Best of family-friendly beaches in Crete: an interview with an expert
Which beaches are a ‘must’ visit for families on holiday in Crete? Well, we have the answer to that question as we interviewed the expert, Mr Roniotis, the founder of Cretanbeaches.com which is the only website devoted to Cretan beaches.
Kids Love Greece: Briefly, how would you describe the island as a family travel destination?
Mr. Roniotis: Crete is the ideal destination for a family vacation as there are many things to do with kids. Crete is a paradise for both children and adults alike, and let’s face it, at the end of the day we are all children at heart!
Families can enjoy the nature, history, and cultural richness of the island and at the same time experience services of the highest quality.
Kids Love Greece: What are the reasons that families choose Crete as a travel destination?
Mr. Roniotis: Surely the combination of its natural beauty, the excellent climate, and the local cuisine make the island a perfect choice, with or without children.
In addition, there are large hotels with organized children’s programs, water parks, playgrounds, etc., and all this helps make life easier for parents. There is also a Natural History Museum, Botanical Park & Gardens, and the CretAquarium as well as agro-tourism activities where children can learn about cheese-making, olive oil production, beekeeping, or perhaps ceramics, etc.
For the nature lovers, you could even camp under the stars without any fear as there are no dangerous animals such as bears or wolves, and none of the snakes are poisonous.
There are also plenty of activities that both children and parents can participate in; horseback riding lessons, snorkeling and diving, climbing, canoeing, windsurfing, and sailing, to name a few.
The constant happy disposition of the Cretan people is also another excellent reason to choose Crete. Everywhere you go you notice genuine smiles and the relaxed mood of the locals. Cretan people genuinely enjoy life and the beauty of this sunny paradise. Life in the countryside is very simple and relaxed.
Kids Love Greece: What do you think are the key features that qualify a beach to be considered “kid-friendly/ family-friendly“?
Mr. Roniotis: It needs to be shallow, calm, without waves, and have a lifeguard. Sandy beaches are preferred, or at least without stones so that children can run around freely. In case there aren’t umbrellas there must be natural shade (trees, caves, cliffs), or else you need to take your own umbrella.
Finally, it’s good to have some basic infrastructure nearby, such as restaurants or coffee shops. All those features are typically found on Blue Flag beaches in Crete and we are fortunate enough to have many such beaches!
Kids Love Greece: Based on your experience, which are the most child-friendly beaches in Crete?
Kids Love Greece: Is there a part in Crete which you think is more child-friendly in terms of beaches than another?
Mr. Roniotis: There is no argument that there are fantastic family beaches on the north and south coast. However, my favorite part of the island in terms of real child-friendly beaches in the Gulf of Mirabello, namely most of the beaches near Agios Nikolaos. There the infrastructure is excellent.
Another very good alternative is Plakias as the beaches there are shallow and safe, but, it can be windy at times. In terms of safety, it is all subject to weather conditions, so be careful.
Kids Love Greece: In your book ‘Blue Crete’ you have also included gorges of Crete. Are there any gorges which you would recommend to families with children?
Mr. Roniotis: Crete has hundreds of gorges that one can visit. If children are older than 12 they could even walk the famous Samaria Gorge. Smaller children could walk the verdant Kounaviano Gorge, an easy walk along a shaded path and adjacent ponds.
Another easy route for children the Imbros Gorge near Sfakia, or Millon in Rethymno where there is also a clear path. The choice is endless but age and stamina levels should be taken into account before you decide which walk to undertake.
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