Greece is a fabulous destination to travel with kids. Idyllic islands, blue and white villages, friendly people, ancient ruins and sweet summer vibes… Greece is one of our favourite places to visit as a family. But it’s a big country and there are lot of places to choose from. So it’s a good idea to do some homework before you book, so that you find yourself on a Greek family holiday to remember.
Each corner of Greece offers a slightly different experience…
This makes narrowing down the right location somewhat a challenge, but that’s where we can help. We have travelled mainland Greece slowly and visited some of the more popular island destinations as well. If it’s a resort style vacation, an off the beaten track adventure or an island hopping holiday then read on for our recommendations.
Also with a few of our travel tips and packing recommendations, you’ll find that travelling around Greece with kids is really easy! The first family holiday we ever took to Greece was one of our most memorable holidays to date. Partly due to the perfect 14 day itinerary I had prepared, but also because Greece is just awesome with kids!
So read-on for all the details and don’t hesitate to contact me for any further tips and tricks.
Best Places to Visit in Greece with Kids
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As already mentioned we have travelled around Greece slowly on the mainland. But have also explored the outer islands taking ferries and even trying our hand at sailing. No, we are not sailors but we love adventure and trying new things with our kids.
And if you asked me which experience we preferred (island hopping or road tripping the mainland) I honestly couldn’t pick one over the other. Instead I’ll share with you some of the highlights below and give you an idea on what to expect in each. Then you can make the decision on what sounds right for you.
Note: I link to other posts throughout, so be sure to click through to learn more about each specific destination.
Cyclades Islands – Santorini, Mykonos & Paros
First up – the Cyclades. You honestly can’t go wrong with an island hopping holiday through Greece. So I’ll start right here. The Cyclades refers to a group of islands in the Aegean Sea, some of which are the more well known islands in Greece. Our top three favourite to visit were Santorini, Mykonos and Paros.
Santorini & Mykonos
Santorini and Mykonos were lively and busy and were undoubtedly a lot of fun with kids. The beaches were gorgeous ofcourse, but my favourite thing about these two islands were the beautiful white washed towns. Watching the kids running up and down cobbled streets, through bougainvillea lined alleyways is a photographer’s dream come true.
Every day is a new adventure, with plenty to do and see. A new restaurant to try, a different beach to swim at, or a new sight to visit.
An absolute must with kids in Santorini is Atlantis Books, but don’t just take my word for it… Santorini Dave agrees and rates it as one of the best in the world. The story behind it is also cool… but I’ll let you drop in and chat to the friendly staff to get the full lowdown.
Thanks to this book store our kids now have a bookshelf full of Greek mythology. And I have a cookbook shelf full of Greek recipes… which yes I do make from time to time!
The best beaches for kids in Mykonos and Santorini would have to be these –
- The southern beaches of Mykonos are idyllic. Our favourite was Paraga Beach, which we got to by bus. The bus system in Mykonos is super easy to navigate, just turn up to the main bus depot in town and ask a few questions to get the timetable.
- The black sand beaches of Agios Georgios in Santorini were quite unique. Take a drive along this long stretch of beach and pick a spot that you like. There are plenty of restaurants to lunch at, so find one that looks good and park up!
Now if you want to chill in the quintessential side of Greece, then I absolutely recommend Paros. There is enough here to keep you busy, but at the same time it’s possible to find some down time as well.
Explore the trendy fishing village of Naoussa, wander the streets of Parikia and take in some history at Frankish Kastro and Panagia Elaktontapyliania. Head to the hills of Lefkes and eat chocolate cake and orange cake in the village centre.
The island is small and can easily be circumnavigated in a day. But basically it is the perfect island in Greece to visit if you have young kids. We recommend rent a car and check out some of the best child friendly beaches in Paros –
- Parasporos Beach in Paros was close to our accommodation. It was a cute sandy bay with a good restaurant and it kept the kids busy.
- Kolimbythres Beach in Paros was to the North of the island near Noussa. It was a tiny little bay, perfect for the kids to paddle around with fishing nets.
- Faragas Beach in Paros was one that we stumbled upon while driving around the island. We parked near the beach restaurant and walked over the small hill at the southern end of the beach to discover a small bay. It is very quiet and kids will love jumping the small waves of this little bay. While there is not a lot to see underwater, it is a sheltered bay when the wind is off-shore and so is also a good place to take a snorkel.
For our recommendations on where to stay in the Cyclades, then jump to my 14 day Greece Itinerary here.
The biggest island in Greece is Crete. And this not so small island is quite the kid-friendly destination. Regular flights leave from Athens to Crete which makes getting to and from the island very easy indeed.
The island is big which means there is plenty to do and explore, but not too big that you’ll feel overwhelmed. Rent a car with Qeeq as it is easy to drive in Crete. We would recommend Crete if you are taking a holiday longer than a week and want to avoid island hopping. Explore ancient sites such as Knossos, snorkel little coves, find quiet stretches along sandy beaches and take in some wine tasting!
There are many resort style accommodations to chose from but one that has a great selection of room options to suit every budget is the Cretan Malia Park. Browse their full range – from rooms, to bungalows, to suites – they’ll have one that suits you. This is a busy resort hub and a great central location.
Things to do and see –
- Take a trip to Chania and wander the narrow streets. Stop to taste the spectacular Cretan food – if you love food this is a great island for you. Crete is well-known for its honey, wine, olive oil and cheese.
- Visit the famous Elafonisi Beach, also known as pink beach. Note that it does get extremely busy in the summer, so get there early. Or head to Falarssana Beach if you are looking for something a little quieter.
Another big island in Greece, towards the far East near Turkey and part of the Dodecanese group of islands is Rhodes. While considerably smaller than Crete it is better suited to families wanting to holiday for 5 to 6 days.
Resorts are equally as fab as Crete, check out Helea Family Beach Resort. Do keep in mind that Rhodes can be a much busier than Crete due to the cruise liners that frequent the island. So expect that in the height of summer beaches will be packed.
Things to do in Rhodes –
- Visit the Valley of Butterflies – between June and September seeing the thousands of butterflies is a fun experience for the kids.
- The incredible UNESCO world heritage site of Rhodes Old Town is a beautiful place to visit, but so also is Monolithos and Acropolis of Lindos. So in terms of historic sites Rhodes certainly has it covered.
- The North and the East sides of Rhodes have calmer beaches so are better if you are visiting with kids. Elli is a favourite but can be very busy. While the South is popular with surfers and kite-surfers, particularly Prasonisi.
Now this is another super popular island in Greece for families to visit. But it is perhaps arguably more quintessential Greece than Crete, given that it is closer to the mainland. Situated in the Ionian Sea Corfu is close to Athens, but also receives flights directly from European countries. This makes travel to Corfu easy and adds a definite appeal factor.
Corfu is famed for it’s family friendly beaches and Mesongi is a firm favourite for places to stay in Corfu. The beach is safe and shallow and great if you are travelling with younger kids. These boutique apartments are a great place to stay, reasonably priced and with rave reviews on Booking.com.
However, if travelling with older kids then consider Paleokastritsa for another beautiful beach and little more adventure. The Aliki Apartments are a great option with a cute terrace, only 150m from Platakia Beach.
Things to do in Corfu with Kids –
- Visit Corfu Town and the Achilleion Palace for some history and heritage.
- Take a glass bottom boat ride, or head to a water park.
- Take a day trip to Paxos and Antipaxos.
Mainland Greece – Peloponnese Region
Mainland Greece is so underrated. Everyone heads to the islands because that is what we know and hear about from other travellers.
But don’t overlook the possibility of heading to mainland Greece with the kids – especially the Peloponnese region. One of the biggest benefits is that it is most certainly cheaper. The second plus point – you’ll feel slightly more off the beaten track, and find some beautiful places away from masses of tourists.
In the Peloponnese region, the Mediterranean beaches such like Simos Beach on Elafonisos Island are crystal clear and gorgeous. But equally as impressive are the UNESCO World Heritage sites like Monemvasia and Sparta, a must-see if you visit this region.
Mainland Greece is the perfect travel destination for a road trip with the kids. But take it slowly, and narrow down in on one area rather than try to see it all. We absolutely loved Laconia and can recommend this region for a family holiday.
You just have to visit Athens right. The Acropolis is extremely unique, and the Acropolis Museum is really well done. The history and the culture of Athens is intoxicating… it’s a great city to explore on foot or by public transport.
There are ruins around every corner, the funky Monastiraki Flea Market is loads of fun to wander around with the kids. We also loved our visit to Theatre of Dionysos and Odeon of Herodes Atticus. But the best part really is just the novelty of walking the streets – enjoy the buskers and relish in the atmosphere of Athens.
As always, I recommend booking entrance tickets in advance with Get Your Guide. Browse for and purchase the ‘skip the line’ ticket options and then you won’t have the kids waiting around impatiently as you queue to purchase tickets on arrival.
Tips & Tricks for Travelling with Kids in Greece
I hope this has helped highlight a few possible locations for your family holiday to Greece. Coming up I share our tips for travelling Greece with young kids. Think about the possibility of a sailing holiday, whether to take the stroller, what it’s like to eat in restaurants with kids and so on.
Read on for our recommendations on the essentials to pack and also grab our free beach packing list!
What to Pack
As I always say, if you pack smarter you’ll be in for a way less stressful holiday with the kids. So don’t overpack. Pack only what you need and find things that help you lighten the load. Here are my top recommends for packing for a Greece holiday with kids and babies.
- These Keen shoes are our absolute fav for the kids. If it’s walking through busy cities, cruising archaeological sites or swimming at rocky beaches… our kids live in their Keens. We have tried to find them in stores, but always find the best selection online through Amazon. Click the link below to browse their selections. But our go-to for the kids is the closed toe SeaCamp. The model here is what our Boo wears and she looks super cute in them!
- Strollers are a challenge on cobbled streets (read more below) so think about getting yourself a child carrier. We loved our BabyBjorn for this type of travel.
- These microfibre slip-over towels are game changing in terms of space saving for travel. We never leave home without them anymore. Wrap the kids up in them and they dry instantly, seriously the best!
- Greece is a great place to introduce kids to snorkeling. And we have found that the best mask on the market for this is the Cressi F1 mini and snorkel. Honestly if you want to encourage water babies then this is the kit to do it with. Our girls have had their masks and snorkels for years and they are still going strong.
- For a really good sunblock stick for kids and babies look no further than Thinkbaby. This one is made with all natural minerals, it’s reef friendly and water resistant. But the best part is that it begins protecting against the UV instantly.
For a complete list of things to pack for a beach holiday with kids then go to my post here. I list it ALL from A to Z.
Our Thoughts on Island Hopping & Strollers
Now this a decision we went back and forward on. In the end we decided NOT to take the stroller for our toddler. And in hind sight, I’m glad we didn’t take it. This is one of the reasons why…
I remember standing in the back of the ferry in Santorini watching the honeymooners waiting to disembark. They had sooooo much STUFF! Then there was our family of four. We (the adults) each had a backpack and a child in hand. That each gave us one hand free.
Meanwhile our fellow passengers dragged their multiple suitcases uncomfortably behind them. And I thought travelling with kids was supposed to be stressful! But these folks surrounding us, made it look a damn sight harder. Why do people need so much stuff these days? I just don’t understand it. Less is best people!
I think this is also somewhat a personal decision, but ultimately having a stroller increases your STUFF and is just one more thing to contend with. What with all the travel between islands and modes of transport, the extra stuff seems unnecessary. Be prepared of course for some shoulder carries from time to time, but ultimately not having it reduces things to pack AND excess.
Getting Around Greece With Kids – Without Stress
Greece has unevenly paved roads, obstacles such as stairs, there are potentially many modes of transport you’ll be taking… ferries, yachts, planes, buses and automobiles. So just be smart about accomodation choices. Find centrally located Airbnb’s or hotels (check out our recommendations in our 14 day itinerary post) and encourage your little ones to stretch their legs and you honestly won’t need a stroller.
We book car rentals with Qeeq which is a great budget car rental option. And we book ferries with Ferryhopper. Both are super reliable and make getting around in Greece with kids stress free.
Sailing with Kids
Initially, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be safe with young kids. Many providers immediately said no, and some wanted a minimum booking of 7 days (a week on a boat with kids – were they crazy). Finally I found the right operator Mykonos Onboard and I’m so glad I did. They were incredible… read more about why here.
So if I could give any advice to a family wanting to visit Greece with kids, I would say SAIL… and don’t hesitate. It takes you off the tourist trail and sets you up for quality family time.
Of course I don’t need to explain, that you set the rules immediately as you board the yacht. And all eyes on kids at all times. These are both a given right? Our youngest is quite the cheeky one and moves non-stop, so we had to be extra cautious with her. But in reality people sail around the world with young kids all the time… La Vagabonde can vouch for that. It’s just about being sensible and setting rules (for the kids and the adults).
However, if a several day sailing trip sounds like a bit much to handle with your littles… do consider a day trip from Mykonos. This trip sets sail in the morning to Delos Island to check out some of Greeces most iconic archeological sites and includes lunch AND wine! Sold right 😀
People in Greece… and your Kids
The Greek people are super friendly and from our experience… they love kids! Children can do no wrong. Its kind of like turning up to a party with a puppy. You’ll make new friends and have a completely different experience, compared to if you turn up solo. I always find travelling with children opens new doors and along with that comes completely new experiences.
Restaurants will welcome you no matter the time, day or place. We like good food… and eating is a total ritual for us. We have visited countries where taking children to smaller, higher end, restaurants that do great food is just not the done thing. This is definitely not the case in Greece.
In fact, children are often seen running around small courtyards in restaurants as the families sit for hours at a time, socialising and eating. So hey! While in Rome (or Greece) right!
Word of advice when eating at a Greek restaurant with a local. They will order a LOT of food, and you won’t leave until it’s all gone… even if it takes a few hours.
Another thing I really liked about restaurants in Greece is that there is no special child’s menu. Kids eat what everyone else is eating. But don’t fret, there will plenty to choose from and it all tastes so good… and so your little one will likely discover a new taste or two to enjoy. Our youngest found she had a love for sardines!
Annoyances in Athens
In Athens the touts, chancers, scammers saw us coming… like a beacon. They go straight to the kids, all playful and coy, sometimes with offerings, attempting to get to you… but through them. Ultimately they are looking for money. So word to the wise… play it cool and avoid their freebies.
Kid Free Date Night?
Now I don’t know about you, but I love a regular date night. And you don’t get to Santorini often… So just do it!
I definitely recommend Santorini as the location for it too. It is a special place for sure and there are some amazing restaurants. See this post for more on Santorini. If you stay in the Zoe Aegeas Cave Houses then Zak the Manager will recommend a fantastic babysitter.
I always like the babysitter to arrive early while I’m getting ready which gives me the opportunity to suss them out. Likewise, I would only book a babysitter through someone that I have developed some rapport with and feel that I could trust their judgement.
How Many Islands to See When You’ve got Kids?
Athens, Mykonos and Santorini are busy! Stay there for a couple of nights and then choose a couple of islands to sit back and relax with the kids.
But keep it real… there is definitely no need to over do it or you’ll miss the point of a Greek Island vacation. While the islands are close, they are still a bit of a trek to get between, so just take it easy this time with the kids… save some for next time!
Two weeks was good and honestly I wouldn’t advise trying to do it in just one week. For this length of time pick three, maximum four islands to see. But hey… I don’t need to tell you. You’ll know what type of holiday better suits your travel style. But just keep in mind… Greece is big and getting between islands requires some planning and energy.
More on Greece…
This is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of travel advice for exploring Greece with kids. If you have any other questions that you’d like to know more about, then be sure to leave a comment below and we’ll try to help out. Or share some of your own travel tips based on your own experiences.
And don’t forget to read these other posts on Greece –
- Check out our recommended two week itinerary for Greece here.
- Our recommendations for places to visit in mainland Greece in the Peloponnese.
- A guide to visiting Simos Beach on Elafonisos Island.
- Our guide to getting off the beaten tourist track in Santorini.
We now travel full-time and have plenty more itineraries and guides to share on all the destinations we visit. Sign up to follow our journey! (And don’t worry we won’t spam you with unnecessary emails.)
Jennifer Van Haitsma says
I would love to go to Greece. I recently finished binging The Durrells and it made me want to go there so bad. It looks stunning! Can’t wait to read more about your adventures.
Sharon Ward says
Thanks Jennifer… it is a pretty remarkable place. We definitely hope to get back there to explore further some day.
Nina Out and About says
I imagine going anywhere is more challenging with kids since I’m a solo traveller but Greece looks like a fun spot to take your kids.
I’d love to visit Greece, it’s that destination that I’m not really sure why I’ve never managed to get there! Backpacking with kids is an impressive feat! We travel as a couple but I’m definitely guilty of bringing too much stuff! I’m working on streamlining my packing!
I think that Greece is an ideal place for visiting with kids. People are so helpful and friendly which makes it easy. I was in Athens last year – amazing, but that must be quite hard – like all big cities.
Shafinah Neville says
I love your itinerary and I think it’s perfect not just for those with kids but also for solo travellers! It’s slow and unstructured and just basically so, so, idyllic with none of that rushing around and turbo-touristing – definitely love your tips on the islands and beaches to visit!
Sandy N Vyjay says
These are some invaluable insights for traveling in Greece with kids. I really appreciate your views about carrying strollers with you, especiall the terrain of Greece and island hopping does not favour the use of strollers unless it is absolutely necessary. I guess the other islands which are not that famous as Mykonos and Santorini would be ideal for some relaxed quality time with the kids.