The Greek island of Santorini is a popular destination for families visiting Greece for the first time. When is the best time to visit Santorini though? Let’s find out!
When to visit Santorini?
For first time visitors to Greece, their vacation would not be complete without spending at least some time in Santorini. And who can blame them?! Those pictures of blue domed churches and whitewashed buildings backed up by panoramic views are destined to give anyone wanderlust!
As a popular vacation destination in Greece though, some months are better than others when it comes to visiting. Here’s a few inside tips for you:
#1 Avoid August if you can
We fully understand that this can be difficult, especially with the kids school holidays! However, if you can avoid August in Santorini we strongly believe you’ll have a much better experience.
The fact is, that Santorini has become a little bit of a victim of its own success. This means that August is by far the busiest month of the year on the island.
In August, you can expect the largest amounts of other holidaymakers, raised prices, and the very hottest temperatures.
The team at Kids Love Greece want you to have the best experience when visiting Santorini with your family, so if at all possible, skip August and visit at another time of year.
#2 How about late Autumn?
Unlike many of the other Greek islands whose tourist industry seems to close in October, the season in Santorini carries on year through. As such, we’d recommend the mid to late Fall as the best time to visit Santorini for families.
At this time of year, the tourist numbers drop, its a little easier to find family accommodation in Santorini, and the temperatures are a lot more tolerable!
One of the bonuses of visiting in Autumn, is that the waters might (we said might only!) still be warm enough to swim in, especially if you are visiting Santorini from a colder country.
Autumn is our preferred season for family vacations in Santorini.
#3 Visit in Spring
Spring is the second best season for families to visit Santorini. In the same way as Autumn, the tourist numbers are a little lower, it’s easy to find places to stay, and the people who live on the island seem to be in a happier mood (as things haven’t gone too busy yet!).
The only negative about Santorini in spring, is that the waters may not be warm enough to swim in yet. So, if your dream family vacation to Santorini includes swimming during a sailing trip around the island, this may not be the best season for you.
#4 Visit in Winter
This is our ‘outside the box’ suggestion for families visiting Santorini. We’ll be the first to admit this is a bit of a risk when it comes to nice weather, but the counterbalance is that this is the least expensive time of year to visit.
The lack of tourist crowds may appeal to families who want to take photos without any other tourists in the way, and it’s the easiest time of year to find accommodation.
The downside of visiting Santorini in winter? We already mentioned the weather, but also keep in mind that not all the restaurants and other services will be open either. Still, for an adventurous family looking for a short 2 day break from Athens, visiting Santorini in the winter might be a good option.
If you would like help planning your next family vacation to Santorini and Greece, contact the Kids Love Greece team today. We’d love to assist you in creating an enjoyable and memorable family experience in Greece!
Many visitors are unaware that Greece has some of the most beautiful castles in the world. Here’s some of the best castles in Greece you can visit during your next Greek family vacation.
Castles in Greece
Most visitors to Greece plan their trips around the great beaches and incredible archaeological wonders the country has to offer. Few realise however, that Greece also has dozens of castles constructed during the Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman periods of rule.
It’s impossible to list them all, but these are some of the most outstanding. If you are interested in planning a road trip based on the castles in Greece, contact the Kids Love Greece team as we’d love to help!
Methoni Castle (Peloponnese)
This medieval castle in the Peloponnese region of Greece was built by the Venetians, and paired with nearby Koroni Castle is known as one of the Eyes of Venice.
We love Methoni castle for the sheer size, and also the very unique Bourtzi section. It looks like something from the Lord of the Rings!
Nafplion is well known as one of the prettiest towns in Greece, and it is also home to a series of fortifications and castles. You can climb the steps to the top of Palamidi, or visit the Bourtzi on a water taxi from the harbour.
The fortifications here are another reminder of the Venetian period of the Peloponnese.
The Greek island of Rhodes seems to have castles and fortifications everywhere! If your family has never seen a castle before, prepare to be amazed by your time here!
The north-west of Greece is a popular destination for people who want to see some of the unique natural beauty and traditional villages for which it is well known. When in the area, a day spent in Ioannina is highly recommended.
The old town section of Ioannina is contained within the walls of a much larger fortification. Within, there are several areas which should be visited. These include commanding views out over the lake at Ioannina, and also two mosques complete with minarets – something of a rarity on Greece!
Fortress of Rethymnon
The Greek island of Crete has some beautiful castles, and the fortress of Rethymnon deserves its place among the best of them. Originally built by the Venetians, and adapted by the Ottomans, it has a distinct star shape.
The Fortezza, as it is known, is an interesting place to explore, and the views from the ramparts are lovely. If this is your first time in Crete and your kids have never seen a real medieval castle before, this fortress is a must-see! If you are interested in visiting the fortress, you might also want to check out these other things to do in Rethymnon.
Would you like to take your Greek vacation planning a step further? Take a look at our Design Your Own Trip feature, and we can help tailor your perfect family vacation in Greece!
The town of Rethymnon in Crete is one of the most beautiful in all of Greece. Here’s some ideas of the best things to do near Rethymnon when visiting.
Rethymnon in Crete
Positioned in between Chania and Heraklion, Rethymnon is a beautiful town on the coast of Crete. With a stunning old town section, and centuries of history, it’s a must-see when visiting the Greek island of Crete.
Whether you plan to stay for a night or two, or drop by on a road trip around Crete, there are plenty of things to do in Rethymnon. Here are just a few of our top suggestions.
This 16th century Venetian citadel is nearby to the harbour over on the west side. It has a unique star shape with three gates, and the views from the ramparts are lovely. If your kids have never visited a castle before, they will love the Fortezzo!
Venetian Harbour of Rethymnon
The harbour area is a lovely place to take a walk, with many tavernas placed on the waterfront. The lighthouse is a natural photo opportunity, and if your kids love Instagram as much as ours, this will be a good time to take some pictures!
A fountain built by the Venetian rulers of the 1600s dispenses water from three Lion’s heads carved from stone. The fountain is named after the Venetian Governor who commissioned it to be built.
The Folk Museum
It doesn’t take too long to visit the Folk Museum in Rethymnon, and your kids might appreciate some of the craft-work that has gone into the pieces here.
Walk through the alleyways
The real joy of visiting Rethymnon is taken from a leisurely stroll through the alleyways. Each turn reveals something new, whether it’s a cafe, Venetian home with colourful flowers, old mosque, or elaborate gate such as the Guora gate.
Many of the buildings are protected, and this means that the Venetian and Ottoman architecture still remains preserved. Even though it’s fair to say that Rethymnon is no stranger to tourists, it still feels like stepping back in time a little.
Tours of Rethymnon
Would you prefer to take an organized tour of Rethymnon? We’ve got two great suggestion you might be interested in.
The first, is a family walking tour of historical Rethymnon. Our local expert guide will go into more detail about the main places in the city, linking together local stories and personal history. Not only will you learn about the past, but you’ll also get an insight into contemporary life in Rethymnon.
Are you a family of foodies? In which case our Rethymnon gourmet family food tour may be more appealing. We’ll introduce you to the cuisine of the area, where you’ll get the chance to sample traditional dishes, taste the best local produce in Crete, and talk to people who make food their life!
The 2018 Athens Marathon takes place on November 11th. Whether you’re in Athens to race or watch, here’s all you need to know about the Athens 2018 Marathon.
The Athens 2018 Marathon
Over the next few days, people from all over the world will start arriving in Athens for the 36th Authentic Athens Marathon. Each year, thousands of people race along this historic route, following in the footsteps of the legendary runner Pheidippides.
The race starts at the town of Marathon itself, and then heads in to Athens and the finish line at the amazing Panathenaic Stadium. This event is one that Athenians and visitors to Athens alike enjoy, as people celebrate the dedication and ability of all the competitors involved.
Who can enter the Athens Marathon?
Although it will be too late to enter this year’s marathon, you might be interested to know how to enter the next one. This way, you have a whole year to prepare!
Not everyone wants to run a race though. Most of us are more than happy to watch other people run by and enjoy the atmosphere!
If you are visiting Athens over the period of the Marathon, there are several ways you can enjoy it as a spectator. One idea is to cheer of the runners as they start from Marathon, or stand at the side of the road along the route encouraging them as they race by.
Perhaps the best idea though, is to wait for the runners to arrive in the Panathenaic Stadium in the heart of Athens. Seeing people reach the finish line with 79,999 other people spectating is an experience in itself!
Where to stay in Athens for the Marathon
Whilst Athens has plenty of accommodation to choose from, large events such as the Authentic Marathon may have an impact of the number of hotel rooms available.
If you are planning to visit Athens for this year’s Marathon, contact the Kids Love Greece team, and we can find you a great hotel that is comfortable for you and your family and has good connections to the event.
If you are planning to visit Athens for the 2019 Marathon, it pays to plan ahead, and again our team can help you.
Things to do in Athens
There are of course plenty of other things to see and do in Athens for you and your family. During a visit you should definitely make time to see the Acropolis, take a walk around Plaka, and visit the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion for the sunset.
We have a number of activities in Athens designed specifically for families, and one of these might be of interest to you:
Families looking for a Greek island that has some of the best beaches in Greece should definitely consider visiting Milos. Here’s 5 of the best beaches in Milos you can visit when there.
With its almost lunar surface like landscape, Sarakiniko Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Milos. The white volcanic rock is very unusual, and if your kids are part of the Instagram generation, they are going to love spending some time here!
Whilst incredibly photogenic, Sarakiniko can get hot and crowded. If you want to visit Sarakiniko beach with your family, we would suggest making it in the early morning and leaving before lunch time.
Shade is at a premium here, so you might want to invest in your own sun umbrella (available in local shops) and be inventive when it comes to putting it up!
This beach has the most unusual setting on Milos island, as it is backed by an old sulphur mine! You can reach Thiorichia Beach by boat or by 4 wheel drive, and it has a remote and almost post-apocalyptic feel to it.
The beach itself is a short stretch of sand, and not organised. So, if you make the journey to Thiorichia Beach be sure to bring your own shade and water. Kids Love Greece offer a 4 wheel drive tour of Milos which includes a stop off at Thiorichia Beach. Contact our team for more information on how to book!
Agia Kyriaki Beach
Although perhaps as not famous as the other beaches in Milos, Agia Kyriaki Beach is actually one of the most family friendly beaches on the island.
Agia Kyriaki Beach is relatively quiet, has shallow waters, and there is also some shade with nearby trees, although you’d need to get there early during the busy months of summer. There is also a taverna nearby which offers food and drinks as well as hires beds and umbrellas at the front.
The Blue Flag awarded Provatas Beach is a very organised beach with plenty of shade and beds for hire. There is also a luxury 4 star hotel right nearby, and many people choose to stay here when visiting Milos on vacation.
We think that the beach would get perhaps a little too busy during the summer months, but if you choose to stay in the hotel during your vacation, it will be right on your doorstep.
Last, but certainly not least, is Kleftiko Beach in Milos. Technically speaking, this isn’t really a beach but more of a bay as it’s only accessible by boat. However, it is so stunning you simply have to visit Kleftiko Beach during your time in Milos.
We’d suggest taking a boat tour around Milos in order to see Kleftiko and it’s amazing rocks. You’ll enjoy the sailing trip around the island, and have plenty of time to swim in the crystal blue waters of the bay.
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