Updated: June 7, 2017
10 Things To Know Before Planning Family Holidays to Greece
1. Greece Is A Wonderful Destination for a Family Holiday
Greece and the greek islands are my favorite place in Europe for a family vacation. Great beaches, incredible food (much of it kid-friendly), friendly people. Island hopping by ferry adds a bit of adventure to the whole thing and an opportunity to see several very distinct destinations.
2. The Best Greek Islands for a Family Holiday
My very favorite island for family vacations is Naxos but there are many others that are also kid-friendly and great for families. Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu are four more that have great beaches, cool towns, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Santorini is typically thought of as couples-destination but there’s a lot to see and do and still a great destination (especially if your kids are a little older, say, 6 and up).
3. Greece Is Easy To Get To From the U.K. and the Rest of Europe
Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, and a few other islands (depending on the year) have direct flights from the London, Manchester, Paris, Amsterdam, Oslo, and Rome making trips to a Greece quick and easy. It’s not unreasonable to be sitting on a beach 4 or 5 hours after taking off from your home airport.
4. Best Time To Visit for a Family Vacation
The best weather in Greece for kids, families, swimming, and beach time is from late May to early September. The sun will be out, skies blue, and there’s very little rain. The absolute best beach weather is from late June to early September.
5. The Highlights of Athens Can Be Seen in One Full Day of Sightseeing
The top attractions in Athens (Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, and historical sights in the Plaka) can be easily seen in one full (busy) day. And then get on a ferry the next morning (most ferries from Athens to the islands leave between 7am and 8am) and get the kids to a beach.
6. The Best Greek Islands for History and Culture are Crete, Rhodes, and Santorini
Crete has the single best historical sight on any of the Greek islands: Knossos near Heraklion. Rhodes has the Medieval City of Rhodes Town and the Acropolis of Lindos. And Santorini has the caldera, the volcano, and the story of how this island was destroyed by an immense volcanic eruption.
7. The Best Beach for Kids in Greece
The single best beach in Greece is Elafonisi Beach in Crete. Magical and very kid-friendly. Other great beaches for families can be found in Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, Mykonos, Lesvos, Skiathos, Skopelos, Corfu, and Rhodes. Santorini has great swimming and unique beaches but since they’re composed of volcanic rock they get very hot in the mid-day sun.
8. Greek Restaurants Are Very Kid Friendly
Almost all greek restaurants and tavernas have a family-friendly atmosphere where kids are welcomed and pampered. Santorini and Mykonos (known for luxury and nightlife) each have a handful of restaurants where kids might be a little out of place but these are the exceptions and the majority of restaurants on every Greek island will welcome your kids with open arms (literally).
9. Do A Tour
Greek tour guides are great. (It’s a national law that tour guides need to have a degree in Greek history to conduct any tour to a historical sight in Greece.) And you’ll get much more out of any visit to a historical attraction if you get a guide. At some sights (e.g. Knossos) it’s easy to walk up and find a good guide. At other sights (Akrotiri in Santorini) it’s best to book in advance. Doing a food tour is also highly recommended (especially in Athens).
10. Best Websites for Planning a Greek Holiday
Planning a greek holiday is easy to do by yourself. Don’t book a package holiday as you end up getting second-rate hotels and the worst flights. Use Kayak.com to find the best airfares. Booking.co.uk or Hotelscombined.co.uk to book hotels. And gtp.gr to find ferry schedules (though you’ll probably end up booking on Bluestar or Hellenic Ferries websites).