So, you certainly know that Greece will be your next family holiday destination. It is not a question then of when you should visit (as Greece, being Greece, is perfect all year round) but what part of the country. After all, Greece has around 1,200 to 6,000 islands strewn across the Aegean and Ionian Seas. And although only between 166 and 227 are inhabited, each offers something unique.
We have rounded up five of the best places in Greece for families to help you plan your ho. Whether you are traveling with tots, tweens, or teens, these fantastic destinations have something to offer to everyone – be it adventure, culture, or nature.
Kos is a captivating destination in its own right. Not because it is the birthplace of Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, but because it hosts a fair share of historic sites, weather-beaten beaches, and colorful culture.
Explore the Kos Archeological Museum and the Asklepion, the ruins of an ancient hospital. Go to Nerantzia Castle, built between 1380-1514, which provides striking views of the harbor below.
Stroll along vineyards and herb and fruit-tree gardens at the Ancient House Hippocrates Garden in Mastichari. See the last working windmill on the island in the quiet town of Antimachia, look for peacocks at the Plaka forest, and discover how locals manufacture honey at the Melissa Honey factory.
Cool off from the heat at the pools of Kos’ waterparks, Aquatica and Lido. Or go to Bros Therma to soak in thermal springs. If it’s turquoise blue waters you want, visit the island’s renowned child-friendly beaches – Paradise Beach, Agios Stefanos Beach, and Tigaki Beach.
Dubbed the Ibiza of Greece, the lively island of Mykonos is known for its dynamic nightlife. But the island teems with exciting activities that cater to all ages.
Learn how to prepare well-loved Greek dishes with the help of a local chef in a family cooking lesson. Visit an organic farm, where you can harvest vegetables, take care of livestock, discover traditional farming methods.
If you love the great outdoors, join a guided family walking tour through the scenic countryside, lush fruit orchards, and estates. Here, you can observe authentic Mykonos village life and see animals grazing in meadows in the backdrop of an incredible landscape.
You can also tour the island on a bicycle, passing grassy hills, vineyards, and the gorgeous coastline.
In the old Mykonos town, drop by the Archeological Museum to see artifacts from thousands of years ago. Explore Little Venice, and watch the sunset at the windmills. Combine your walking tour with food stops.
The island has countless beautiful beaches – from the quiet Agios Ioannis to the alluring Kalo Livadi to the lively Platys Gialos and the calm Agrari Beach.
Watersports are available on almost every beach to satisfy your craving for an adrenalin rush. But secluded spots are also common, so you will never lack some peaceful alone time. For a more exclusive and relaxing vacation, stay in one of the many large Mykonos villas available. Mykonos has a wide range of lovely villas for families of all sizes.
Corfu is one of the most exquisite islands in Greece – and it’s perfect for families, too. Although it’s a favorite of many tourists and holidaymakers, it retained its rustic and laid-back vibe.
Start your exploration in the UNESCO-listed old Corfu Town and get lost in a maze of narrow cobblestone alleys and pastel-colored buildings. You will not miss the impressive Old Fortress sitting on a rocky promontory overlooking the town, the elaborate New Fortress, or the massive Esplanade.
Head to the Imperial Palace of Achilleion to look for the statue of the Greek hero Achilles in the lovely palace gardens. Walk to the town’s old quarter of Kanoni and visit the small church of Panagia Vlacherna, then take a five-minute boat ride to the iconic Mouse Island.
Corfu is home to a host of picture-perfect villages scattered inland and along the coastline. You can explore these on a bicycle, on horseback, or, if you are avid hikers, on foot.
Hiking with the family is a slightly more unusual family getaway experience but work for some. If you want to escape the heat after spending hours outdoors, visit the famous Aqualand water park in Agios Ioannis or the Hydropolis water park in Acharavi.
Experience a unique marine life excursion in a glass-bottomed boat cruise and see the island’s sea life in their natural habitat. For more wildlife, visit the Corfu Aquarium, which also houses lizards, snakes, and iguanas.
Are you looking for a family resort that offers child-friendly facilities, beachside bars, chic restaurants, and water sports? Spend time in Paleokastritsa, the island’s most famous beach, popular for its warm and tropical feel. You can also check out Agios Gordis, Acharavi, Issos, Glyfada, and Pelekas.
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the most diverse. It is also the sunniest, as it has the longest summers. When in Crete, the first thing you would notice is the enthralling coastline and the breathtaking beaches.
Think crystal-clear waters, glimmering soft sand, balmy Mediterranean breeze. The island has some of the safest and child-friendly beaches, too, with calm, warm, shallow waters.
Elafonisi beach, which features unique dusky pink sand contrasted against turquoise blue waters, is a must-see. If you have very young children, check out Matala, Agia Pelagia, and Makrigialos.
Hit the bike trails across rustic villages and picturesque countryside in a guided bicycle tour. Hike the Samaria Gorge, the longest in Europe. The walk could take four to eight hours. But, if you get lucky, you can catch a ride on one of the donkeys that roam the hiking trail looking for tired travelers.
Step back in time at Dinosauria Park, a sculpture park that houses moving model dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
Explore the archeological site in Knossos and the Knossos Palace, famous for its connection to the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, and Daedalus and Icarus. Descend the Dikteon Cave in East Crete and discover surreal stalactites and stalagmites, as well as rare fauna, including the Mediterranean long-eared bats.
Your children will enjoy the pools at Limnoupolis Water Park in Chania.
If you have older kids, head to Water City in Anopolis for more thrilling slides. After an entire day of activity, go home to a place where you can relax in comfort and luxury. Be sure to stay in one of Crete’s family size villas, for that home-away-from-home ambiance.
In Rhodes, castles are the real show stoppers. There are beautiful beaches everywhere, don’t get us wrong. But the castles are among the most impressive and best-preserved in the entire country and the continent.
The first stop is the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, an imposing citadel dominating the old town and the harbor.
Visit Monolithos Castle, a 15th-century fortress sitting on a 100-meter cliff towering over a rugged coastline with views of the Aegean Sea. Don’t miss the charming village of Asklipio for its Byzantine architecture, the Church of the Dormition – a stone cathedral that dates back to 1060 – and the 13th-century fortress built by the Knights of Saint John.
If you’ve had your fill of castles, see the windmills of Madraki, go to the Rhodes Museum for miniature car displays, marvel at millions of colorful butterflies at the Valley of Butterflies, get refreshed at the Rodini Park with its forests, gardens, fountains, and ancient ruins.
Make sure the kids use up all their pent-up energy with a splash at the Faliraki Water Park. And don’t miss the beaches. Among the best are Lindos Beach, Tsambika Beach, and Anthony Quinn Bay.