Anywhere you visit in Greece – mainland and islands both – there are incredible places to enjoy with your family, offering you all you may need – tranquility, a hefty handful of fun and interesting things to see or do together, mainly safe, shallow, clean beaches and some satiating options for affordable and tasty food, even for the fussiest eaters. Yet there are several areas that are especially good for family holidays, and here we tell you why!
The magic of a beautiful, lively Medieval Town; great restaurants with ample child-friendly options; a 5D Cinema and awesome water park; fantastic sandy beaches that even when at their busiest are still enjoyable; the Valley of the Butterflies; Lindos village and just a short boat trip away Simi island, one of the most pretty spots in Greece.
The crystal waters of the Ionian, especially ideal for families with younger kids in beaches like Prasoudi, Voutoumi, Halikounas and Marathia; Aqualand and the Corfu aquarium for water adventure and admiring sea life, the Old Town and Spianada Square for relaxed evening strolls. After dinner, enjoy a family night under the stars chomping on popcorn while watching a fun movie.
So large it is often described as a land unto itself, Crete has extremely varied landscapes that can transport you from tropical paradises to African beaches. Apart from the many ancient sites, most impressive of which for kids being the colourful and magnificent palaces of Knossos, Dikteon Cave, and the Herakleion Archaeological Museum, there are numerous aquariums (like Aquaworld), water parts (Aqua Plus, Watercity, Aquaworld), and beautiful landscapes ideal for adventure walks (St Anthony Gorge). The food is extremely satisfying too.
Although all of the Sporades islands are beautiful and in close proximity of each other (you can be based on one and visit the others on a day trip), Alonissos has a sweet, innocent quality of old that makes it especially endearing for families. Lush and varied flora and fauna, pretty, traditional architecture in the Old Town, excellent seafood at the picturesque little harbour of Steni Valla and safe sandy or pebble beaches. Most attractive of all is its incredible Marine Park, home to the Caretta Caretta sea turtles, Monachus Monachius seals, and various dolphins.
The Land of the Centaurs – or where the Gods went for vacation – may have become less pure than it was until the 1980s when it began to be discovered for its lush, dreamy landscapes and the idyllic combination of mountain and sea, yet its singular beauty remains. The peninsula is ideal for families because of its lovely beaches, atmospheric village squares, where kids can play while adults sip their drink, characteristic tavernas and the constant, dreamy soundtrack of running waters.
Combining a sense of exclusivity and glamour (it’s very popular with the yachting crowd and the restaurants can be quite pricey), with startling crystalline azure waters and picturesque architecture, Paxos is a great getaway for sea-loving families. Indeed a common tradition is to rent a small boat and head out in whatever direction you choose to just spend the day dipping in and out of the sea. You can also enjoy walks along kalderimia paths between the three villages of Loggos, Lakka and Gaios.
Water sports at Agios Nicholas beach, meeting the turtles at Kalamaki beach’s Carretta’s Fun Park, visiting caves by boat and swimming at the island’s stunning beaches like Navagio are all great ways to relish quality time together. If you have adolescents or teens head to Peligoni Beach Club where kids can enjoy a whole host of all-day activities designed around their tastes.
Reachable by car, Lefkada is known for its white sand beaches and turquoise water; the beaches of Vasiliki, Lygia and Nydri on the west coast side being particularly ideal for children as they have shallow waters. The island is also a paradise for water sports lovers – windsurfing, kayaking and kite-surfing for teens and adults is popular here, particularly at beaches like Porto Katsiki, Kathisma and Milos.
Idyllic because of its fine sand beaches and clear waters, verdant landscapes and tranquil ambiance, Halkidiki has many hotels and other facilities to comfortable accommodate holidaying families. Paliouri with its pine expanses, Afitos, Sani beach, Kavourotripes with green waters, the shores of Porto Carras, Marmaras, Paradisos and Kalamitsi are just some of many such breathtaking spots. Also visit Ancient Olynthos, the fascinating Aristotle Park, the renown Cave of Petralona and Mt Itamos for beautiful walks.
Steeped in ancient history and home to incredible sites such as Ancient Olympia, Epidaurus and Mycenae, the Peloponnesian Gulf also offers excellent adventures on beaches, Venetian cities like Nafplio, drives through dazzling traditional villages like Kardamyli, visits to medieval castles like those of Methoni and Koroni and stays at wonderful spots like Costa Navarino in Messinia. The ideal family trip in this area comes from having a base by the sea and taking a few day trips around the region.