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Greek island for families

What is the best Greek island for families with young kids?

Greece has no shortage of islands to choose from – there’s over 6000 of them after all! But which ones are the best Greek islands for families with younger kids? Let’s take a look.

Choosing a family friendly Greek island

Everyone who visits Greece comments on how friendly the people are, and this is especially true of families. Kids are welcomed and treated well everywhere, and there is a real family-friendly side to Greek culture.

With that in mind, we have to point out that some Greek islands are more family-friendly than others, especially for those traveling with younger kids. This can be due to the infrastructure, beaches or any number of other reasons. Below, we’ve listed the most popular Greek islands people consider visiting when in Greece for the first time. Having visited them ourselves with our kids, and from experience in the travel industry, we’ve added our thoughts on whether they are suitable for families with younger kids.

Crete

Crete is the first on our list because it is a wonderful destination for family vacations with young kids. Due to its size and varied landscape, there is something to see and do for everyone. Here are just some reasons why we’re sure that Crete is perfect for families with young kids!

Accommodation

Crete has many excellent hotels and resorts, great for families. We recommend the Blue Palace Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, a 5-star luxury hotel for families to stay at in Crete. Located on the beautiful Elounda coastline, it offers breathtaking views, a private beach, infinity pools and a kids club. Crete also offers the largest selection of private luxury accommodation in Greece. There are numerous vacation villas in Crete suitable for families of all sizes. Contact our team for a wide selection of handpicked family accommodation.

Beaches

If you are looking for a safe sandy beach with shallow waters for your young kids to play at, Crete is the place to be. There is no argument that there are fantastic family beaches on the north and south coast. However, our favourite part of the island in terms of real child-friendly beaches is the Gulf of Mirabello, namely most of the beaches near Agios Nikolaos. Another very good alternative is Plakias as the beaches there are shallow and safe. In Chania, you can find the world-famous beaches of the Balos Lagoon, Elafonissi and Falasarna.

Things to do

Being, the largest island in Greece, the number of things to see and do in Crete are endless. Families with young kids will enjoy a sailing trip around the West coast or East coast of Crete exploring beautiful views and stimulating all senses.

Rural experiences are also popular in Crete. Young kids will also enjoy a Family visit to a traditional olive oil farm. Will parents learn more about the olive trees, olives and how and when the olives are harvested, kids will enjoy being in nature and running around.

During our Experience Cretan Food, Culture and Nature tour, kids get to see ducks and birds in the lake of Agia, climb on a 3000 years old olive tree and listen to interesting stories while exploring the countryside. Parents will love the exceptional olive oil and wine tasting during this tour, spend quality time with the kids and the spectacular Cretan landscape.

The Kids Love Greece Rural and Bygone Family Experience in West of Crete is suitable for families with children of all ages. This private tour is a great way to see parts of the island few other tourists know exists. The tour explores traditional Cretan villages, historic sites, medieval towns, and olive groves. You will get to taste locally made produce, bake our own bread, and visit an abandoned monastery. This Family Tour offers the perfect mix of food, culture and family activity. You and your family will spend a really memorable day in Crete!

Digging and searching is a great activity for young kids, they can experience that at our Be an archaeologist for a day: Excavation & Mosaic activity. Kids get to dig and play with the earth while discovering artefacts like a real archaeologist!

Food

If you’re looking to taste a slice of the good life, look no further than Crete. This food lover’s paradise is the perfect destination for your family to discover Greek cuisine. Good food is everywhere in Crete. Whether it’s a simple Dakos eaten at lunch in a mountain village or a seafood feast at a coastal taverna, the choices are endless. The quality of the food is second to none, and the prices are sometimes so low that you’ll think they added the bill up wrong in your favor! One thing’s for sure, you won’t go hungry on a family vacation in Crete!

Santorini

Santorini is a really unique island in terms of unique natural beauty. It is famous worldwide for its unique views, the volcano and the amazing sunset at Oia village.

Santorini is also one of the most visited Greek islands, drawing in people from all over the world who yearn to experience this dream island for themselves. As such, some times of year are a lot busier than others, and in our opinion, this takes some magic away from visiting. To fully appreciate Santorini, we recommend that you visit in the quieter months, especially with young kids.

Flickr ilker ender Red beach Santorini

Accommodation

Accommodation in Santorini can be challenging when it comes to families with young kids because some hotels do not accept kids (especially under 13 years old) and others are very restricted because of the geography of the island and their location. Obstacles for young kids can be lots of stairs to reach the restaurant or not very private balconies.

However, Santorini does offer high-end 5-star hotels and family villas where guests needs with young kids are catered for. It is important to book these well in advance (think of a year at least in advance). We have created a list of several kid friendly accommodations in Santorini. Contact the Kids Love Greece team through the online chat or via email for more details and booking the most suitable hotel for a vacation with young kids.

Beaches

The beaches on Santorini are different from other islands and some are not kid-friendly. This does not mean that you cannot visit Santorini with young kids. The beaches on the East coast of the island are safer, longer and more family-friendly than on the other sides of Santorini. The western part of the island is rocky where huge cliffs and deep waters make it almost impossible for kids to swim.

Things to do

If you would like to explore Santorini with young kids, we recommend our private tour Santorini Uncovered. Together with a local guide and comfortable private car, you will explore the island by driving to all the hotspots. There is also a picnic on the beach and an ice cream stop included in this tour. Because this is a private tour, families with young kids can take their time and customize their day to their preferences and needs of their kids. During this tour, parents can learn more about ancient times in Santorini, the local cuisine, the infamous pirate Barbarossa, and how pirates repeatedly raided Santorini and the neighbouring Aegean islands.

Santorini is great for sailing. But some of our clients with younger kids, express reservations about taking the kids on multiple day sailing trip. At Kids Love Greece we realize that it is a family vacation and everyone should have a great time.

For those people who want to experience sailing but also look for flexibility with young kids, we recommend a semi private one-day sailing tour. This is the perfect family-friendly sailing trip for young kids or for those who do not want to spend all their holiday on the boat. During this 5-hour sailing trip by spacious charter yacht, you will visit 3 hotspots around the island and spend quality time with your family at the same time. At the famous Red Beach, you will have time for snorkeling and swimming and after, you can enjoy a BBQ lunch that is prepared on board. There is also a stop at the White beach. Here you will have time for more swimming, snorkeling and relaxing.

Food

One of our favorite places in Mykonos is Sea Side. A concept of a gourmet restaurant, beach dining, a lounge bar, an oyster & champagne bar, a sushi bar and a VIP beach club located at the iconic Perivolos beach in Saint George. This gourmet restaurant offers Mediterranean flavours blend with creative funky culinary ‘remixes’ and the personal styles of the chefs. Its decoration is special and elegant.

At Sea Side you will have the chance to indulge various extraordinary delicacies while listening to delightful music.In the Lounge Bar you can enjoy fruity summer cocktails while watching the sunset against the beautiful Cycladic scenery. The beach in front of Sea Side is ideal for families with young kids, with clear and calm shallow waters. Whether you prefer to pamper yourself in the comfortable sunbeds or in the luxurious Cabanas (VIP included) with fluffy towels or you are up to for a swim, you will experience unforgettable family moments here. Sea Side has excellent, well-trained, and friendly staff. The vibe and environment at Sea Side are top-notch offering its visitors amazing moments of relaxation!

Mykonos

The Windmills of Mykonos

Cosmopolitan Mykonos is lovely and offers an amazing “Cycladic atmosphere”, really nice beaches and picturesque villages.

Accommodation

Like Santorini, dedicated kid-friendly resorts are few and far between, although the accommodation does not book up quite so much as Santorini. As a high-end destination, you can expect accommodation prices to be high especially in the summer season though. The Kids Love Greece team has handpicked a number of excellent family resorts in Mykonos as well as vacation villas. You can find these under the tab ‘hotels’ on our website.

Have a look at The Mykonos Grand Hotel and Resort – Luxury 5 Star Hotel, one of the best family hotels in Mykonos for a vacation with young kids. This hotel is situated right on the beach of Agios Ioannis and guests have direct access to the beach. The large rooms and suites are ideal for families, and provide relaxed luxury in stylish surroundings.

We also recommend The Mykonos Blu Grecotel Exclusive Resort. Ideally situated on Psarou beach, the hotel is a firm favourite with families visiting Mykonos, due to its excellent selection of bungalows, villas and apartments. Babysitting and childcare services are available by request, and the friendly, helpful staff are always on hand to be of assistance. The beautiful architecture combined with the setting is what really makes the hotel stand out from the crowd though.

Beaches

There are several beaches suitable for young kids in Mykonos, your choice all depends on your mood. For example, the family friendly Kalo Livadi beach, located on the southeastern shore of Mykonos. Alluring, inviting and with shimmering, crystal-clear turquoise waters, the golden sandy beach of Kalo Livadi offers an amazing view to the Aegean archipelago and Naxos Island. One of the longest and most popular beaches, where you can feel the immensity of the sea and the free-spirited wind in combination with excellent facilities and food.

In Panormos Beach are good restaurants and kids love the gigantic bean bags in the trendy beach club. We particularly like Agrari Beach because it offers a good mix of tourists and locals.  Agrari Beach is ideal for kids due to the calm waters, water sports, and the small playground. There is also a cafe and bar. Avoid the beaches on the Northside of the island can get windy and rough in July and August.

Things to do

Young kids will love visiting a farm in Mykonos. Our Family Visit Animal Organic Farm excursion is the perfect interactive activity for your kids to discover Mykonos village life and traditional farming methods. You and your kids meet the livestock and explore what it is like to be a farmer on a small Greek island. All kids love animals and it might be possible to harvest some vegetables or crops. Whatever farming tasks you and your family will have, everyone will enjoy spending quality time in nature.

Young kids will also love wandering around the picturesque town of Mykonos. There are no cars and you can bring in a stroller. Don’t forget to meet the most famous icon of Mykonos. As you wander around, search for Petros the Pelican, the fabled resident and famous mascot of Mykonos. He is definitely the most sociable Pelican you have ever met!

Food

Don’t miss out on a very characteristic Mykonian sweet, the so-called amygdaloto, a traditional island cookie made of almonds, flavored with rose water. 

Naxos

Naxos island is among our favorite family destinations in Greece. Overall the whole island is fantastic since it combines great beaches, lovely small villages and delicious food! Furthermore, it offers various accommodation options and has many different things to see and enjoy with the family.

Naxos beach and sunset

Accommodation

Naxos does not have a large variety of bigger hotels/resorts with kids clubs. It has however various beach front family villas, suites and beautiful boutique hotels. It’s far more relaxed than Santorini and Mykonos, and has a more ‘authentic’ feel.

In Naxos we recommend the Nissaki Beach Hotel and the Finikas Hotel. Nissaki Beach Hotel near Naxos town is an elegant boutique hotel on the beach of St. George. The hotel has an excellent restaurant and breathtaking views.  Finikas hotel is located on the beach in Naxos town. The hotel features family rooms, a children’s pool, playground, playroom, spa and jacuzzi. 

Beaches

Naxos’ long sandy beaches are ideal for families with young children. Our favorite beaches are Agios Georgios (Saint George) beach, Agios Prokopios (Saint Prokopios) beach and Agia Anna (Saint Anna) beach. These beaches feature crystal clear water and golden sand and are safe for kids as the water deepens very gradually.

Things to do

If you want to explore Naxos with your kids, we recommend our Naxos Tailor Made Exploring programme. Families with young kids need to be flexible and this private family tour is fully customizable and adjustable. In the company of our expert guide, your family will have the opportunity to see the main highlights as well as those hidden secrets that only the locals know of. Although this is a long tour, it is up to you where you want to go and how many stops you want to include. Your guide meets you at your hotel. After introductions, you can then talk about the places you would like to see during your tailor-made tour. If you have never visited Naxos before, our guide will suggest some main highlights such as the Venetian castle and Temple of Apollo.

If you have already spent time on the island and visited its attractions, the guide can recommend alternatives based on both their local knowledge and your interests. Do you want to check out some of the best beaches on Naxos? Our guide will lead the way. Do you have an interest in arts and crafts? They can take you to places where local artisans create pottery and paintings. The tour is completely customized just for you! Some places that we would suggest in Naxos for first-time visitors include the Venetian Castle, the Temple of Apollo (Portara), the Temple of Dimitra, Halki, Kaloxylos, Apiranthos, Moutsouna, Koronos, the Kouros of Melanes and the Olive Press Museum.

Young kids will also enjoy participating in a Naxos Mosaic Workhop. Here they can get creative, create their own souvenir and work with exciting colors and material. The Kids Love Greece Mosaic Workshop welcomes young artists in a beautiful medieval monastery in Sangri village. The workshop will start with an introduction on the various methods, approaches and possibilities of mosaic making and the use of tools, cutting and grouting for the parents. During this four-hour workshop, adults will also learn more about classic and contemporary mosaic making.

Food

These are our favorite place to eat in Naxos:

Metaxi Mas

Near the northern entrance to the old town, Metaxi Mas serves meze, the catch of the day, tender, slow-cooked veal with lemon sauce, platters of local cheeses and traditional home-made dishes such as mousakas and pastitsio. The tavern has a vine-shaded terrace and is a preferred place by the locals.

Scirocco

Family friendly Scirocco (featured above this post) serves Mediterranean home-cooked food. This cheerful tavern is value for money with quality service. A cosy modern tavern founded in the dreams and enthusiasm of two young people who still today want simply to offer honest food.

Nissaki Beach Hotel restaurant

If you’re looking for a good fish and seafood restaurant then this is the place to go. The sea view is astounding and the Mediterranean cuisine serves fresh fish, lobster spaghetti, seafood delicacies and season salads.

Maro’s taverna

Maro’s Taverna in Protodikio Square serves homemade food at a reasonable price. The picturesque taverna uses fresh local ingredients with a great choice on the menu and an excellent homemade wine from the mountains of Naxos.

Paros

Paros is an excellent choice for families with young kids. This Cycladic gem has lovely sandy beaches and beautiful villages. It is slightly smaller than Naxos and usually a bit busier. Paros is trendy and has a more developed nightlife.

Accommodation

For families with young kids, we recommend booking a vacation villa in Paros. There are no big resorts in Paros or luxury family hotels. Kids Love Greece has an extensive portfolio of family villa’s on the island so do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

Things to do

While the sandy beaches of Paros are great for long days of sand and water play, we also recommend a family sailing trip in Paros. During this trip you can explore the beautiful secret beaches of Paros. A professional captain will show you the most extraordinary isolated beaches and coves of the island, making swim stops at the best spots along the way.

This sailing trip in Paros includes a visit to Panteronissia islands and the Blue Lagoon, exploring the Sea Caves in Antiparos island and wandering around Despotiko island with its sandy and exotic beaches. Onboard there will be fresh fruit salad with refreshments and water, as well as a delicious homemade lunch with fresh and organic ingredients along with grilled fresh seafood lovingly prepared by the Captain, accompanied by local wine, beers, beverages and water. Show your kids the elements of nature by relaxing onboard being spoilt.

Have you decided where you want to take your young kids for the ultimate Greek island vacation?

If you need more information or ideas for spending memorable family vacations with young kids on one of the Greek islands, do not hesitate to contact the Kids Love Greece team today. Our expert travel planners, all based in Greece and parents themselves, will guide you with their in-depth local knowledge of Greece and help you design a unique vacation itinerary around the tastes of each family member. We treat each family differently and introduce them to places and experiences that don’t come off the shelf. We are especially eager to help families with young kids to have a relaxing time together full of quality time and new experiences!

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