Mykonos Family Hotels

Updated: May 31, 2017

mykonos-with-kids-family-hotels-beach

The 15 Best Hotels for Families in Mykonos

Good family-friendly hotel on Mykonos Beach.

The Petinos Beach Hotel: The best kid-friendly hotel on a beach in Mykonos.

Petinos Beach Hotel – Platys Gialos

Beautiful hotel with a nice pool located right on Platys Gialos beach. Family suites have 1 double bed and 2 sofa beds. Breakfast is served at their restaurant on the beach. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 022913)

Semeli Hotel – Mykonos Town

Awesome location: a 2-minute walk from shops and restaurants of Mykonos Town. (Located within the pedestrian zone, so no busy streets to cross.) Pool is wonderful. Semeli and Executive suites are large, luxurious, and great for families. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 027466)

Mykonos View Hotel – Mykonos Town

The apartments have small kitchens, 2 bedrooms, and comfortably sleep 4. Pool and deck have incredible views. Close to town but a good climb to get back to the hotel (hence the great view). (Hotel phone: +30 2289 024045)

Hotel Carbonaki – Mykonos Town

Located in the heart of Mykonos Town (whether this is magical or chaotic will depend on your preferences, personally I love it). The quadruple rooms have 4 beds and are great value for a Mykonos hotel. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 022461)

Cavo Tagoo – Mykonos Town

A boutique hotel with a trendy feel. (Not the place if your kids like doing canonballs into the swimming pool). The 1 and 2 bedroom villas with private pool are the most luxurious suites in Mykonos Town. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 020100)

Porto Mykonos Hotel – Mykonos Town

The Windmill Suite is fun for kids – and pretty darn unique (yes, it’s an actual windmill). The suite is divided into 3 floors (with steep steps), the upper 2 floors are bedrooms. The hotel is across from the Old Port and great if you arrive or depart by SeaJet. But, I’d only stay here if it was to experience the Windmill Suite. The other rooms are fine but not great value. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 022454)

Hotel Mykonos Beach – Mykonos Town

This is the best value hotel on Mykonos. Steps from a good (though not amazing) beach and a short walk to Mykonos Town (but along a busyish road with no sidewalk). There’s a good local tavern just out the door. Quadruple rooms have 1 double bed and 2 singles. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 022572)

Petinos Hotel – Platys Gialos

The sister hotel of Petinos Beach (you can use their pool for free). Most rooms are located a short walk up the road away from the beach. The apartments and family suites are good value for the location. There’s also a 2-bedroom apartment with kitchen that they rent but this is located in Mykonos Town. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 022127)

Palladium Hotel – Platys Gialos

Beautiful hotel with nice pool but not right on the beach. (It’s a 5 to 8 minute walk to Platys Gialos beach.) Family rooms and suites are a good size for families. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 025926)

Nissaki Hotel – Platys Gialos

Beautiful hotel with stunning views of Psarou beach (even though you’re closer to Platys Gialos). The 2-bedroom villas sleep 4. The 3-bedroom villas sleep 6. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 027666)

Hotel Kamari – Platys Gialos

Great pool and a 3 minute walk to the beach. Family rooms are large and inexpensive for being so close to the beach. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 023424)

Santa Marina Resort & Villas – Ornos

The villas are some of the most luxurious on Mykonos (and they get fully booked months in advance). Villas come with 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms and some have private infinity pools. The cove here is as close to a private beach as you’ll find in Greece. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 023220)

Filoxenia Apartments – Ornos

The 1-bedroom apartments have 4 small beds, and are clean and inexpensive for this great location: steps from beautiful Ornos beach. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 026726)

Saint John Hotel Villas & Spa – Agios Ioannis

There are one-bedroom villas that sleep 6, six-bedroom villas that sleep 12, and everything in between. This is a 4 star resort with a beautiful pool. It doesn’t have a ton of character, but if you have a large group the huge villas are perfect. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 028752)

Arte & Mare Elia Mykonos Suites – Elia

Located on quiet Elia Beach, this hotel is perfect if you want a relaxing beach location, but perhaps too quiet and far from Mykonos Town if you want to experience the Mykonos buzz. Family suites are beautiful and sleep 6. (Hotel phone: +30 2289 072002)

216 Questions and Comments

  1. Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos for Family of 3

    Hi David,

    Great site!

    We’re travelling to Greece late September with our two year old for 10 nights. We were planning 5 in Oia, Santorini & 5 in Mykonos.

    Would you add in Naxos in between?

    Also for Myknonos, we’re planning to stay at Leonis Summer House in Ornos but I’m torn about staying in either Ornos or Platys Gialos in a hotel. What would you recommend?

    Thanks very much
    Gary Young

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Naxos is wonderful but with the way you have your trip setup it seems great and I’m reluctant to change it. If you add Naxos it means a few less days in Mykonos and Santorini and more of a go-go pace. 5 and 5 is perfect. Between Ornos and Platys Gialos, stick with Ornos if you want laid-back and family-friendly, go with Platys Gialos if you want a few more bars to enjoy (which you probably don’t). P.G. also has the advantage of being connected by footpath with 4 or 5 other beaches. Fun, but once again, it might not be something you take advantage of with a 2 year old.

  2. Santorini, Naxos, and Mykonos with Kids

    Hi David,

    Husband, wife, and a 4 year old daughter travelling to the Greek islands in the first two weeks of September 2017. We fly into Athens and head straight to Santorini. We plan to stay at Chez Sophie in Kamari for a night or two, to enjoy a bit of the beach and sun while we get over jet lag. Then head to the Marizan Caves (Sunset Cave) in Oia for three nights. Here, the Caldera views, great food, and quiet evenings are important to us. Have we made a good choice?

    Thereafter, we will go to Naxos. And this is where we are having difficulty! We know you recommend staying in Naxos Town, but being close to the beach is important to us. We’d also really love to be close to great, lively restaurants. We will rent a car if we have to, but if we can avoid it, that would be lovely. We will spend four nights in Naxos.

    After Naxos, we are entertaining the idea of Milos or Mykonos or Ios. We really like nice sand, shallow water with as turquoise in colour as it can get! What do you recommend? And, same problem…if staying in a town is recommended because of close proximity to the best lively restaurants, we’d also like to be close to the beach!

    What do you suggest? And how many days would you spend on Naxos versus the other smaller island?

    Many thanks and blessings,
    Natalie

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Your plan for Santorini sounds great. Well done. And yes, for Naxos I like staying in Naxos Town – nice beach right there and the best ones are still only a short bus ride or drive away. Then at night you have a great choice of restaurants and no worrying about driving if you have a few drinks. Ios has the wonderful Milopotas beach (though it’s not shallow – the sand and water are beautiful but there’s a pretty quick dropoff) and the Chora is a short bus ride up above (it’s close but not really walkable). In Mykonos, I’d go with Ornos beach which is wonderful for kids. A few nice restaurants there and Mykonos Town is a 10 minute bus ride away. One final note, if you do Ios then visit it in-between Santorini and Naxos.

  3. Best Island for Beaches/Restaurants/Walkability with Toddler

    Hi David,

    We are wanting to travel to the Greek Islands this August with our 2 year old boy. I guess we are wanting the best of both worlds in terms of nice beaches with clear waters, food and drink being easily accessible (on foot), and not having to spend a fortune on the accommodation.
    Can you please recommend the best islands if we are going to be there for 1.5 weeks?
    Thanks
    Danni

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Mykonos is great for all of your requirements except for inexpensive accommodations. Naxos has more families, no nightlife, but the beaches are just as good and it’s far cheaper.

  4. Snorkelling in Greek Islands with Kids

    Hi Dave,

    We are a party of 4 (2 adults 2 kids aged 11). Really want to introduce my boys to snorkelling/ diving. Could you recommend best beaches in Greece for this?

    Thanks

    Liz Peel

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Greece is a great place for snorkelling as long as you’re not expecting Caribbean-like underwater scenery. Most beaches are sandy (good for swimming, less so for snorkeling). There are hundreds – if not thousands – of beaches where you can safely enter the water and start snorkeling. The waters of the Greek seas (the Ionian and the Aegean) are among the cleanest and clearest of the whole Mediterranean especially as you head on out to the islands.

      Assuming your 2 kids are novices, you’ll be wanting easy water entry (a sandy beach), calm waters (it can get very windy and choppy in Summer), and things to see under water (around rocks you’ll find the most sea life). The best kind of beach for snorkelling is one that is part of a bay – the smaller the better and one that is flanked by rocks. You’ll want to select a beach out of the wind (it tends to be northerly in Summer) and has an easy, gradually deepening incline of sand. Pebbles can be a pain to walk on and then try to fit flippers on your feet. With rocky sides to a bay you can can then easily swim/snorkel to the edge of the bay to find interesting things to look at – underwater rock formations that look like castles, fish that prefer to swim in and out of rocks – and you are close to land in case you are tired and need a rock to hold on to. Milopotas Beach/Bay in Ios is a good example of such a beach.

      Permutations of all the above can be found anywhere in Greece and the ‘best’ beach can be that one that leaves you with the fondest memories. On the whole the islands do generally have their disproportionate share of bay beaches and the waters of the Aegean tend to be warmer than those of the Ionian. The further south you go the warmer the water (in theory at least) so that would suggest the Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands are the ‘best’ spots for snorkelling. Some islands that jump off the map are Mykonos, Milos, Karpathos, Halki, Rhodes, Patmos, Lipsi, Paros, and Naxos – there are more, all islands have some snorkelling opportunities and none are world-renown.

      A lot of the wooden cruise boats that ply varying routes take passengers to off-the-radar snorkelling and swimming coves and usually carry a supply of snorkels, masks and flippers as well as the now popular makaronia – long thin floats made of styrene that look like spaghetti. These are absolutely great snorkelling opportunities and kids love it. One particular trip comes to mind and it operates out of Piso Livadi on the east side of Paros. Run by Captain Yiannis, this excellent tour/cruise takes in secret beaches off Naxos and the Koufonisia, lasts all day, and includes lunch and drinks. Ammoöpi Beach on the Dodecanese island of Karpathos is also good for snorkeling.

      Finally you mention diving, though it is not evident how serious you are as this involves training and a lot more expense and preparation. Diving is popular in Greece and you could start learning to dive in Greece. A dive school you might look at is the Water Hoppers outfit in Rhodes or search further afield.

  5. Family Hotels in Santorini and Naxos

    Hi David
    We are a family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 children (12 and 7).
    I was thinking of doing 5 nights in the Majestic Hotel in Santorini followed by 5 nights at Kavos Naxos.
    What do you think?
    Thanks for your help
    Nik

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Both are very nice 4 star hotels and great for kids with nice pools. The Kavos is a little isolated and a 10 minute walk to the beach and 10 minute drive to Naxos Town. The Majestic is a 10 minute walk from Fira (and the views from the hotel are not of the caldera).

  6. Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Santorini for Family of 4

    Hi David,
    Amazing tips you have!
    Just wondering if you can help me, by suggesting the best beach for us to stay in Mykonos in July 2017. We have about 5 nights there and we are 2 adults and 2 kids 9 & 5. We like a lively sort of place that we can try different restaurants every night but still be close to the beach. Also, are there still some cheaper places to eat or is everything really expensive.

    This is what we are planning for:
    Mykonos 5 nights
    Paros 3 nights
    Naxos 4 nights
    Santorini 3 night
    We fly from Rome to Mykonos and then Satorini to Athens.
    We also would like to fit a trip to Anteparos.
    What beaches or towns would you suggest staying on each of this islands?
    Given that we like lively places were there are choices of restaurants and bars and shops.
    Many thanks in advance for you tips.
    Juliana

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      For your interests I would stay in Platys Gialos on Mykonos, Parikia on Paros (makes a day trip to Antiparos easy), Naxos Town on Naxos (with day trips to other beaches), and Fira or Firostefani on Santorini. If you want to save money find a good gyro place – delicious and cheap. Naxos, Mykonos, and Santorini all have good gyro places. In Paros the best gyro place is in Naoussa, not Parikia.

  7. Hotel Pools in Mykonos

    Hi David,

    This may seem like a bizarre question but are the pools in Greece/Mykonos in August quite warm? We are travelling with a child who has a rare sensitivity to cold water and can only swim in 30 degrees celsius water temp. Most hotels don’t seem to have heated pools and I was just wondering how warm the pools get in August. Many thanks, Kay.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      You’re right, pools are not heated. They are at their warmest in August but they’re usually still coolish to mildly warm – though every one is different, of course.

  8. Mykonos and Rhodes with 12 Year Old

    Hello David,
    We had booked an all inclusive hotel in Rhodes for 5 days. However, my 12yrs old wants to go to Athens too. And I, after read your blog, I want to go to Naxos and Mikonos. We have 5 days free before Rhodes.
    We will leave from Luxembourg.
    Your views will be helpful
    Tks
    Kaf

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      It’s very hard to combine Rhodes and Naxos (few connecting ferries) or Mykonos (no connecting ferries) with such a short amount of time. You’re better to add an island close to Rhodes such as Kos or Karpathos. Flying between Rhodes and Athens will be your best bet to save time.

  9. Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos with 12 Year Old in Late September and Early October

    Hi David I am taking my 12 year old granddaughter to Paris in September and then 8 days on the greek islands. She enjoys the beach but also sightseeing and bike riding. I was thinking 2 nights in Santorini and 4 nights in Naxos and 2 nights Mykonos. I was thinking of staying in Platys Gialos in Mykonos and Agios Prokopios in Naxos. Do you suggest staying in Fira or at the beach in Santorini. We will be there late September and early October will it be warm enough for swimming . Jill

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Platys Gialos is a great choice for Mykonos. I generally recommend Naxos Town in Naxos (more to do and see, and more places to eat – especially in September/October when the beach towns can be getting slow). And yes, one of the caldera towns (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or Oia) is where you want to be on Santorini. You should still be swimming in late September for sure, some years you can be getting cooler weather by October 5th that makes swimming less enjoyable. Other years can be hot until the 20th or later. So obviously a lot of variability.

  10. Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos with 3 Year Old

    Hi David ! You seem to be so helpful 😉 I am in the beginning g phases of planning a family trip in early June . We by then will have a 3.5year old . Would you recommend the following

    Santorini – 6 days
    Naxos – 4 days
    Mykonos – 3 days ?

    Also where should we look in to staying and any particular ferries you recommend for the island travel?

    Melissa Solano

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      That sounds great to me. Some might want less time in Santorini and more time in Naxos as it has some great kid-friendly beaches. If that were the case then 4, 6, and 3 would be perfect. That said, there’s more to see and do in Santorini and if you split your time (which I recommend) between 2 towns (say, Oia and Fira) then 6 days is not too much at all.

      The Blue Star ferry which will run from Santorini to Naxos and Naxos to Mykonos (but not Santorini to Mykonos) has the smoothest ride and is best for kids as you can walk around on the decks and enjoy the sea air.

  11. Is 2 Weeks on One Island Too Long?

    Hello! Many thanks for your blog. My wife, 2-year-old son and I are planning a 2-week holiday at the end of August/beginning of September, and having been to Paxos in the past, we’re thinking of going to Naxos for a change. (Fewer pebbles, more sandy beaches!) We’re looking for a simple, relaxing holiday, but my question is: will we become frustrated by 2 weeks just on Naxos (staying in Naxos town)? Or to put it another way, would it be more sensible to have, say, 1 week on Naxos and 1 week on Paros or Mykonos? I don’t want to overcomplicate things, but equally I wouldn’t want things to become monotonous in the course of a fortnight, if that makes sense…
    Russell Goulbourne

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Is that too long? Will you get bored? No, I don’t think you’ll get bored or frustrated but I would still recommend splitting that time between 2 islands (or even 3). Naxos and Paros are both wonderful, so those are good choices. Mykonos has a bit of a party vibe but it’s still really family-friendly as long as you’re not out late into the night (most 2-year olds aren’t). Platys Gialos is a great beach on Mykonos that is an easy bus ride into the Chora and good combination between beach and town.

  12. Mykonos with Kids

    Hello

    We are planning 2 week trip to Cyclades Greece in the middle of june . We are 2 families with children (1 to 12 years). First my idea was to visit definitely Mykonos for a week (we have flight tickets back home from Mykonos) and shorter stays in other islands – Syros, Santorini, Naxos?.
    We have found nice apartment in Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos, it should be quiet area. The idea was to be at beach, visit town/villages and drive around by car. But now readining that Mykonos is party place and very expensive we are not sure anymore. Is it also expensive to by food from supermarket and cook ourself? Maybe it is better to choose some other island for longer stay and 2-3 days only in mykonos? Or skip Mykonos at all, only for flight to Athens? We cant choose best island anymore for our 2 weeks trips, can you suggest some? 3 islands are maximum for our 2 week stay.

    Thanks,
    Kaidi

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Mykonos does have a party vibe but it’s easy to avoid if you want to. The beaches are wonderful and the atmosphere is fun and (for the most part) family-friendly. You’re right, everything is a little more expensive on Mykonos and if you’re looking to save money it’s not the best island. In any case, Agios Ioannis is not the best beach on the island – both Elia and Platys Gialos are larger, better beaches for kids.

  13. Nissaki or Petinos Beach Hotel with Kids

    We are torn between the Nissaki and the Petinos Beach hotels in Platys Gialos. The deciding factor is the pool as our 2 boys (ages 6 and 7) love the pool. Which one is more kid-friendly? And I’m correct in thinking these hotel are both walking distance to beach restaurants and the bus to Mykonos Town?

    Thanks,
    Thomas

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      The pool at Petinos Beach definitely has a bit more of a kid-friendly vibe. The pool at Nissaki is on the deck with views and lounge chairs so guests tend to sit out there and relax. The pool at Petinos Beach is semi enclosed (even though it’s steps from the beach) and thus people tend not to sit around there and relax. They come for a dip, then return to the beach or their room. They also have some play toys at the PB pool which is not something that you’d find at the trendy Nissaki. Not that the Nissaki isn’t kid-friendly, there are kids everywhere there – but it does have more of a boutique feel. And Yes, PB is very close to beach, restaurants, and bus. Nissaki is a few minutes walk up the hill from the beach and bus stop but still pretty easy.

  14. Walk Between the Beaches on Mykonos

    I’ve read that the walk along the beach from Platys Gialos to Paraga Beach is a nice walk but a little tricky in parts. We have a 6 year old, will he do ok on it?

    Thanks,
    Netty

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      There are a couple places where you have to watch your footing but for the most part pretty tame. I think he’ll do fine. There are even lights that come on at night and make it doable even in the dark.

  15. Hotel Palladium in Mykonos

    You mention that Hotel Palladium is a 8 minute walk from Platys Gialos. Does that mean it’s a 5+ minute to the bus stop where you get the bus to Mykonos Town? We want to have easy access to town and worried that this might be too much for our 3 and 5 year old.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      The bus stops almost directly outside of Hotel Palladium so no, you don’t have to walk down to the beach to catch the bus to Mykonos Town. (And same with the bus back from town – the bus driver will drop you wherever you want to get off.)

  16. Hotel in Piraeus

    Hi Dave, love the site.
    We are staying in Hotel Triton in Piraeus on route to Naxos, have you heard of this Hotel? Also we get into Athens at 13h30 and stay over at Hotel Triton in the Port … should I pre-book the Ferry or do this the day we arrive: 15th of May. Ferry Departs at 7:25 in the morning.

    Thanks
    Dogan

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hotel Triton is basic but decent and very close to ferry port and metro. Be sure to get into Athens for the evening – you don’t want to spend your time walking around Piraeus. If it were me, I would not pre-book the ferry and get it on the afternoon that I arrive as there is very little chance that the ferry to Naxos will sell out.

  17. Where To Rent Car in Piraeus

    Hi, my family and I are planning to visit Greece in July and August of 2016. Do you know where I can rent a car from Piraeus port, for 15 days and then drop off at Athens Airport?
    Thank you, Anna

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Auto Europe – good rates, access to all rental sites, book in advance if you need an automatic.

  18. Greece and Italy or Just Greece

    Hi David. I love your informative blog. My husband and I are planning on a three-week trip to Greece this May with a five-month old baby. We would like a laid back trip and not stress ourselves with transportation given that we have a little one, but we also want to get a cultural experience. Should we spend all of our time in Greece and island hop, or split our time between Greece and southern Italy? There seem to be overnight ferries between western coast of Greece and eastern coast of Italy. Your opinion is much appreciated!

    Nao Nakatsuka

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      3 weeks is a nice length of time to see several Greek Islands at a nice pace where you don’t feel too hurried. I think adding Italy to the mix will make for a very busy vacation. Not bad, just busy. Also, the ferries to Italy leave from Corfu. Now, Corfu is a great island, one of my favorites, but it does not lend itself to island hopping as there are few nearby islands and the other ones on the west coast do not have easy ferry connections with Corfu. So the islands you want to visit when you want to see more than one are the Cyclades: Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Santorini and many more. All quite close together and relatively easy to hop from one to the next. It’s lots of fun and what I recommend.

      1. Nao

        Excellent. So I am thinking 6 days in Santorini, 3 days in Naxos, and 4 days in Athens and nearby area. Would you recommend more or fewer days for these destinations? And for the remaining week, which do you recommend: Crete or Corfu area? Thanks!

        1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

          Slight modification: 6 days Santorini, 4 days Naxos, 3 days in Athens. You can ferry to Crete (from Santorini) but for Corfu you’d have to fly from Athens. That’s the big difference. Both are great islands. Also Corfu you can stay in one spot and explore the entire island. On Crete you’ll likely pick 2 or 3 towns and move around to see different parts of the island.

  19. Mykonos in Summer of 2016

    Would you consider Mykonos to be safe for travel in the summer of 2016?

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      I can’t think of many places that are as safe as Mykonos. The cyclades have avoided any problems related to Syrian and refugee migration (not that they were the source of any crime, but even if you were worried about migrants, that’s not Mykonos, Santorini, or any of the Cycladic islands). As for the financial crisis, that has largely passed and never affected tourists even when the banking turmoil was at its worst last summer.

  20. Naxos and Santorini in August

    Dear David
    Hello. Amazing information here thank you. We will head straight to Naxos but undecided as to whether to go to Santorini or visit other islands near Naxos…..Anyway my question is about booking ferries in advance – it seems possible on the internet but then everything I read says that schedules change etc so I don’t really get it. We are travelling first 2 weeks of August, peak time, so I thought best to book. Is it safe to book in advance or OK just to turn up? We will be foot passengers. Thanks very much – Nicola

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      You should be fine buying the day of travel. If possible buy a day or two before to remove any doubt. August 15th is a big holiday – for travel near then I would try to buy ferry tickets a few days in advance – though, once again, you’d still likely get a ticket the day-of.

  21. Greek Islands with Family in June

    Hi David,
    My husband and I are planning a family vacation on the Greek islands for June. Our group, which includes 6 adults and 2 grandsons (ages 6 and 7), likes to be active (kayaking, fishing, biking, horseback riding), visit historical sights, experience the culture, but we do NOT want to be near loud and busy nightlife. We plan to rent a villa and car and are willing to take day trips but do not want to spend more than 1 hour in the car at any one time. What islands (and cities) would you recommend? Thanks David.

    Kate

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      If you’re willing and able to rent a car then Crete is great. It’s large and lots to see. It has historical sites, great beaches, cool little towns and villages. It gets lots of tourists but it’s easy to get away from the crowds – especially if you have a car.

  22. What Greek Islands are Best for Kids?

    You have recommended Naxos as a good family island. We are travelling in June and July of 2016 and will have a 4 year old. Could you recommend a second and third island which would be great for kids.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Paros and Antiparos are very close to Naxos and both wonderful kid-friendly islands. Antiparos if you want something very quiet and Paros for something a bit more lively. Mykonos is wonderful too but definitely more expensive than the others. All of these islands have fantastic beaches.

  23. Rick Lipsey

    How can we give you some business for your advice? Maybe book a hotel, car, flight, through your website?

    Rick

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Don’t worry about it. Have a great trip and I’ll be happy.

      All the best.

  24. Good Itinerary for Greek Islands

    David,
    Last question (I hope): We almost have our itinerary set. We want to add one more day to the itinerary below, probably in Athens or Crete, but I’d like to get your suggestion as to which of the four destinations you would add the extra one day. Remember, my wife and I will have our four kids -12, 10, 5 and 4. Thanks a lot, Rick

    Aug. 29: Fly London/Athens to NYC
    Aug. 28: Fly Crete to London or Athens, sleep over
    Aug. 27: Crete
    Aug. 26: Crete
    Aug. 25: Crete
    Aug. 24: Ferry Santorini to Crete
    Aug. 23: Santorini
    Aug. 22: Santorini
    Aug. 21: Ferry Naxos to Santorini
    Aug. 20: Naxos
    Aug. 19: Naxos
    Aug. 18: Fly Athens to Naxos
    Aug. 17: Athens
    Aug. 16: Athens
    Aug. 15: Athens
    Aug. 14: Fly overnight NY to Athens

    Rick

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      I would add the extra day to Crete – big island, lots to see. Next choice would be Naxos. Happy travels.

      1. Good Hotel for Families

        Thanks, David. For our Naxos hotel, which would be your order of preference for a hotel (for a family with four kids under 12) among these four choices:
        1. Hotel Spiros
        2. Agios Prokopis
        3. Princess of Naxos
        4. Porto Naxos

        Rick

        1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

          Hi Rick. Hotel Spiros has a nice pool and the best location – an easy walk to Naxos town and the port. Other than that, they’re all good hotels.

  25. Santorini, Mykonos, and What Other Islands with Kids

    I’d be most grateful for a recommendation, please: I’m planning a Greece tour for my family for August. We are hardy travellers from NY City. We’ve lived in the Himalayas and travel often with kids. In Greece, we’ll have my wife, four kids (ages 12, 10, 5 and 4) and me. We’ll have about two weeks on the ground. It will be the last two weeks of August. We’ll do three days in Athens (we have a good friend there), then maybe eight or nine days on islands. We’ll do either all ferries or one flight and the rest ferries. We’ll definitely visit Santorini and Mykonos. I’d like to find one more island for us to visit for one or two nights, and this other island should be an easy ferry in our general area. What would you recommend? Thanks so much, Rick

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      I’d recommend Naxos or Paros. Both great islands that are an easy ferry ride from Santorini and Mykonos. Both have multiple ferries everyday to Athens. And both have great beaches and interesting smaller villages.

      1. What Order to Visit Greek Islands

        Thanks! One last question, please: What order would you do for our trip. We’ll start/end in Athens. So between the three islands — Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos (we’ll do this over Paros) — how would you order them. We start in Athens, and then what order should we do the islands? We’d like to take ferries all the way, but we could mix in one flight if that will make things much easier. With four kids, we want to be realistic! Thanks so much, David. Awesome website.

        Rick

        1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

          I would go Athens to Mykonos to Naxos to Santorini and then fly Santorini back to Athens. For one, Santorini has the most flights to and from Athens. Two, it’s the furthest island from Athens so a good candidate to take a flight. And three, ferries can be canceled at anytime (especially in August when the winds can be quite intense) so having a flight booked for that last leg is good so you won’t have to fret about missing your flight home due to no ferries.

          1. Rick

            Thanks! Flying Santorini-Athens sound great. Does it matter, in your opinion, if we start by flying from Athens to Santorini and then taking ferries Santorini to Naxos to Mykonos to Athens, or should we under any circumstance ferry starting in Athens and then fly back from Santorini?

          2. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

            Hi Rick, I would fly back to Athens. Ferries can be canceled for many reasons (but usually rough seas) – so if you have a flight to catch and you’re stuck on an island you’ll miss it. Flights are almost never canceled so a flight will get you into Athens with little worry.

  26. Honeymoon/Kid-Friendly Islands in Greece

    Hi there David
    Great info given from your blog!
    Hope you can help me please with a few island suggestions for my honeymoon in July. We have a wee one who will be two when we go. Looking for honeymoon luxury, quiet, historical, beaches, child friendly. Would like two weeks with perhaps 3-4 islands

    Many thanks

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      The Cyclades are great as all the islands are quite close and the seas are more protected making for gentler ferry rides. (Ferry rides to and from the outer islands e.g. Rhodes or Crete can get very rough.) Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, Folegandros, and Santorini would be at the top of my list.

  27. One Month in Greece – Where to Go?

    Hello,
    We (my husband and sister) are planning a month in Greece (Greek Isles specifically), in October. We are not into night life, but relaxing and getting into the culture, eating and drinking. We have travelled throughout Europe and lived in Spain 3 years. We are thinking a week in each place, but need advice which among all the islands would be easiest to access and enjoyable. We could go to eastern coast of Italy if this is too much time in the islands. I realize I am vague about plans, but we are very flexible. Thanks for your advice! Sharon

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      It’s easy to fill a month in the islands alone. October is a great time to visit – hotels are cheaper, the crowds have disappeared, and the weather is still nice (though it’s not always warm enough to hit the beach). It’s not much of an exaggeration to say there are no bad choices when it comes to islands – especially if you can visit several like yourself. Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Milos, Ikaria, Lesvos, Naxos, Paros, Antiparos – they’re all wonderful. And with the type of flexibility you have getting between them should be close to effortless (it’s when you’re on a tight schedule that dealing with and planning ferry routes becomes stressful). There are ferries from Corfu to Brindisi, Bari, Ancona, and Venice on the eastern side of Italy – so that might be something to consider. Getting to Corfu from Athens (and the islands in the Aegean) involves going through central Greece which is really wonderful and beautiful. Good luck.

  28. Turkey and Greece in March

    Hi David …
    My wife and I are visiting Turkey and Greece next March with our 2 1/2-year-old daughter, and had a mind to check out some of the Greek Islands. However, I wonder if the weather (and availability of amenities?) is typically too cold yet to make the venture as worthwhile/enjoyable as going somewhere else on the mainland instead. Thoughts? Seems as if, even if we do visit some of the islands, it wouldn’t be worth worrying about whether we’re staying on a beach or not. Thank you!

    Michael Lewis

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Michael. You’re right, you definitely won’t be on the beach in March. The weather can still be decent for hikes, walks, and touring some towns and villages. But it can also be cold and damp. The ferries do not run as often so you’ll need lots of flexibility for getting between islands. And the ferries back and forth from Turkey might not be running at all (depending on the island). That said, it’s very doable and a great time to visit if you’re not interested in the beaches. They’ll be very few other tourists around. Hotel rooms are cheaper but arrive early so you can seek out which places are open – many hotels close during the winter but there’s always something available on all but the smallest islands. Good luck.

  29. Greek Islands in June

    Dear David,

    We are planning a trip with both sides of grandparents, our brother-wife and sister-husband (no kids) and us (one 5 1/2 and one 11mth old) in June. We wish to go for three weeks and would be willing to do 10 days-10 days with day trips. We would like to rent a large villa (or two since we will be 9 adults and two kids!). We want to cook for ourselves and be near a nice village to buy produce and food, near the beach and as far away from tourist trampled places (to stay at least!) while having access to action and island hopping when needed!
    Do you have any recommendations of destinations and accommodations sources?

    Many thanks!
    Alyssa

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Some places that come to mind are being near Naxos Town (the Hora); Rethymno, Chania, Heraklion, or Paleochora on Crete; or the main towns of Lesvos. All will have plenty of tourists, no doubt, but away from the touristy areas you might be surprised by how Greek a touristy town can feel – especially if it’s a little bigger. Try VRBO.com/Greece. Good luck.

  30. Greece in September

    Hi, just loving your website and all the work you have put into it. Just wondering if you can help me.

    I’m looking to go to a Greek island mid September, 2 adults and a 2 year old. I have been looking into Naxos as you have recommended it for families. Are there any other islands I should also look into? I think Crete would be too big for us and so it puts me off slightly.

    We are looking for somewhere perhaps for bed and breakfast only so we can eat out for lunch/dinner so ideally want to be close to restaurants. We would like to find somewhere with plenty of places to go and visit, close to the beach, somewhere with a pool and ideally a childrens pool. I’m sure most of these things are standard! Finding it hard to get my head around all the islands and what might be best for us. Any help or advice would be great, Thanks, Vikki

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Pools are not standard by any means – you’ll need to seek them out and when you’re in the main town of an island they’re not common at all. Much more so at a beach outside of town. Antiparos is another great island that is small and very walkable. Like most small islands it slows down pretty quickly after the start of September so if you’re looking for somewhere with a bit of “buzz” it might not work. Both Naxos and Paros should still be lively and active throughout September without feeling over-run. All 3 have fantastic beaches. Good luck.

  31. Getting from Istanbul to Greek Islands

    We will be in Istanbul prior to going to Paros or Naxos. Is it best to fly to Athens to get to either of the islands, or should we go from mainland Turkey via ferry? Our trip will be at the end of June, I presume most ferries will be in operation.

    Thanks.
    Denise

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Going via the Turkish coast (there are no ferries from Istanbul to the Cyclades, only to Rhodes, Kos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos) would be much more interesting but would take a lot longer and involve a fair bit of hassle/planning/patience. It could easily take you 4 days to get from Istanbul, down the coast, across to a Greek island (say Lesvos or Rhodes) and then catch a ferry from there to Naxos (and that could be a long ferry ride too).

      1. Denise

        Yes, of course, what looks to be a small distance on the map. We’ll fly from Istanbul to Athens and get a ferry in that case! Thanks for your help!

  32. London to Greek Islands – Family of 4

    Dear David,

    it goes without saying that your web site has helped me to find out more about travelling to Greece than a lot of acclaimed travel advice web sites, I find your advises very practical – so thank you very much for time and effort in maintaining this blog!

    We are originally from Azerbaijan but are currently living in London and are very keen to use this opportunity to travel around Europe as a family. We have never been to Greece before and our family of 4 (two adults and two kids (5 & 7) were hoping to undertake a trip the very last week of August just before the School starts.

    We are not looking for a very dynamic trip so perhaps traveling between islands would be difficult with packing and unpacking for two kids we’d rather settle down on one island for a week and enjoy. At the same time, I’m not sure if it is a good idea or we might get bored no matter which island we end up going to but with small kids like ours and intensive work schedule we really are looking for a piece on the beach, beautiful scenery and good food. For us, any sightseeing in the vicinity would be a bonus. However, if you believe we could split 7 days between two islands I’m very open to your suggestions.

    We need your help to decide on an island(s) worth visiting and staying on for 7 days that would give us the luxury of clean sandy beach, blue see, good gastronomic experience and Greek character.

    We understood from your previous posts that Santorini should not be a primary choice for a family trip (although I have to say it was the first on our mind!) to avoid disappointment of the first impression. We will probably come back to Greece but it is our only family vacation this week and we so look forward to enjoy the bliss….

    Very much looking forward to your advice.

    Kind Regards,
    Narmina

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Naxos is my favorite island for families. If you’re looking for something quieter and less touristy then Ikaria, Antiparos, and Lesvos all have great beaches and fewer tourists. If you’re more concerned with having lots to do then Crete is a good choice. It has great hikes, cultural and historical sites, and even a few waterparks. But for a bit of everything Naxos is small, easy to get around, great beaches, and has a wonderful main town. Good luck.

  33. Work Conference on Greek Islands

    We are travelling to Greece for a conference and we will be staying on the island of Evia. We have an 8 and 5 year old and would like to know what are the things kids can do on this or other islands while there. Also, the conference is in late April/early May, is swimming in the pools or ocean even a possibility at this time? Thanks for your help!
    Bernard

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Eating, hiking, renting bikes, exploring villages, swimming at the beach and pool are the main focus of most families’ trips to Greece. Will it be beach and pool time in April and early May? Maybe, but probably not. Most pools are heated by the sun so they’ll likely be quite chilly. Beach weather can arrive by the last week of April then it’s about 50/50 until into the 2nd half of May. It’s a great time to walk, hike, and explore though as the weather is pretty dry (some showers no doubt) and the heat hasn’t arrived yet which can make active outings very taxing in the summer.

  34. Turkey and Greece in January

    hi David, We are a family with 2 teenagers with about a week to spend in Greece in January. We think maybe 3-4 days in and around Athens and then 3 days on an island. We would like to do some hikes or bike riding, one teen loves the look of Santorini and one wants small villages. If we can travel on to Turkey that would be great. We have read very mixed info about the islands in winter and ferry timetables are non existent at the moment. Any advice would be great.
    Allyson

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Traveling to the Greek islands in January can be interesting and fun. But one thing you do need is time and patience. There are fewer ferries running and they can be canceled due to rough seas. Getting from, say, Santorini to Turkey would be a multi-day effort that could involve waiting for the appropriate ferry for 2 or 3 days at any given island along the way. The bigger, more popular islands like Santorini or Crete will still have hotels and restaurants open. Smaller islands like Folegandros or Milos could be totally shut down for touristy stuff. You’ll always be able to find a place to stay but it could involve someone phoning around for you to find who has rooms to rent. Hope that helps.

  35. 10 Days in Greece in June

    Hi,

    Your website is soo helpful! We are planning a trip to Greece for about 10 days June 16 to June 26. Since we are coming from Bulgaria, we are thinking of staying around the Thessaloniki area. We are traveling with family, but there will be two toddlers ( 3 and 4 y.o) with us, so we are looking for a good mixture for active sightseeing for the grown ups and things for the toddlers to do as well ( mind you, they probably would be happier to spend the days on the beach). So, we were thinking of taking day trips around the area, including Thasos. Would you recommend area to visit and things to do. Or would it be better to stay on Thasos and just take the inland trips from there? We probably will rent a car anyway. It’s our first time there, so we are soo looking forward the trip!!!

    Thank you so much in advance!
    Yuliya

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Thasos is a great island for families with lots to see and explore – and some very kid-friendly beaches. Thessaloniki is a great city too. So I’d do a mix. Maybe 4 days in Thessaloniki and 6 on Thasos. But once I was on Thasos I wouldn’t be taking the ferry back to the mainland. Ferries can be canceled for any reason (usually weather) and can run hours late. Worrying about the back and forth from the mainland would be a headache. Stay put and explore the inland villages of Thasos.

  36. Athens and Cyclades in June

    Hi David,

    We are arriving into Athens on June 8 and flying back from Athens. We have 10 days to travel around. We want to go to the Cycladic Islands, but my husband also wants to go to Crete. Do you think we will have time for Crete too? I’m traveling with my husband, my 17-month old daughter, and my brother-in-law. Also I want to tour around Athens at the end of our trip. Do you think we can find ferry tickets on the day we arrive? We will arrive early in the morning in Athens. Can you suggest an itinerary? How many days is best for the islands?

    Your information about hotels are great! 🙂
    Aqilah

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Yes, you should be able to get onward ferry tickets the day of arriving. Best to buy at the airport and go directly to the port.

      You’d be pressed to do the Cyclades, Crete, and Athens in 10 days but it’s doable. Maybe go first to Naxos, Paros, or Mykonos (all have good short connections to Athens). Stay there 2 nights. Then Santorini for 2 nights. Then Crete for 3 or 4 nights. Ferries will be easy to get. Just book them on the first day you arrive on an island. Fast ferries and catamarans are much faster than slow ferries (about half the time) but are also rougher – especially on the more open seas between Santorini and Crete. If you can fly back from Crete to Athens as this is a long ferry trip.

      Good luck.

  37. Ferry to Greek Islands in Summer

    Hi David, Love your website! My family and I will be in Greece this summer and we are looking to spend four nights in Naxos (Friday through Tuesday). We are trying to decide whether to fly or take the ferry to the island. Do you know how many flights/ferry’s there are to Naxos each day? When do airlines and ferry companies release there summer schedule.

    Thank you,
    Agisi

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      There will be several ferries each day from Athens to Naxos. I think there’s a high speed one that leaves at 7:15, a Blue Star that leaves shortly after, and a couple more in the afternoon (though they get you into Naxos late). Ferry schedules are released a few weeks or a month at most, in advance. But you shouldn’t have any trouble arriving in Athens and buying a ticket for a day or two later. Actually it’s easiest buying them at the airport (from Aktina Travel in the Arrivals Hall) immediately after your arrival. Then you have your tickets in hand (and don’t need to worry about ticket pickup/purchase at the port). Aktina does charge a small service fee that you wouldn’t pay if you bought directly from the ferry companies. Good luck.

  38. Renting Villas on Greek Islands

    Hi David,

    We are three couples and three children (all around 2 years old) and are planning on a week in a villa in mid-June. The range of islands is a little overwhelming and I was hoping for a little advice. We will be flying from London and (seeing as it is only for a week) are not that keen on long transfers considering the small children.

    We would like to be near a nice beach, whilst being relatively secluded and away from the hordes.

    Is there anywhere that springs to mind?

    Thanks so much!

    Michael

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      This might not be much help, but I would focus on finding a flight that works for you (price and schedule wise) and then find a place to stay after you choose your island. Pretty much every island (besides Santorini) has great beaches so you almost can’t go wrong. Sunshine Holidays is good for package flight and hotel from London if you wanted to go that route. Good luck.

  39. Day Trips from Greek Islands

    Hi David. Thanks so much for the response. Just following up on my home base question. If there really isn’t one home base that works, bc the ferries are so tricky, could you give me a reco on maybe 2 or 3 that would work? Maybe we can stay a week in each place while touring around. From my research so far, it seems like we are going to check out Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Naxos, Paros, Folegandros, Corfu and Rhodes. Which would be the best bases to do day trips to these islands?
    Thanks so much!

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      There’s a boat from Naxos and Paros that does a day trip to Santorini. So those islands would work ok together, but none of the other islands are suitable for day trips. Even Santorini to Folegandros (while not a great distance) is difficult to pull off as there aren’t that many ferries and even when there are you can’t be 100% sure when or if they’ll run. If you have enough interest in doing a day trip that invest that effort in visiting the island for a night or two instead of a brief visit through the day.

  40. Centrally Located Island for Greece and Turkey

    Hi David,
    We’re thinking of touring some of the islands with our 9 yr old twins this summer. Ideally, we’d stay for 3-4 weeks and end the trip in Turkey. Do you know if there is one island that’s fairly centrally located so we could make that our home base while taking day trips to the surrounding islands? My husband would prefer to keep our packing up and unpacking to a minimum. We wouldn’t have to stay at the home base the entire time, but it’d be nice to stay put there for awhile. If that island exists, would you know a good website I could use to find a villa there?
    Thanks so much!

    Michelle

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Having a homebase is a good idea. But not many islands (or pair of islands) have enough predictable ferries to make this workable. The best you’ll get are the 3 islands of Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos. But outside of those you’d be hard pressed without a lot of work, planning, and hoping to get a ferry in the morning and then a return ferry in the afternoon. If you were willing to pay the added expense of hiring a private boat that might open up a few more options. But still, those 3 island I mention are great so would recommend those. Booking.com is the best for finding villas in Greece. Hope that helps.

  41. Camping and Island Hopping in Greece

    Hi David, me and my children (me and 14&16 year olds) are hoping to go away with some family friends of ours (2 adults 2 kids 11&16) we would love to go island hopping and camping in August but are not sure which islands are best we are hoping to go snorkelling and sightseeing maybe even see a volcano but we would also like to laze around on the beach we have 2 weeks and would like to go somewhere not very packed please help!!!
    Many thanks.
    Leelah

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      There are many great campsites in Greece. (e.g. Here’s a great one on Paros.) The trouble is that no where is quiet during August – just different degrees of busy. You’ll need to book well in advance to reserve campsites. The Peloponnese will probably have the best ratio of campsites to tourists and thus your best chance to find a spot. Check out this site: Camping Greece to get an idea of what’s available. Good luck.

  42. Planning a Greek Holiday

    Hi David,

    I am so glad that I came across your website! You seem like the best source to plan holidays to Greece.

    We are planning to visit Greece during Easter holidays for the first time with our son who is 4 years old. Originally we were planning to go either Kos or Rhodes and then do island hopping.

    However from the information on your website, I gather that end of March or early April might not be any good for swimming in either Kos or Rhodes… and the best option will be Crete.

    However, will 7 days be too long for holidays in Crete? Also, we are not planning to hire a car – do you know if the local transport system is good and if we can explore other regions by local transport? Also, does Create have any family friendly attractions?

    Many thanks,
    Suzzanne

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi. Yes, then end of March or early April will not be swimming time in Kos or Rhodes – but it won’t be a whole lot warmer in Crete either. Perhaps on the southern coast of Crete you could be swimming in mid-April but even that’s not a sure thing. Crete has many things to see and do (some of which are kid-friendly though it varies – not sure how your 4 year old will take to Knossos, for example). Water parks and the like will not be open in March or April. Local transport is great in Crete and you can get most anywhere. Weather will be fine for walking and hiking (just have a rain coat and a warm sweater). Hope that helps.

  43. Greece Resort for 2 Adults and 3 Year Old

    Hi David!!
    Well done for your blog and helping people with indecisions (I’m one of them).
    I have been reading a few of your recommendations, but I’m still confused and don’t know where to go, what to choose as accommodation yet:
    We have chosen Greece ( for the 1st time) as our summer holidays this August, I believe it’s a high season, in lot of places in Greece, but I want to avoid a very crowded touristic place or island.
    Basically I’m looking for a resort/island for 2 adults and a 3 year old, for 7-10 days, where we could have hot calm beaches, (not too crowded), mostly to relax, swimming pool, within a walking distance from the hotel, where I could find kids activities/ entertainment and with a opportunity to visit other islands.
    Now, here that’s what I don’t know what is the best deal, whether choose a hotel with half board or self catering apartment, and where to find Greek deals? Is it best to buy a holiday package or buy the flights and accommodation separately?
    Sorry, for the long statement, you seemed to be very helpful around here, I hope you can give me some ideas/ advice.
    Many thanks from London!

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Sandra. Sounds like Antiparos would be a great choice for you. Great beaches, small town feel, close to Naxos and Paros if you want to see some other islands. One of the quieter islands but it will still be busy in August, so don’t be expecting to have the island to yourself.

      I like traveling around Greece without being part of a package tour. That said, there are some great deals for package trips to Greece so if you’re planning on just visiting one island they can be a good value.

      Sunshine.co.uk has some of the best package deals for Greece, so check them out if you’re going that route.

      Good luck.

  44. Greece with 5 and 8 Year Old

    Hello,
    I am so glad I found this site. I have been trying to plan a family vacation to Greece. I have solicited advice from friends. It looked like we were going to stay in Athens and Santorini. After reading this page it looks as though there are other more kid-friendly islands. We will be traveling the last two weeks of April into beginning May which looks as though it is only the very beginning of tourist season. We are traveling with a 5 year old and a 7/8 year old (her birthday is the end of April).

    After high school I Eurailed through Europe with a friend and really enjoyed the freedom of just hopping on the train to the next destination. Now I feel more hesitant of doing a similar thing with two little ones. I am tempted only because it doesn’t seem like the end of April is that busy. I am not really a beach person, but my daughter’s are. I am not really sure if the end of April is warm enough anyway. I love exploring old cobblestone streets, learning about the culture, the food, the landscape, and the people. I would love to share that kind of curiosity and sense of adventure with my girls. So I guess my question is would you recommend just going and searching for hotels when we get there or planning everything out and making reservations in advance (this really isn’t my nature but I can do it if needed) given the time of year?

    Antje McKee-Courcy

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi. April is a great time to visit Greece if you’re not interested in the beaches. It can still be cool and a little rainy but generally great weather to hike, explore, and see the “Real Greece”. As for pre-booking hotels you could go either way. It’s easy to find accommodations during April so you needn’t worry about hotels being fully booked – you’ll have your pick. The one negative (and perhaps I don’t mention this enough) is that you do “waste” time looking for hotels when you could be seeing the sites. So there are some trade-offs. Having the freedom to go anywhere is nice and I think ultimately worth the effort.

      Good luck.

  45. 3 Weeks in Greece with Kids

    Thank you David for your informative website. My husband and I are considering vacationing in Greece this summer. I have distant relatives in Athens that have a vacation home in Drosia. They want us to rent something close by but I can’t find that much information on this area. We have three children (7, 5, and 2) that would be traveling with us. Would this area be a good place to rent a home and make it our home base? We were thinking of spending ~3weeks in Greece. Because of the age of our kids we were thinking we would not like to be living out of suitcases island to island. However that being said we want this trip to be worthwhile, seeing that airfare and car rental alone are so costly. Suggestions and recommendations? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Elene

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      I can’t speak to the specific area, but yes, in general I think you will find lots to do. You will definitely need a car rental to get around but there’s lots to see and some nice beaches within 2 or 3 hours drive in several directions. As for finding a rental, I’d start with VRBO. Good luck.

  46. Two Families Visiting Greek Islands

    Thank you so much for this wonderful way to figure out travel with children! So many different books are a wonderful start, but hardly (if at all) include any information for traveling families. It is almost as if they think it is never worth experiencing culture with children.
    We are an American family who currently lives in Belgium. We plan to travel to Greece in May with another American family who lives in Germany. Between our two families we have eight children (ages 10, 9, 7, 7, 5, 3, and two 2s) – and needless to say we would love advice on what might make this the most manageable and enjoyable. We are thinking we’ll be there for around a week, and plan to only travel to one island this trip due to the fact that ‘bouncing’ with young ones can make things a little trying at times. Beach time/pool time is a must – as is some ruins and culture. Now after reading some of your posts and comments, I am wondering if weather might be more beach appropriate in Sept vs May? Would love your thoughts. And again, thank you so much for this wealth of info!

    Alison Keating

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Alison. The weather will almost certainly be better in September than in May. Hotter, sunnier (you can still get a couple days of rain in May), and the sea is warmer. As for destinations it sounds like you’ll be flying directly from northern Europe to an island. This obviously limits you to islands that have direct flights – which is still a good selection but some, like Antiparos, won’t be a possibility for you. Santorini (which has many flights from the rest of Europe) is not a good choice as the beaches aren’t great. That leaves Corfu, Rhodes, and Crete at the top of the list. All are great. Crete has the most in hiking and outdoors adventure. All have nice beaches. Not sure if that helps, but good luck.

  47. Which Greek Islands in April and May?

    Hi David,

    Well you and my husband have finally convinced me to go travelling with the kids! We have two children a 2 year old and a 6 month old. I have decided to extend my maternity leave so we can go travelling for a month in April/May. We initially thought of going to Greece and doing a bit of island hopping (Crete, Naxos,- as you speak so highly of it, not sure where else yet) but have just realised that it isn’t particularly cheap. I therefore have a couple of questions, firstly, do you think £2500 – £3000 be a big enough budget for us all in Greece? We are not extravagant spenders, but with the cost of accommodation, meals, laundry and nappies to name a few, it’ll all mount up fast! Secondly as you have travelled to various countries, would you recommend somewhere else? We have travelled extensively ourselves, however never with children. We wouldn’t want to go anywhere where the children need vaccines as I feel they are still too young. But open to suggestions, also if you recommend anywhere that’ll be a long flight journey (we live in the UK) then could you give us some tips on how to entertain the kids on the flight. We are looking for history, culture, scenery and of course lots of fun for the kids.

    Looking forward to hearing you answers/suggestions
    Many thanks

    Jane

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Jane. You’re right, Greece is not cheap anymore. At the same time it does have cheap flights from England (cheaper than flights to other destinations that might be less expensive once you got their, e.g. Thailand). Factoring in that you’re going during the shoulder season when hotels prices should be reduced and I think you might be able to swing it on £3000. Look for hotels that have kitchens (or even a fridge) which will allow you to have breakfast in and save some money. Gyros and souvlakis are cheap and most towns will have at least one little souvlaki restaurant so as long as you like those you can get by with one sit-down meal a day. Book your hotels in advance for the best deals. Hope that helps.

  48. Family of 5 on the Greek Islands

    Hi David,
    I’m wondering if you can give me a little guidance on our upcoming trip to Greece. We are a family of five, with children ages 16, 11, and 8. We travel quite a bit with our children, and love to sight-see, but like to combine it with some fun-in-the-sun. We are definitely not the type of family who chooses a resort hotel on a beautiful island, then sits and bakes in the sun without seeing a single sight in the area. We have a tendency to choose a sort of “base camp,” then explore all of the surrounding areas. Our plan is to fly into Athens and spend a day or two there, then head to one (or two) of the islands. I have always wanted to see Santorini and Mykonos… the picture perfect postcards I have always seen are so enticing! If you had to choose between the two, which would you choose? Is it easy to get between the two islands? Or, would not recommend either island? Any thoughts or recommendations you could make would be greatly, greatly appreciated. We will be there mid-late June and intend to stay for about 10 days. Cost is definitely a factor. As I said, we travel a lot… I don’t want this one vacation to blow our entire travel budget for the year. We almost always rent apartments… do most apartments require a full week stay? Ugh… feeling very overwhelmed! Thank you so much for your time.

    Sincerely,
    Paula

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Paula. Both Santorini and Mykonos are great but they do have some caveats. Santorini does not have great beaches, so if beach time is a priority (and it sounds like it might not be) then other islands have far nicer beaches. Mykonos has a bit of a party vibe. Not intense and as long as you avoid a couple spots it’s easy to miss but still, be aware it’s popular with the party crowd. And also, Mykonos and Santorini are probably the two most expensive islands in Greece. All of which would lead me to recommend some other nearby islands. Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, or Milos are all great choices. Naxos and Paros also have day trips to Santorini available. Santorini also has many flights to cities in Northern Europe so you could fly into Athens, ferry to Naxos or Paros, spend the week there, ferry to Santorini, spend one night there, and then fly home. Just an idea. Good luck.

  49. 20 Days on the Greek Islands

    With two boys age 10 and 12, travelling for Greek island-hop in August, with a good 20 days to play with, what are your recommendations? Our boys love to explore, climb, fish,, sea activities and football, and we love food, adventure and a bit of relaxation…!

    As a first island hopping experience, which route would you recommend? Would you rec a package (less hassle) or DIY?

    Appreciate your experience and thoughts.

    Calvin

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      I always recommend DIY as that’s the type of traveler I am. Crete sounds like a great option considering your interests. It’s a big island, mountainous in parts, great history, awesome beaches – a bit of everything. You could easily spend 10 days on Crete. Then either head off to Karpathos and Rhodes or head north through 2 or 3 Cycladic islands (maybe Naxos, Milos, and Folegandros – though really all are great). If it suits your budget hopping on a yacht for 3 or 4 days would be a great experience and a way to see some of the stuff many travelers miss.

      Good luck.

  50. Greece in Early April

    Hi David –

    We’d love to visit Greece during our kids’ spring break vacation, but the holiday falls pretty early this year: first week of April. Will it be warm enough for us to swim, is it rainy season?
    My kids are 8 and love greek mythology so any place that resonates in this regard where we can also swim would be idea.
    Thanks!
    Julie

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Julie. Unfortunately you will not be swimming in early April anywhere in Greece. The southern coast of Crete has the warmest weather in Greece but even there it would take a really unseasonable heat wave to allow for swimming so I would not plan on it. Crete has lots of history though and it should be warmish in April with not too much rain. April is a good time to travel if you’re looking to do walking, hiking, and exploring – just not swimming. Hope that helps.

  51. Best Greek Islands with Teenagers

    Hi,
    I’ve read through blog and realize that most of your focus is on families with younger children, but I thought I would see what insight you could provide for a family of teenagers. I have been planning (for weeks) a vacation to Italy for my family of six (2 adults, 4 teenagers (three are 16 and one is 14). Our dates of travel are June 17 to July 10th. I had planned on a slower, more cultural immersion trip to Italy, but the kids really want to visit Greece also. In doing some preliminary research it looks like there are reasonably priced options for getting from Italy to Greece and the flights from the US are the same flying home from Rome or Athens.

    My questions – coming from Rome or Naples would 8 nights be enough to see the sights of Athens and enjoy the culture of one or two islands?

    Best islands for teenagers? Naxos sounds very appealing. My kids have also mentioned Santorini and Crete – probably because they have heard of them before. Is there somewhere else you would recommend that would be easy to get to from Italy?

    My family likes to see the key sights, but mostly likes to get to know the culture through activities, unique lodgings, great food. We do want some beach/water options and would love an area that the kids could have some freedom to explore.

    Finally – I am not sure if you are familiar with the Amalfi Coast, but we had planned to spend 5 nights there. However, if we now add Greece to our itinerary are they too similar? I’m having a hard time deciding if I should do both.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts.
    Lisa

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Lisa. There are ferries from the east coast of Italy (Brindisi, Bari, Venice) to Corfu which is a great island. From there you could take a bus through central Greece and visit the Meteora and Delphi on your way to Athens for a few days. That itinerary would be very doable for 8 days and would be what I would recommend. Amalfi Coast and Greece are definitely different so don’t worry about that.

      Good luck.

  52. Skiathos in Summer

    Hi

    Any thoughts on Skiathos? Ever been? I understand it has great beaches but would you be bored with a week there? I also think you can do day trips to the neighbouring Sporades?

    Nelson

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Skiathos has some of the best beaches in Greece. It does however get a lot of package tourists and is very busy during July and August. Nearby Skopelos has a slower pace and more character (though its beaches aren’t quite as nice) so a trip that combined both islands might be a good compromise.

  53. Trip from Istanbul to Greek Islands

    Hi David,

    Our family lives in Istanbul and are considering a 7-10 day road trip into Greece at the end of October (driving from Turkey into Eastern Greece and maybe ending in Athens). Could you recommend a road trip itinerary (Thassos? Delphi? Athens?)? I realize we may not make it to many (or any) of the islands further south…but if it were your trip to make, how would you map it out? Thanks!

    Angi

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      That’s a great section of Greece. Very beautiful. If I had 3 places to stop they’d be Thessaloniki, the Meteora, and Delphi. They should break up the trip nicely so no one day will have too much driving.

  54. Two Weeks on Greek Islands with 2 Year Old

    Hi David,

    Great info. We are planning about a 12-14 day trip in June with our then 2-year old. We plan to fly to Istanbul and spend a few days there and head to the Greek Islands, Intrigued by Naxos based on your reviews. What nearby islands do you recommend visiting, and do you think this particular island area will be doable coming from Istanbul or do you recommend other islands for us?

    Thanks,
    Melissa

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Istanbul is an awesome city and is a great choice. In Greece my favorite group of islands for families is Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos. They’re very close to each other, have great kid-friendly beaches, lots of restaurants, and are easy to get around.

      The difficulty for you will be getting from Istanbul to the Cyclades. Some summers Atlas Jet has flights from Istanbul to Santorini and Mykonos (though currently they don’t seem to be offering them). Some summers Borajet has flights from Istanbul to Mykonos (though currently they don’t seem to be offering them). This could change, so if you’re not booking until spring you may want to revisit their websites to see if they’re running that route. Both Mykonos and Santorini are well connected by ferry with Naxos and Paros.

      Without those flights, it means you’ll probably need to fly from Istanbul to Athens (Aegean Air or Pegasus) and then Athens to Naxos or Paros (Olympic Air).

      You could fly to southern Turkey and then ferry across to a Greek island close to Turkey (Rhodes, Samos, Lesvos) and then ferry to Naxos or Paros – but this, of course, will up to 2 or 3 days of traveling. Not constant travel, but 2 or 3 days where it feels like you’re doing nothing but carrying bags and suitcases.

      The final option would be to skip the Cyclades and do one of the islands that are closer to Turkey (both Rhodes and Lesvos are great). That could work but you’ll still need to get south from Istanbul and then fly from Lesvos to Athens to get your flight home so not sure if you’re saving yourself much.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

  55. Greece with 18 Month Baby

    Hi David,

    My partner and I are planning to take our son to Greece next year, by which time he’ll be around 17-18months. We don’t want to hire a car so am unsure how best to get around. We’re looking at Paxos and are wondering how easy it would be to explore the Island with an infant? Are the buses safe? Are there any other Islands you would recommend and the resorts that would best suit our needs? Apologies for all the questions!

    Many thanks,

    Joe

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Paxi is such a small island that it’s not far to anywhere. On the other hand the bus service isn’t stellar – there’s one main route that connect the 3 largest towns and it goes 4 times per day. Hiring a car is easy and so is hiring a boat. There are many small coves and hidden beaches in Paxi so a boat is a popular way to see the island. It’s definitely not as kid-friendly as Corfu but at that age it’s not like you’re going to be visiting a lot of kid-oriented attraction anyways.

      I consider the buses safe though it’s all relative I suppose.

  56. Athens and Santorini in November

    Hi David, We are planning to visit Athens in November and we have 3 1/2 day, so do you think I will a good idea to visit an Island like Santorini with 5 year old. Does the ferries service is still active in November and how will be the weather. Thanks a lot for helping the travelers. Anita

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Santorini will be cool by November. You could get some nice sunny days but nights you’ll need pants and a sweater – maybe even a jacket. It will be quiet on the island by then so you should get some good rates on hotels and there won’t be many tourists around. If you want to do sightseeing it’s a great time to visit. If you were hoping for hitting the beach then you’ll be disappointed. Most swimming pools in Greece are not heated so even if your hotel has a pool you likely won’t be swimming there either. There will be at least two ferries a day in low season between Athens and Santorini.

  57. Rome, Florence, and Venice to Greece

    Hi,I have read some of your replies.They are very helpful and honest. We are family of 4 planning to travel with 2 daughters 15 and 11 next May end June beginning to Greece and Italy. Both my daughters are history buffs and want to see both countries.
    We plan to visit Athens and some island close by and Rome, Florence, and Venice. Its been real confusing on how to travel between the countries and within the cities in Italy whilst not spending too much time travelling. Also which places must we visit in which order? We shall have Athens as arrival and departure city.
    As per your suggestion we intend to tour Athens in the last leg of our journey.
    Please suggest how many days would be ideal for each destination as we may take off around 12 days for our vacation.
    Thanks,
    Jamila

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Athens, a Greek island, Rome, Florence, and Venice is a lot to pack into 12 days. You will definitely need to fly between Italy and Greece to save some time so don’t even consider the ferry from Venice to Corfu. Mykonos (for the beaches) and Delos (for the history) might be a good choice as there are several high speed ferries and catamarans between Athens and Mykonos. If you could find return flights to Crete that would also be a good option as there is lots of history and culture there.

  58. Greece in Early September

    Hi David,
    We’d like to go to Greece on the first weeks of September. we have two kids, 3 and 8, and living in Germany. Can youu give us some advice, where is the best place to go for children because I am worried about security especially now that Greece’s economy is unstable. Thanks a lot in advance -jef

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Jef. The Greek Islands are very safe and far removed from any of the turmoil and protests that you might see in Athens. The most likely setback you might encounter on a trip to Greece is a ferry strike that upsets your plans. If you can choose an island with direct flights from Germany then you won’t need to worry about the ferries (though strikes are rare and of short duration in any case). Islands with direct flights from Northern Europe include Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, and Zakynthos so they’d be a good place to start your research. Hope that helps. Good luck.

  59. May and June in Athens, Paros, Mykonos, Santorini, and Ios

    Hi David, my wife, daughter (8 yrs old) & l are going back to Greece in May and June for 5-6 weeks & we are looking for some more traditional Greek islands. We’ve done Athens, Paros, Mykonos, Santorini, Ios & travelled over to Cyprus over a couple of trips but want something different. We’re wanting to experience the traditional food, relaxed lifestyle, beaches and history. Any suggestions? Brett

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Karpathos stands out for me as a place that still has a lot of traditions, culture, and food that have survived the tourism pressure. Crete, as well, is such a large island that there are areas that see few tourists and have a very Greek feel. There are countless villages away from the coasts that have changed little over the past 30 or 40 years. Syros is another choice to get away from the tourists. It’s the commercial hub of the Cyclades and so doesn’t depend much upon tourism for its livelihood. You’ll notice a very different atmosphere once you hop off the ferry that this isn’t the typical tourist town. Sikinos is yet another island with an untouristy feel.

      A final tip is to visit as far away from the summer as possible. In the off-season even the most touristy island can seem very different when not trying to survive the crowds of visitors.

      Hope that helps.

  60. Taxi Fares on Greek Islands

    I will be in Santorini next month and was wondering approximately how much a cab would cost me from the port to my hotel in Fira. Is it easy to get a cab from the port? Hotel would charge me 25 euro for transfer fee. Thanks. Peter

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      That’s a pretty good rate so I’d go for it. There are lots of taxis waiting at the port when a ferry arrives but it’s nice to have someone waiting for you with a sign. Without pre-booking a taxi you’re probably looking at 20 to 25 euros. There’s always a bus that will meet every ferry and costs about 2 euros to Fira.

  61. Greece with 3 Children

    Hi David! You seem to know so much about all the islands in Greece! Planning to go with family: 2 adults & 3 children ages 6, 6 (twin boys) and 4 yr old girl! Was thinking of Crete which is a bigger island if we wanted to explore a bit as well or maybe a smaller one like Kos or Samos? Rulled out Santorini and Mykonos and also Kefalonia. Any suggestions?? Thank u so much, Andri

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Kos has a lot of packaged tourism so it wouldn’t be at the top of my list. Crete has so much to do and see it’s great if you have more time (say 10 days or more). Samos is cool, though Lesvos is probably the best option near the Turkish coast. A smaller island (like Samos or Lesvos) might be the better option considering the age of your kids.

  62. Greek Islands in July

    Hi There,

    My sister and I are planning a trip to the greek islands with my 3 year and 5 year old boys next July. We would prefer a self-sufficient set up, perhaps a “home away” rental perhaps as my Greek aunt might join us. We know the language so that is not a barrier and enjoy the culture. Unfortunately, many of the places I have seen don’t seem particularly kid-friendly and safe for rambunctious little boys. Do you have any suggestions? We would prefer something with great, safe beaches and not terribly touristy. Although we do want places that we could go if the kids needes some further entertainment beyond the beach. Any suggestions? Helena

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      If you’re looking for an apartment rental on a Greek island you’re limited by what’s available. So start by using vrbo.com, airbnb.com, and athens.craigslist.gr. Then communicate with the owner to see if they think the area is kid friendly (most will be fairly honest – especially on vrbo and airbnb as they don’t want bad reviews). Good luck.

  63. Italy and Greece in August

    Hi David
    This blog is fantastic! Thanks for all the info I have gathered from it;)
    I am travelling with 3 kids; 6, 2, and 1 next month through Italy and Greece.
    2 questions;
    Athens; does it need 2 full days to explore? I have 3 days there but 2 of them are travelling days so we really only get half that time. I can add an extra day.
    Paros; where is best Parikia or Naoussa? Did you stay in Paros?
    Thanks and would love your opinion.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      You could spend several days in Athens and keep busy but given the ages of your kids I’d stick with your schedule and get to an island. I prefer Parikia to Naoussa but both are great. Lots of winding little streets and alleys that are fun to explore. Your 6 year old will love Paros.

  64. Greece with Teens and Pre Teens

    We are planning a large group trip to Greece and some parents are bringing their teen or pre-teen children. The question of how children should address adults in Greece was asked, but I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere. Do they use the title (Mr. Mrs, etc) and the last name, just the first name, title and first name, or something completely different? We just want to be respectful. Lisa

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      It’s not so much in the title it’s more in the suffix of certain words that implies respect. So when you say hi to someone your own age you say “Yeia Sou” and to someone older than you you’d say “Yeia Sas”. A good greek introductory language book should describe it sufficiently. Good luck.

  65. Greek Holiday in July

    Hi David

    We are planning for a greek holiday in July for 7 days with our 3 yr old. We were initially planning on spending the days in Kephalonia on the ionian but not sure if there much there for my toddler.would it be possible to go to Kephalonia for a couple of days and then go to, say, more child friendly places and if so, which would you suggest would be easier to get from Kephalonia.

    Many Thanks
    venes

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      You’re somewhat limited in Kephalonia with short trips and nearby islands. Zakynthos is probably the most likely destination and easiest to get to.

  66. First Trip to Greece

    Hi David,

    I have never been to the Greek islands and we are planning a trip this July with our 3 year old. I want to go to a hotel that has faculties for kids like a playground and kiddie pool, and that is located on a beach with white sand! I have been googling and in fact it is so difficult as I know nothing of the islands or hotels. Do you have any advice for me? I was always a backpacker before but now I would like the safety and comfort of a good hotel!

    Laura

    1. Laura

      David,

      Thank you! I will have a look. One last question, do you know of a similar type of hotel on Kos? Where would you rate Kos on your own personal list of favourite islands? Ooops, that was two last questions!

      Laura

      1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

        Kos is both very busy with package tourists and very beautiful with many great beaches. You can still find some quieter beaches if you get away from the very touristy sections.

        Avoid Tigaki and Kardamena if you’re looking for something quieter.

        Good luck.

  67. Fly or Ferry? / How Long in Athens? / Hotel or Villa?

    Hi David

    What a great website and discussion board you have going!

    We are a family of five (2x adults and 3x children aged 9, 6 annd 5) and are planning a trip to Greece in August this year.

    What would you recommend as the best Islands to stay and how long in each one? We love sandy beaches and would prefer a bit to do for the children.
    How long in Athens (before or after the Islands)?
    Ferry or flying?
    Hotels or villas?
    We have 3-4 weeks in total.

    Your help would be great appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    Michele

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Michelle. With 3 or 4 weeks you’ll have a great trip and lots of time to explore. I would probably start by flying to Crete (either directly or through Athens). Spend a week there, if you need a base make it Chania, if not then spend some time in Rethymno, and some of the small towns along the south coast like Matala and Paleochora. From Crete you could ferry to Santorini (if you think you can handle the crowds) if not go straight to Naxos. A week or so in Naxos to explore it’s small inland villages and some really great kid-friendly beaches. Antiparos is close by if you’d like a quieter island with equally great beaches. Then pick a couple less popular islands to visit before heading back to Athens. Milos, Folegandros, Sifnos, and Serifos are all good choices. Spend your time in Athens at the end of your trip so you have some built-in flexibility if your ferry back to Athens gets canceled – which can happen due to the high winds that hit the Cyclades in August.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

  68. Family Holiday at the End of October

    Hi David,
    We are planning to go to Greece at the end of October for around 10 days as a family hols with two daughters 6 and 9, not sure where in Greece as we never been in Greece before where would you recommend to start. And also is it a good time to go at this time? Of course we would love togo to the beach, swimming etc. many thanks.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Naxos, Paros, and Crete are probably my 3 favorite Greek Islands though you can’t go wrong with most of them. At the end of October the weather could be good or it could be too cool for the beach and you might have some rainy days. It could go either way. If weather and beach time are important to you (and it sounds like they are) then Crete tends to have the warmest weather at the end of October. The south coast of the island especially.

      Good luck.

  69. Greek Islands with a Baby

    I am a mother of a seven month old baby and I am planning to travel to Greece as a tourist. Since I will be travelling alone with the baby I am concerned about the place and facilities.
    Please can you suggest the best time, place etc to visit with a baby? I am interested in visiting touristy places of Greece as well, since I want to see the historical places.
    Thanks and regards,
    Neha

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Neha. With a baby that young it doesn’t matter a whole lot which islands you pick. It won’t make much difference to your child so might as well go to the ones that intrigue you the most. On most islands a stroller doesn’t work very well – the streets and sidewalks are either cobblestoned, uneven, or both – so have some other means of carrying them. Hotel rooms probably won’t be “kid-friendly” like we expect in the U.K. or the U.S. so keep that in mind. A travel crib works well if you’re not planning to have them sleep with you. Most beds in the cheaper/mid-range hotels are twins and not very big so you’ll want to plan that out. The main towns of all the most popular islands are very walkable (except for the stroller issue) so that’s nice. If you’d like to stay in the main town and still have easy access to a nice beach then Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, and Rehtymno (on Crete) are good choices. Good luck.

  70. Rental Near Beach

    David, I am actually thinking of renting a place near Elafonisi a short drive away for the children to enjoy, they love the beach – ages 10 and 8. We go to Chios every summer but are looking at something different this year just for a change – will Elafonisi village offer a choice of restaurants and grocery or will we feel hostage once down there – it is a drive from everything else.
    John Kormalos

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi John. There is very little right by the beach. There were 2 hotels, a restaurant, and some snack shops along the beach – though a few comments I’ve read this year make me believe they (the hotels) might not be there any longer. In any case, there is very little near to the beach. It fills up through the day with day trippers from Chania and then completely empties out.

  71. 2 Months in Greece with 2 Month Old

    Hello David! Thanks a lot for your source and this very article, but i still can’t choose destination or route in Greece for my family to take, hope you could give a clue

    * my son is 4 months old
    * we have two months in Greece to go
    * want to live at inexpensive traditional separate accommodations, not hotel, long term
    * with no tourist crowds
    * with good shops to buy infant stuff
    * with at least some medical service available
    * we would love island to be forested and hilly))))

    Wondered if there is a point where all these meet?
    Thank you!
    Anastasia

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      I’d recommend taking a look at either Lesvos or Chios. There are tourists on every island but both of these islands give ample opportunity to escape the crowds and they meet most of your other requirements too. Good luck.

  72. Quiet Greek Island with 2 Children

    Hi David,

    We’re thinking about a holiday in Greece with our 2 boys, 2yrs and 10yrs, for the end of July this year. We went to Lambi, Kos 4 years ago and loved it. We’d like the same combination that Kos gave to us again if possible, as we all adored that holiday. Quiet beaches, a little history to look at and plenty of nice food were fantastic. So far we have a shortlist of; Pefkos in Rhodes, Chania in Crete and maybe Lambi again in Kos. Do you have any other recommendations? – You seem to be the most informed person I can find online!

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Quiet Greek islands include Lesvos, Ikaria, and Karpathos. Many great (and quiet) little places on those 3 islands. But even Mykonos, one of the most popular Greek islands, has quiet spots with very few people around. So even on the busiest islands – if you want calm and solitude, you can find it.

  73. Questions about Greece in August

    Will be in Greece this August. We’re renting a car to visit family in Sparta for a week upon arrival and will be moving on to Mykonos for two days, then Naxos and Santorini for three days each thereafter, before spending our final two days in Athens. Your input has been quite helpful in helping us plan this trip. We were hoping you could help us with the last few open issues we’re contemplating:

    1) How easy is it to transfer from the airport in Athens (where we will have to return the car) to Rafina? The ferry for Mykonos leaves at 15:00. What time do we need to be at the port if we have our ferry tickets in advance? What time should we drop the car off?

    2) We’re opting for two days in Mykonos rather than an extra day a piece in Naxos and Santorini. Our rationalle for this is that it is only a 2 hour high speed ferry ride from Rafina to Mykonos, and then 45 minutes onto Naxos, rather than a 6 hour ferry directly from Pireaus to Naxos, which gets in just shy of midnight. We figure we can get a day and a half in at the beaches at Platis Yialos & Psarou and two nights to walk/eat/shop around Mykonos town. Are these good family beaches (our daughters are 11 & 8)? Is Mykonos worth the stop? Also, how bumpy are the high speed ferries compared to regular ferries? Don’t want to get seasick.

    3) In Naxos, we’re staying at a hotel between St. George & Hora. Our plan here is a beach day at Plaka or Agia Anna, another at Agio Prokopios, and the final at St. George, before we move onto Santorini that night. Might also like to see the temple of Apollo. Three days good for that? Which of those beaches is best for water sports (wave runners, banana boats, things like that)?

    4) In Santorini, we plan on staying in Perivolos so that we can be by the beach during the day (or at least in the afternoons if we do other things in the morning) and then take a bus or cab into Fira and back at night. How difficult will that be? Is it better to stay in Fira and take cab or bus to beach? Three things we may want to do there are (i) the half day volvano/hot springs excursion (ii) donkey rides down the cliffs for the girls (iii) catch a sunset/dinner in Oia. Three days good for that?

    5) Other than the akropolis/parthenon, the museum, Greek Parliament, Monastiraki and a ride on the metro, are there any other must sees in Athens? When I used to visit Greece frequently, I always ate my final dinner at the restaurant up at Likavitos. Is that still a nice spot? How far in advance would I need to make a reservation?

    We would so appreciate your advise on these questions and, again, thank you so much for this very informative web page. We’re looking forward to getting back to Greece after all these years.

    Peter

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      The bus from the Athens airport to Rafina ferry port takes between 30 and 40 minutes. It costs €3. You catch it besides the Sofitel Hotel on the arrivals level. Buses depart about every hour. Here’s the official schedule but this could change: 05 45, 07 05, 08 50, 10 30, 12 15, 14 10, 15 20, 16 45, 18 00, 19 20, 20 45, 22 15. You can also take a taxi if you’re really pressed for time as they only take about 20 minutes. The bus drops you right by the port and ticket offices and unlike Piraeus, the port is small and ferries are easy to find.

      The high speed ferries can be rougher than the big car ferries. If the seas are rough they can be very bumpy. On the good side they’re shorter so you don’t have to endure it as long. Mykonos is great and the kids will love it. Best to ask your hotel and people around town for the current state of different beaches, as the crowds can change from year to year.

      3 days is good for Naxos St Georgios beach has the most activity. As you move away from the Hora the beaches get quieter and quieter but still plenty going on at all of them in August.

      Personally, I’d rather stay in Fira and commute to the beach than the opposite but it depends on what you’re looking for. One’s a beach town, one’s an upscale tourist town with nice restaurants. You just have to decide.

      Lykavitos Hill is great and definitely recommend that. There’s a funicular tram that goes up there now so you might like that. I’d make time for walking around, maybe take in the central market too. Sounds like you have a lot planned. I’d be prepared to slow down a bit and maybe miss some of the stuff you would like to visit but might make things too hectic. Don’t overplan. Keep some days to just hanging out and exploring.

      Have fun.

  74. How Much Time on the Greek Islands?

    Hi David,
    Your blog is fantastic and very helpful! I spent a number of summers island hopping in Greece with friends during my twenties and fortunately packed in Santorini and Mykonos.
    I am now planning a different girlie trip consisting of my daughter who will be just turning two before our departure, my mother and myself. Each of us have our own needs, mothers being tranquil harbours and marinas my own being walks and diving.
    We will be starting our trip in Fetihye in Turkey as we are attending a wedding and will depart for Rhodes shortly after. I am thinking a few days exploring in Rhodes before heading to Symi for the tranquil and picturesque habours. After a couple of days was thinking Karpathos for diving and beaches for a few days before heading back to the mainland via a night in Rhodes or even if possible fly back via Crete?
    I am basically planning about three days in each destination. Is this adequate time? Are these islands toddler friendly? I have tried to keep ferry transfers short in making choices but would you have any recommendations?
    Thanks!
    I should add that we are planning the trip at the end of June! 🙂

    Jasmine

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      3 days on each island should be fine, but of course, you’d always like more. If you could stretch it to 4 or 5 then your trip will be even more relaxed. Not sure if you mean Athens when you say the mainland or Turkey. Getting from Rhodes to Athens is a long ferry ride. If you’re doing that I highly recommend booking a sleeper cabin. A flight from either Rhodes or Crete to Athens is easy to get and there are quite a few flights – but don’t wait too long to book. One note on the boats between Turkey and Rhodes is that they tend to be small (or a hydrofoil) and can be a little rough if the seas are choppy at all. Also, you’ll need to submit your passports to the port authorities the night before any trip between Turkey and Greece so don’t appear the morning of your departure expecting to jump on a boat. Here’s a good overview of ferry connections between Greece and Turkey. Good luck.

  75. September and October on the Greek Islands?

    Hi David,
    First time to Greece and the Greek Islands.
    Family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 kids, daughter 12 and son 10. Travelling from Melbourne, Australia for a four week trip from September 13th – October 11th to celebrate our 40th birthdays.
    Start and finish in Athens and in between, visits some islands. Which islands to choose, which order is best and how long to stay without feeling too rushed and soak in the magic of each one? Leaning towards flying between islands due to the boys motion sickness, time and distance – but would like the option of a ferry- if the distance is short? Maybe a day visit?
    Looking for a mixture of relaxation and exploring the cultures, history and food. We love to sit on beaches, snorkel, walk and mingle with the locals.
    Would welcome your insight and suggestions, as I am feeling quite overwhelmed with all the amazing choices.
    Kind regards,
    Mary

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Mary. That’s a great time to travel as the weather should be perfect and the crowds starting to thin a bit from the summer peak season. If you wanted to keep travel distances down I’d focus on the Cyclades. They’re not too far from Athens by ferry and all very close to each other (for the most part). Naxos, Paros, Milos, Folegandros, Mykonos, Ios, Santorini – they’re all great in their own way. 5 to 7 days on 4 different islands leaving a few extra days to see Athens would be great.

  76. 3 Days in Greece

    Hi,
    Brilliant blog and Q&A!
    I impulse bought some ridiculously cheap flights into and out of Patras in a couple of weeks. We arrive 2pm into Araxos on April 3rd and leave 5am on April 7th which really only gives us 3 days of sightseeing. We’ll pre-book a hire car to get around.
    I know we’ll definitely want to see the Acropolis and the Corinth Canal but beyond that I am overwhelmed with the choice!

    The simple thing would be a trip to Olympia on the first day, which the website says is open until 7.45pm, then driving the North of the Peloponnese to Athens and back again.
    Some questions:
    1) My 8 year old daughter loves swimming and we live in a cold British seaside town so we’re used to freezing water conditions! Is there a beach along that route that we could stop off for at least to play in the sand (our home beach is pebbles) and paddle?
    2) She also adores the movie Mamma Mia and is desperately excited at travelling to ‘Sophie’s country’. Would it be crazy to take the bridge North and Patra to Rio and drive to Lamia and take a ferry to Skopelos? Is there a ferry? Is it a long ferry ride? And would it be worth the additional petrol/time for the experience? I’m tempted to fob her off with some beach near Corinth and claim it’s a Mamma Mia location but that seems a little sneaky to say the least!
    3) Which do you think would be the better experience: taking a boat trip through the Corinth Canal or taking the Kalavryta-Diakofto railway? Are both available this time of year? Would we have time to do both?
    4) We’re thinking of just finding lodgings as we arrive at each place. Is that do-able? And how late should we make bookings? We’d like to drive in the early morning and late evening each day to have the middle of the day for touristy activity but don’t want to end up without a hotel. Is 10pm to late to book into somewhere?
    Sorry for all the questions! :o)

    Ruthanne

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Some thoughts for you:

      1. Here is a list of beaches near Patra. The water will be very chilly in early April.
      2. Skopelos is a long way out of the way and I’m tempted to say not worth the time spent in a car.
      3. The Kalavryta-Diakofto train is great and the town is a wonderful little place to spend a day or two. I’d do that over the canal for sure.
      4. You’ll be fine finding places on the day-of and don’t need to pre-book. Though 10pm is getting a bit late. In the off-season not everything is open and you often have to find someone that will phone around for you or direct you in the right direction to find whoever is letting rooms at the time. So getting there that late might pose a bit of a problem. I’d try to get into town before dinner time.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

  77. Rent a Greek Villa in August

    Hi David
    Best blog on Greece!
    We are planning to come to Greece in August (2 parents and 2 kids 16 & 18yrs old) We are hoping to stay 3 to 4 weeks. Ideally we were hoping to rent a villa or house and have more family /friends join us for 1 week at a time. Lots of kids in that mix (all different ages). We are interested in great views, walk to beaches and a market where raw fresh organic food is available. Anything like that in Naxos? Or any island group close to Turkey perhaps? Maybe Crete is the better choice for that? Am looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Malina

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Naxos and Crete are both great for that. Crete has some great markets that are fun to shop at. It also has the most house-rentals of any island. Rhodes and Lesvos are the best islands neighboring Turkey.

  78. Greece with 2 Kids in Late June

    Hi David,

    I am traveling to Greece in late June with my wife and two kids (3 and 1), and my in-laws. We’ll be arriving the morning of June 25th and then plan to take an early ferry to Paros the morning on June 26th. Where do you suggest we stay for that one night? Do you recommend Athens, or right in Piraeus so we are close to the port the next morning? Or perhaps there is a nice area in between on the coast?

    I suspect finding our ferry, especially with kids and our in-laws, will take a bit of time. I think our ferry if on time will have a 7:30am departure.

    Please let me know your thoughts!

    Best,

    Jonathan

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Jonathan. Oh, I’d definitely stay in Athens – it sounds like you’ll have the afternoon and evening to walk around, maybe have a nice dinner in the Plaka. You’ll need to be up early, of course, but a taxi should get you to the port quickly at that time of the morning.

      Here are a few ideas for family hotels in Athens.
      Good luck.

      1. Jonathan Wiseman

        Sounds great! Thanks so much for the quick reply.

        We’ll be in Greece for 2 weeks. 1 week in Paros for a friend’s wedding and then off to Santorini for 5 nights. I know we’ll be ignoring your suggestions on Santorini with kids, but we’ll be renting a house on the east coast, so hopefully it’ll work out. Then we plan to fly back to Athens for 2 more nights before heading back to Canada.

        Does that sound like a good itinerary for first timers to Greece? Also, what time should we leave for the Athens port in the AM? Should we have our ferry tickets booked in advance?

        Awesome blog btw.

        Best,

        Jonathan

        1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

          Hi Jonathan. That sounds great. Paros and Santorini complement each other well – a very different feel on each. You don’t have to book tickets in advance. You can get them right at the port (but not “at” the ship). Finding the right ferry can take a little while (the Piraeus port is huge) so I’d get to the port at least an hour before sailing time.

          1. Jonathan

            Hi David,

            Was looking for this info on your blog, but when we book/buy our various ferry tickets, what Class should we be looking at? I’ve found all the various types of ticket classes to be a bit confusing, but am I right in assuming that Business Class just means that you will have a reserved seat and economy means you may not have an actual seat? I assume this is the safest option if traveling with kids during the summer months? Our ferries will be Athens to Paros and Paros to Santorini most likely on Hellenic Seaways. Please let me know your thoughts.

          2. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

            Hi Jonathan. Yes, you have it right. Business will give you a reserved airplane-type seat inside a cabin. Economy or deck class will just get you on the ship and then it’s up to you to find a place to sit. This is fine for most trips. For overnight trips it’s best to reserve a cabin which will give you a place to lie down and sleep. (Though it doesn’t sound like you’ll be doing an overnight route.)

            Good luck.

  79. Greek Ferries in August

    Speaking of ferries, I’ve been checking ferry service between the islands I plan to visit in August and the schedule seems pretty light. For example, there seems to be only one ferry each day (14:40) from Mykonos to Naxos and only two choices (12:00 & 15:00) from Naxos to Santorini. Is that typically it? I tend to want to travel in the AM hours so as not to waste days waiting to go / getting settled in. Do they typically add ferries, closer to the dates? Also, is it necessary to book in advance or is there always room for more if you don’t have a car?

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      That schedule sounds about right but yes, ferry routes and times can be added a few weeks in advance. You won’t need to book tickets in advance.

      If getting to Naxos earlier is very important to you there is sometimes a SeaJet from Mykonos to Paros early in the morning. Hop off in Paros and get on the BlueStar ferry for the very short ride to Naxos.

  80. Is Mykonos Safe?

    Hi David, What is the most reliable and current resource for determining if Greece is safe for travel? Also, we want to do a trip that combines some site seeing and islands with the kids and are concerned ferries and historical sites could be closed with no notice.
    Regards,
    Lelia

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      For reliable information on the situation in Greece go here.

  81. Rent a Car in Greece for July

    Hi David,
    Sorry, I just sent a message regarding Naxos and Corfu and forgot to mention that we are just looking at either one of the Islands for a week but would like a suggestion as to whether or not it is worth renting a car; 2. where would be more central town to stay at on either Island, really close to great beaches, and has good options for accommodations. As I mentioned i have a 11 year old daughter and a 7 year year old son and will require separate beds. We will be there from June 29 to July 6. We will be flying in from Hamburg, Germany. With all the suggestions you provided I was able to at least narrow it down to those two Islands. Thanks David.

    Karen Wanders – Vancouver, BC

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      For Naxos I would stay in the main town (the Hora or port town). Very central, lots of buses going every where in the island, a great beach you can walk to, lots of great places to eat and stay. In Corfu I really like Pelekas and it’s central too and easy to get into the Corfu Town by bus. For Naxos I wouldn’t rent a car. For Corfu I would be 50/50 on renting a car but personally would probably still go with the buses (they’re more fun and feel more like traveling).

      For hotels try these links: Naxos and Corfu.

      I hope that helps.

  82. Travel to Peloponnese

    OK…final after two previous questions this should be my last for you, thanks for your quick imput. I am traveling with my 14 yr old daughter. we land in athens June 4th at 5:30 pm and leave June 17th at 6:00am. that gives us 12 days to trek around the Peloponnese and Soronc Gulf. We will spend our first 3 nights in Poros at the Saga Hotel recovering from jet lag, enjoying the farm, food, drink and dance. We may take a day trip to Hydra for some hiking. We will travel via bus to Diakotto to experience the wonderful Cog train through the gorge to Kalavryta…would you stay the night or move on? Next we plan to visit the Diros caves then down to Kardamyli to check out Yiannis Herb and Kalamata olive oil. We will wrap up our trek by visiting Nafplio and climb 999 step to the fortress. we have 12 full days…think its realistic? we will be traveling by bus. thanks again. Laura Asbell

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      This sounds busy but fine. For Kalavryta I’d check the bus schedule when you arrive in town to see when the next bus is heading south. They don’t depart every day (or didn’t when I was there) so you may need to let that dictate when you leave. The town itself is great and definitely worth a day to explore. Nafplio is great too as are the other places you mentioned. If you’re really stuck you can always grab a taxi to jump you along to the next town. Not cheap, but not as expensive as you might think. Good luck.

  83. Is Greece Safe?

    Hi David. A month or so ago, you helped me settle on an itinerary for my family’s impending trip to Greece in August. I’m also happy to see you posted a link for Hotel reservations as I am certainly not one for winging accomodations. My question now is this (and I’m not sure you’ll be able to answer):

    What the hell is really going on in Greece these days?

    I am so looking forward to taking my wife and kids to this beautiful country that I spent most of my childhood summers in, however, we are spending alot of money on this trip and I don’t want it tainted by uprising. Is the turmoil we see and read about generally in Athens or is it widespread throughout the country? We plan on visiting Sparta, Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini, with two days in Athens on the back end to see the important historical sights and shop in Monastiraki. Truth is, I’ve held off on booking my airline tickets because of this. Any thoughts?

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Peter. I understand your uncertainty. Things are very unstable and chaotic there now. The good news (for travelers) is that the chaos rarely affects tourists. The islands rarely are the scene of protests and riots so it’s really just Athens you need to worry about – and even that should be fine. Just don’t go “check out” a protest if one were to occur while you’re there. Also get back to Athens with at least a day or 2 to spare (advised in any case) should there be a ferry strike and you’re stranded on an island. The Greek government (and Greek people) know how important tourism is to their country and almost never focus their frustations on visitors.

      A story in the NY Tiimes give a good overview on life in Greece now.

  84. Car Rentals in Greece

    Hi David,

    Any suggestions about car rentals. Would it be cheaper to prebook from Canada or book locally? Planning on visiting Greece mid July. If you have any suggestions regarding car rental companies and their websites, it would be greatly appreciated. Harry

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Try Auto Europe. Note: rental companies frown upon taking your rental car on the ferries (and insurance and drop-off fees are expensive for doing so). I’d get a rental car for each island or city you plan to visit and not plan on taking it from one island to another. Getting a car on a ferry is a pain too. Also, having a car in Athens is more of a headache than a help so I’d discourage you from that as well.

  85. Greece in September with a 1 Year Old

    Hi David, we are looking to travel to Greece with our 1 year old in early September. We are most excited by relaxing and playing with him by a beach/pool, but don’t really need organized activities since he is so young. We were thinking about corfu since we have heard it is beautiful. My questions are (and sorry I have a lot of them) is it fairly easy to fly from the US to Corfu through Athens? Is the weather nice enough for swimming this time of year? Can you recommend a clean, family friendly hotel that is well situated to the beach or town? Is the beach and town far away? I’m a little worried about getting back and forth with the baby and car seat – maybe renting a car is the way to go? To make this more complex, we are not married to corfu or september and are open to suggestions! I know that is a lot, but i’m hoping you can shed some light and help us plan an amazing first trip away with our little one. Thanks! Kara

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Kara. Corfu is great and I’m sure you’ll love it. Getting there is easy from Athens and there are many flights. There are also flights from Western Europe too. (Direct flights that don’t go through Athens, but they can be a little tricky to book from the U.S. and coordinate with your U.S. to Europe ticket as they’re with smaller budget airlines.) Finally, there are ferries from eastern Italy (Brindisi, Bari, and Venice) that do the overnight trip to Corfu. You could fly to Venice and then get a sleeper room and arrive at Corfu in the morning.

      In Corfu, my favorite place is Pelekas. It’s set up on a cliff above a great beach. Many of the hotels there have beautiful views of the coast. There’s a free shuttle bus from the town down to the beach which might sound like a bit of a hassle but is actually quite nice as you leave the beach behind at the end of the day and return to your hotel. Shower and clean up and then walk around the town looking for a nice place to eat. There’s lots of good Italian food around as Corfu gets lots of tourists from Italy. This would also save you the hassle of renting a car. The public buses are quite reliable in Corfu and cover a lot of very helpful routes.

      For hotels in Corfu you’ll find a good list here.

      Unfortunately, most of the hotels in Pelekas are quite small and are hard to book in advance. Probably best to book your first night or 2 in Corfu Town and then head out to Pelekas and book your hotel in person.

      September is the single best month to travel anywhere in Greece.

  86. Two Weeks in Greece in Summer

    Hi there,

    I’m planning a 2 week trip to Greece this summer. Could you suggest a jumping off point? I’d like to stay on 2 islands perhaps and soft sandy beaches with clean sea are essential for our 2 little girls. I am going round in circles reading so much that I am confused and don’t know where to start! I really would love to hire a little motor boat for exploring in and snorkeling.

    Rebecca

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Rebecca. First off, don’t worry or stress. All the islands are great. You can almost just throw a dart at the map and choose the closest island and you’ll have a great trip. Not sure if you’re looking for an island you can fly directly to from Europe. These will typical be the bigger islands like Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, or Corfu. Crete is very big and takes some time to get around. Santorini is very busy and expensive and doesn’t have great beaches. So maybe not those to, but pretty much any other that you can fly directly to will be great. My top pick would probably be Naxos. Two other great islands: Paros and Antiparos. Both are close to Naxos and perfect for kids too. So between those 3 you can have a little island hopping and exploring. If you’re coming from Athens, Naxos and Paros are relatively short ferry rides from Piraeus. I hope that helps. Good luck.

  87. How to Get from Italy to Greece

    Hi David,
    We are 2 couples travelling from Italy to Greece. Which option do you suggest: ferry or flight as we will be going to Amsterdam from Greece. And is march a good month to travel to greece? Will we be able to swim on the beautiful greek islands? And if we take ferries from which city (Italy) to which city (Greece)? … PLS SUGGEST

    Nisha

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Ferries to Greece from Italy go from Bari, Brindisi, and Venice to Corfu. There is also an Ancona to Igoumenitsa route as well. Ferries from Bari, Venice, and Brindisi to Corfu run almost daily in July and August but will likely only be about once per week in March. It’s an overnight ferry and should probably be booked in advance. You could then fly from Corfu to Amsterdam or London. Unfortunately you will not be swimming in March in Greece. Late April is the absolute earliest to get into the water and it’s still quite chilly until late May. I hope that helps. Good luck.

      1. Nisha

        thks a lot david… U made it much easier

  88. Family Trip to Greece in Early April

    Dear David,
    We are a family of 5. We have 3 boys: 9, 6, 3. We are going to Greece in early April. Can you advise on the best island to stay at. We will be in Greece from April 3-9.

    Renee

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Renee. The thing about visiting in April is that the weather could still be coolish and you probably won’t be swimming. With that in mind I’d suggest Crete as it’s the farthest south and tends to get the warmest weather. There is also lots to do that isn’t beach-related: hikes, historical sites, very cool and fun cities to wander around. The great thing about that time of year is that there are few other tourists about. Hotel prices are cheaper, everything is less hurried. Even the locals tend to be friendlier. You could even stop in at Santorini on the way back to Athens as the same applies there. Cheaper prices and fewer tourists while much of what makes Santorini special isn’t the beaches and swimming but the views, cliffs, walks, and sunsets. If you decided against these islands (or other popular ones) and chose a smaller one (e.g. Folegandros or Milos) be aware that their tourist infrastructure might not be opened up yet for the summer. You’ll still be able to find somewhere to stay but be sure to arrive earlier in the day so the villagers can start phoning around town for you looking for a room. As well, ferries don’t run as often in the off-season so be sure to check the schedule once you arrive at an island for when the best departure is for you so you’re not surprised on your final day to find out that there isn’t a ferry back to Athens for another 2 days.

      Good luck.

  89. Greece during Easter

    Taking kids and grandkids to Greece. We are Greek Orthodox and I would love to be there for Easter weekend and then do the remainder of our 2 week visit after that, but we would be arriving on Good Friday. I fear museums etc will be closed on Good Fri and Holy Saturday. Otherwise we will go in September or early October. What do you suggest?

    Artemis

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Artemis. I believe most museums (like the National Archeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum) will be closed on Easter Sunday but open on Friday and Saturday.

  90. Greece in May and June

    Hi there
    I have always wanted to explore the Greek islands. We have a lovely baby girl who is now 5 months old. Would like to explore the Greek islands for history, culture, sightseeing, and great food. We are thinking May/June, she will be 8/9 months. Any suggestion where we should go for 7-10day holiday. Would like to see a few islands but also need to make sure we are not rushing from one place to the next. Also help on how to find accommodation that will suit a baby would be great. Thanks.
    Sonya

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Sonya. First off, I would take a travel crib like this one. They really help out, give you a safe place to put your baby/toddler while you’re in the hotel room and need a few minutes to do some things. Also a great place for them to sleep of course. If you have a baby crib you also don’t need to worry so much about finding the perfect hotel with the right amenities. Any will pretty much do the job.

      hotelscombined.com is simply awesome at finding good hotel deals. It should be your first stop for researching where to stay. Good luck.

      1. Sonya

        Hi David
        thanks so much for the tip about the travel cot and the website for hotel deals. We are thinking of going from 26th May -11/12th June. Our baby daughter will be 8/9 months, we are travelling from the UK. Would like to explore the Greek islands for history, culture, sight seeing and the food. Any suggestion where we should go for 7-10day holiday. Would like to see a few islands but also need to make sure we are not rushing from one place to the next. if there two or three places you would recommend that would be great. would you suggest to stick to the greek islands or is it worth going to Athens for a day?
        thanks
        Sonya

        1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

          Athens is great. But is it worth the 5 or 6 hour ferry ride just for one day? – probably not. All the Greek islands are great in their own way so I’d look for air tickets that went directly to one island and then flew home from a different nearby island. That way you’ll avoid a long ferry ride and not have to back track. So for example, look for a cheap budget ticket to Mykonos, spend a few days there, then Naxos or Paros, and then fly home from Santorini. Those are all short ferry rides from one island to the next. There are lots of variations on this same idea. Fly into Rhodes, fly home from Samos or Lesvos. Fly into Corfu, fly home from Kefalonia or Zante. Good luck.

  91. Greek Myths for Kids

    How about visiting the Sporades with an 8 and 10 year old? We plan to stay on Skopelos 3 nights and visit close by islands by boat. The boys are Greek myth buffs. Any info would be helpful. Thanks, Artemis.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Artemis. Skopelos and Skiathos are great destinations but perhaps a little light on Greek Myth attractions. For history and myth, I’d recommend Crete, Rhodes, and Delos (near Mykonos) and some other islands in the Cyclades. Athens, as well, obviously has lots of history. Good luck.

  92. Greece with My Daughters

    I have heard that it is a bad time to bring my daughter to Greece…do you find this to be true? are there areas you suggest we avoid? This will be my first time traveling to Greece and my daughters first time abroad…what do you think about a guided trip? My main concern is transportatin and thought a guided trip will be educational and alleviate my transportation concern.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Greece is very safe and besides a few spots in Athens (that you’d probably never end up in) there are very few no-go areas. Guided tours are an option. GAdventures is highly recommended. Take a look here: Greece Tours.
      Figuring out the ferries can be a small challenge – but that’s half the fun. I hope that helps.

  93. 4 Weeks in Greece

    Hello,
    First thank you for all the information. I have four weeks to spend in Greece, traveling with two 7 year olds, a 1 1/2 and a two month old. My husband and I were thinking Athens, Creta and Naxos (After reading many posts, Santorini may not be a wise idea) . My questions are: how many days would you recommend in each place? or are we better staying put in only one Island? and which? (to avoid long ferry from Crete to Naxos).
    Thank you in advance.

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      With that much time I would definitely island hop a bit. I think I would do something like 2 .5 weeks in Crete, 1 week in Naxos, and 3 or 4 nights in Athens at the end of your trip. But you could easily add another island too. Make it one near Naxos like Antiparos or Paros – or Serifos or Sifnos which are about half way back to Athens.

  94. Europe and Greece in December and January

    Hi there,

    I am planning a trip to Europe in December and January coming home to Australia via Greece. My challenge however, is that we have 4 children (ages when travelling will be 10,8,7,5) and are trying to stick to a budget!

    I know it’s not the warmest time of year and by the look of things Crete looks like the best option for hopefully some warm weather. We would hopefully get a ferry back to Athens via other Islands, maybe 1 or 2 night stopover? Though at this time of year I am not sure of the limitations in ferry and accommodation availability to do this.

    Also I’m just a little concerned about travelling with this many children, (this will be our first ever overseas trip) and whether it is difficult getting about and finding large enough hotel rooms/accommodation.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Naomi

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      You’re right. The weather will be coolish – maybe some rain, although bright sunny days around 15 degrees is certainly possible. You won’t be swimming and beaching though. The good news is that hotels (the ones that are still open) will be quite cheap and you should be able to snag any hotel’s biggest room – or perhaps take 2 rooms at a very good price. There is lots to see on Crete that isn’t beach related: hiking, sightseeing, historical sites, and some very cool cities and towns. In the winter months the local culture and people really come alive. It’s a great time to visit if you want to expose the kids to local life.

      The ferries don’t run as often during the off season but there will always be at least one ferry a day between Heraklion and Athens, and probably one a day from Rethymno and Hania to the Athens as well.

      Good luck.

  95. Fly or Ferry around Greece

    Hi there, we have flights booked into Athens on July 17 and leave from Athens on August 9 this year. The plan was to spend between 4-6 days/nights on the following islands, Rhodes, Crete and from what I have read here, Paros (centrally located to Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos). We will spend likely 1 or 2 days at each end of the trip in Athens to site see and make sure we are on the ground for the flight home. The plan being to spend most time wandering around Rhodes and Crete, probabably rent a car but from Paros, take different day trips to the nearby island.

    A couple of thoughts/questions, better to fly to Rhodes and then ferry back to Athens via Crete and then Paros? Or ferry Paros-Crete-Rhodes and then fly back to Athens? Or is there a better way to move around between these points. We had entertained Corfu but there does not appear to be an easy way to include this is in the plan.

    Thanks
    Ross

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      I doubt it makes much difference but I’d probably fly out to Rhodes as you have more ferry options to work your way back to Athens than you have flight options. So get the flight out of the way and then allow yourself some flexibility with your route back to Athens and you should be fine. Have fun!

      1. Ross

        Thanks for all the information, we are now in the final stages or trip planning, have decided to ferry overnight to Rhodes, fly from there to Heraklion, ferry up to Santorini, ferry on to Mykonos and then ferry back to Athens. We will spend our last night in Athens and then fly home the next day, does it really matter what port we come back to Rafina/Piraeus? Are both served well to get back to the city, or would you recommend one over the other. It appears that the ferry times and cost are very similar, the Rafina travel time from Mykonos is roughly an hour shorter. Thoughts.

        1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

          It’s easier to get into central Athens from Piraeus than from Rafina. But if you don’t want to go through Athens you can get directly from Rafina to Athens airport without going into the city. It’s about 40 minutes by bus from Rafina to the airport. There are many hotels and restaurants in Rafina so you needn’t stay out at the airport. (And Rafina is a nice little port – much nicer than Piraeus.)

          For hotels look here: Hotels in Rafina.

          Good luck.

  96. Summer Trip to Greece

    David, my wife and I are traveling to Greece this summer with our two daughters (11&9). Although we’ve both been to Greece several times, this will be our first trip together and, obviously, with our girls. Our trip will begin with the obligatory visiting of relatives at our respective horios outside of Sparta (fortunately we both hail from the same region) and I’ve allocated three days in Athens on the back end, one of which will be a day trip to Aegina. Just prior to finishing up in Athens, we are spending three days in Santorini, during the Panagia feast day, with friends who have a summer home there. That leaves me four open days leading up to Santorini, which is the basis of my question.

    I’m debating spending those four days in either Rhodos, Crete or Naxos. Rhodos is my absolute favorite place in Greece and I’d love to go back there with my family. Problem is, from what I’ve seen, it is a hassle getting from there to Santorini. I do not want to fly back to Athens and then back out to Santorini, nor do I want to spend 10 hours on a ferry. If there is a quicker way from Rhodos to Santorini please let me know.

    My next option is a five star resort hotel on a beach in Aghios Nikolaos, Crete. I’ve been to Crete before, having stayed in that area and also in Heraklion, where I visited the many historical and archeological sites. Truth is, I’m not overly interested in devoting any of those four days to seeing them again and I think my kids are still too young to appreciate them, anyway. Also, I’m not looking to rent a car and drive to Chania and back, so we’re basically looking at staying around Aghios Nikolaos, hitting some beaches during the day and heading into town at night. I’ve heard nearby Elounda beach is beautiful. Are there any other beaches, activities or places to see in that area that you’d recommend?

    Finally, there is Naxos, a place I’ve never been, but which I’ve read great things about. You seem to be very high on the island so I’d like to hear your take about spending the four days there. Ultimately, we’d like to stay at a nice resort, spend our days near the water (water sports and activities would be great too) and spend our evenings in nice Greek towns, dining, shopping and soaking in the experience of being in Greece. Also, are there direct flights to Naxos from Athens (didn’t see any on Expedia)? If not, how long is the ferry ride (the itinerary I saw from Pireas was 7 hours)?

    I’d like to hear your opinion as well as any other recommendations. Thank you.

    (BTW … is there daily ferry service back and forth from Santorini to Folegandros. I hear it’s a beautiful island and wouldn’t mind taking a day trip there).

    Peter

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Peter. I love Naxos, so would recommend that. I’m not so big on resorts though. The hotels in the Hora and out towards Agios Georgios beach are great – and pretty reasonably priced. It’s a short walk from the beach into town. Lots of restaurants and nightlife. It’s a very fun atmosphere.

      Skyexpress offers flights around the islands. Their schedule changes fairly often and some years there is a Santorini to Rhodes flight and a Crete to Rhodes flight. Aegean Air also has flights from Athens to many islands. Maybe some of these could help you get around and avoid a longer ferry ride. Ferry schedules come out one month prior so it can be hard to plan but there is alway a Rhodes to Crete and Rhodes to Santorini ferry a couple of times a week.

      A highspeed ferry will take 4+ hours from Piraeus to Naxos.

      Good luck.

      1. Peter

        Thanks for the response, David. After doing some more research, I’m leaning towards a different approach. Rather than spending four days on one end of Crete, I’m now thinking about knocking out the day trip to Aegina on the back end and eliminating one of the days in Sparta on the front end and spending 3 days a piece at Mykonos and Naxos. The Rafina-Mykonos-Naxos-Santorini-Piraeus route seems pretty time efficient (although I’ll probably fly back to Athens from Santorini). I’ll save Rhodos and Crete for the next trip, when the girls are a bit older and hopefully we’ll have more time.

        What are your thoughts on Mykonos for a family? Also, in the event I only have 5 days to play with, should I knock a day off of Mykonos or Naxos? I’m pretty sure you’ll say Mykonos, so, if that were the case, can you give me some must see spots on the island (beaches, sunsets, restaurants, shopping etc..).

        As for the ferry schedules. I’ve seen some on line for all of these ports but they seem kind of limited. Two ferries a day from Rafina to Mykonos, one a day between the other islands. Is that the normal schedule in August or do they add more boats. Also, how far in advance do I need to book these ferries for mid-August? Flexibility wise, it would be better if I didn’t have to prebook at all, however, I don’t want to risk not being able to move on when I want to.

        Finally, is Folegandros worth a day trip from Santorini? Do they have round trip daily ferry service back and forth? Only thing I saw was a PM ferry out of Santorini with a next day AM return. That doesn’t work for me.

        Again, thanks for your input.

        1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

          Actually I think Mykonos would be great for just a night or two for a family. Your girls would probably love the shopping and the main Hora is a lot of fun to walk around through the day or at night. Its winding cobblestoned streets are the stuff of dreams. Very cool. I love Folegandros, but probably not for a day trip. It’s more of a place where you settle in and relax for a few days. But for only a few hours you’d probably get bored and think, “what’s the point?”

  97. Greece in July with 2 Teens

    David, my husband and i along with our 2 teens (15 and 16) are thinking about a trip to Greece in July. We have been looking at Greek island cruises as a good way to see the islands. After reading your blog, it seems most just travel around on their own. I am wondering if you have any feedback on pros and cons of this? Also, with all of the issues in Greece, is there arise of a ferry strike? We ran into a train strike last year in Italy.

    Diane

    1. DavidDavid The Guide to Greece

      Hi Diane. Yes, island hopping without a cruise is the way to go. With a cruise you get dropped off in the middle of day with all the other hordes of tourists and have a few hours (or half a day at most) to walk around before getting back on the ship. The small towns have a feeling of returning to normal when the big ships leave – and you don’t get to see that “normal” when you’ve already departed. Eating late night meals and walking around the town are all integral parts of a Greek trip so you should stay at least a few nights in a hotel and get that “feel” of an island. Plus, the ferries are fun to get on and off, it’s sort of chaotic when they pull in and you only have a few minutes to jump on – your kids will love it.

      And for whatever reason, ferry strikes are rare – or at least I’ve never heard of one.

      I hope that helps. Greece is awesome. Have a great trip.

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