to include as many people as possible in enjoying the oceanfront. Seeing options like this allows more opportunities for wonderful experiences together, maybe we’ll see you in Kalamata. We hope to see more accessible options like this in the future and in more places.
Have you been to Greece? How about Kalamata itself? We’d love to hear about more local accessible sightseeing spots in the area and help people find and enjoy them too, so please leave us a comment below if you know any.
Img By macrolepis, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50856887Published in