The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Greece with Kids
All Rhodes lead to family fun with our guide to Greece with kids
Don’t worry, it’s not all ancient history. And hey, maybe your kids are really into that cultural and historical stuff, in which case the likes of Athens and Thessaloniki make for fascinating destinations. More universal is the desire to build sandcastles and swim in the sea, and there is a seemingly infinite menu of resort towns and islands served up by Greece. You’ll probably want to take a trip around the islands to make the most of the sandy strands that wrap around them. You’ll get a great range of international and Greek food, with seafood a main staple in the family-friendly restaurants - ask before smashing all the plates, will you? Then, island-hopping on ferries is a memorable experience in itself, while tours of the islands of Rhodes, Crete, and Delos allow your little ones to learn about a rich heritage while sunning up and swimming - that's what we call a win win. It’s a big place, so we’ve narrowed it down to a few major kid-friendly destinations, with our expert brains. Here at Plum Guide, we are the travel experts after all, and love nothing more than making your life as easy as possible. So read on for our ultimate guide to enjoying Greece with kids.
Unwind in Crete
A view of a narrow channel of blue sea by a small beach between two large rocks in Crete, Greece
Head to one of the most well-known islands in the world - Crete. Here, you’ll get all the picturesque beaches you’ll find on the other islands, but the summer goes on for even longer due to its southern location. So no more worries about those blasted school holidays (can we say blasted?). Embark on a laborious hike, with tempers flaring among your little ones and your partner, through the Imbros Gorge. Now, there’s a family holiday. Seriously, you’ve gotta see this scenic valley, so just get it out the way on Day 1. While you’re at it, head into the Rethymnon Old Town and grab something to eat at one of the family-friendly restaurants.
The kids will love the Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre, where they can talk to a blind turtle that is expected to live for a century. What a strange existence: imagine being a blind turtle for 100 years. It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it. OK, we’ll let you off - you’ve done the hard work. Time to unwind and swim in the warm, clear waters of the Balos Lagoon. Bring the little ones to the shallow pools of Elafonissi Beach, before taking a trip to such other sandy havens as Tersanas Beach, Kalyves Beach, and Marathi Beach.
Discover the culture of Athens
Amphitheatre at the Acropolis with a view over the city, Athens, Greece
We know, we’ll get back to the beaches and islands soon. But maybe your perfect trip to Greece with kids involves learning a bit of history, and Athens is the kind of place that’ll make an indelible impression on their little brains. Perhaps they’ll grow to be some sort of a student of the great poets - a holiday like this could be the difference between a future adult interested in Homer… and a child interested in Homer. (Doh). So, make sure to see some of the best attractions in Greece, such as the Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus - which is pretty darn majestic.
Actually, the Acropolis Museum has its own little bags for families, complete with kid guides and informative material. There’s an educational lab, as well as all sorts of family events put on year-round. Pick up some books, games, and toys from the gift shop. Become an ancient Athenian on the Greek Mythology Tour, which includes a picnic and a whole host of youthful imagination. Embark on a wander through the old-world district of Plaka, and point out the neoclassical façades to your kids’ yawning visages. They’ll probably love to get a glimpse of the Changing of the Guards ceremony in front of the Parliament at Syntagma, and to ride the Athens Happy Train.
Soak up the sun in Corfu
Street view of Corfu, Greece
Back to the islands, quick haste. Land on this so-called Emerald Isle and enjoy a picnic in the dense forests. The kids will love the animals at the Corfu Donkey Rescue, where they can walk and pet a donkey. Take your family for a ride on a glass-bottom boat, and point out the colourful aquatic creatures beneath you. Make up funny names for all the weird fish with your children. The island has almost 60 beaches, so you can’t really go wrong. Plus, it’s hot and sunny pretty much all the time in summer - don't forget the suncream. Enjoy the safe, shallow waters of Issos Beach with your little ones, finding a spot to call your own on the sand. You’ll find many, many more family-friendly stretches of sand too, such as Palaiokastritsa Beach, Agios Gordios Beach and the incredible Glyfada Beach.
Take a family trip to Rhodes
A view over the coastline with white buildings clustered on the side of a tall hill, Rhodes, Greece
Take a Rhodes-trip to an island that seems to have the best of both worlds. You’ve got the spectacular history of the UNESCO old-world town centre, with its medieval architecture and such treasures as the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights (we might start calling our offices that). The kids will also love the Farma of Rhodes, where they can pet the ostriches, camels, and kangaroos. The other world we were referencing was the world of sand and sea - the two main things to do in Greece, history and culture aside. Take a banana boat or jet ski among the water sports options on Faliraki Beach, or rush down the slides (well, better stand back and let your kids do it) at the Faliraki Water Park. Other beach treasures on Rhodes include Agathi and Tsampika., so there are plenty to choose from.
Cool off at the beach in Zakynthos
An aerial view of Navagio Beach with its famous shipwreck on the sand next to clear blue water, Zakynthos, Greece
Zakynthos is jam-packed with family-friendly activities for children of all ages to enjoy (yes, that includes you). With a remarkable array of soft, sandy beaches, you and the kids can splash around to your heart’s content - a snorkel will be much appreciated here. Set up shop at Gerakas Beach, Tsilivi Beach, or Dafni Beach, and explore the (shallow) depths of the Ionian. Oh, and don’t forget to pack the bucket and spade - it isn’t every day that the kids will be blessed with such luscious sand to play with. You can even spend a day at the famous Shipwreck Beach - in fact, you must.
Away from the beaches, head out to explore all that the island has to offer, with waterparks, caves, town squares, and even a turtle rescue centre for you to get stuck into. It’s also well worth visiting Turtle Island (another beach), with the hope of spotting some of the endangered species in their natural habitat. Spend time wandering around Zakynthos town and Dionysios Solomos Square, before grabbing a bite to eat in one of the many local restaurants - everyone will be catered for in these parts too, so don’t worry if the kids are slightly fussier than the average child.
Let the kids loose in Lefkada
Tables and chairs on the sand of a beach next to the sea in Lefkada, Greece
Similarly to Zakynthos, Lefkada is best known for its abundance of sandy strips, boasting an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beaches for the family to enjoy. The crystalline blue water of Kalamitsi Beach, Kavalikefta Beach, and Milos Beach will surely prove too paradisiacal to resist, while the uniqueness of Agiofili Beach will be the perfect answer for the back-to-school show and tell. It’s also well worth exploring the areas surrounding these pristine beaches, such as the towering mountain beside Afteli Beach or the captivating Papanikolis Cove that’s slightly further afield (you’ll need a boat for this one).
Speaking of boats, treat the kids to an unforgettable boat tour around the Mediterranean (maybe not the whole thing, though). Back on land, take a trip to the Karya Folklore Museum, or try your hand at some paragliding - perhaps you’ll even find your new calling. Alternatively, venture up to the Lefkada Monastery of Faneromeni for a slice of culture, all while enjoying sprawling views of the island below. We know kids aren’t renowned for their patience when it comes to excursions, but even they’ll be captivated by the unforgettable vistas - when they put their phones down for a minute, of course.
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