Best Greek Islands for Active Families
Greece is not just islands and beaches. Active families will find that there is lots to do for them too. But they will have some difficulty to choose which island to visit in Greece. After all, there are over 6,000! We’ve done the hard work for you active people, by creating this list of the best Greek islands for active families.
Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes
These Greek islands are ideal for active families. They are the larger islands in Greece and incredibly popular with overseas visitors. Due to their size and landscapes, they offer lots of outdoor fun, and places to explore such as mountains, lakes, forests, and canyons. However, each island also has its own unique character and something different to offer.
Due to its size and sheer variety, Crete is our number one recommendation in the list of islands for active families in Greece. Crete is the largest island in the country with something to do for everyone. If you prefer to be active and explore the great outdoors, you can go hiking, kayaking, river trekking, canyoning, sailing, do Via Ferrata, or biking. The Samaria Gorge is the most famous outdoor adventure in Crete.
You can also consider participating in family workshops such as cooking classes, archaeology, pottery and mosaic lessons, farm, and vineyard visits, and themed walking tours.
If your family likes to do a fun, off-the-beaten-track, and adventurous activity, check out our Gorge of Saints Family Hiking Adventure. This tour lets families explore a unique natural environment and the caves of a beautiful gorge. You can also go hiking on the highest mountain of Crete. Crete also offers endless possibilities for sailing. During our Day Cruise in East Crete, families sail to Spinalonga island and have time for snorkeling and fishing. Other sailing trips set off to adventurous pirate islands or focus on visiting natural treasures such as the goat island near Heraklion.
Corfu is located in the western north part of Greece just a few miles south of the Italian coast. It is one of the most beautiful islands in the western part of Greece. You can practise many types of water sports in Corfu like scuba diving, kite surfing in the north, snorkeling and many more. You can also hike up a castle, go trekking to discover remote beaches, or you can go sailing to nearby uninhabited islands. If you want to be active and discover cultural places, we recommend our Corfu Family Tour combining walking with architecture, history, and culture.
If you are looking for the best islands for active families, consider also Rhodes! Rhodes offers ancients sites, water parks, and many outdoor activities such as 4×4 adventures and scuba diving. Rhodes has many wide long stretched beaches ideal for parasailing, water-ski, and other water sports.
Naxos, Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Milos
These 4 islands are part of the famous Cyclades island group. Think of a dry landscape, whitewashed houses with blue window shutters, white and blue-domed churches, cute looking villages and endless turquoise waters! Sailing around the Cyclades is something every active family should consider for their vacation in Greece. But there are more things to do!
Naxos has many kid-friendly sandy beaches with shallow waters and secluded bays. The island also has an endless choice of family-friendly accommodation options and there is much to do for active families. There are family workshops featuring cooking, mosaic, food tasting as well as lots of opportunities for sailing. Families can enjoy a luxury sailing cruise on a catamaran that combines fun and relaxation and explore Naxos and the Small Cyclades during our Naxos Sailing Fun activity.
For more ideas, have a look at What to do in Naxos with kids.
Cosmopolitan Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands, especially with the jet-set crowd. Mykonos has beautiful sandy beaches with shallow water making them ideal for young kids. The island is also very suitable for families with older children and active families. Think of renting an ATV to explore the island or spend time having fun with the many water sports. Families can join our Guided Family Hiking Adventure in Mykonos. This 5km Guided tour through the countryside of the island, is an ideal choice for active families who don’t just want to lounge on the beach all day.
Santorini for active families
World-famous Santorini with its iconic volcano landscape, stunning scenery, incredible views, and magnificent sunsets, is a year-round tourist destination. Santorini has a lot to offer for active families. Kids and adults can enjoy kayaking, a sailing trip, or riding a jet ski.
If you want to explore Santorini in an active way, have a look at Santorini Uncovered for Families. This tour captures the best of the island along with tons of hidden gems you might not get to see without our local insider family guide by your side. You will visit traditional villages, discover whitewashed back alleys, see an amazing beach with a spectacular lunar-like landscape, sip a coffee with a traditional spoon sweet in a cute local café, and end with a delicious picnic on the beach and a jump in the crystal clear waters of the White beach.
Paros is as cosmopolitan as Mykonos and Santorini but less busy and more traditional. Paros has excellent tourist facilities and accommodation while also keeping a calm and traditional Greek vibe. Paros is known for its sandy beaches and safe calm waters and its very vibrant windsurfing scene. Teens will love windsurfing and water sports on the island. Paros is also great for sailing, we therefore recommend or Kids Love Greece Paros Family Sailing Trip.
The island of Milos in the Cyclades is included on CNN Travel’s 2019 list of the world’s most beautiful islands along with Fregate in Seychelles, St Lucia in the Caribbean, and Kaua’i in the Hawaiian archipelago. Milos is small, very family-friendly, and active families will love its unique geological and natural beauty. To explore this amazing island, have a look at our Kids Love Greece Private Road Adventure on Milos, or a Sailing Trip around Milos, or even a day Trip to the nearby Kimolos.
Active families in Lefkada, Kea, Hydra, Astypalaia, Spetses
These five Greek islands are not as famous as Mykonos or Santorini but well worth your visit and all very suitable for families, each in their own way.
Lefkada is part of the Ionian island group between Italy and Greece. These islands are very green with white beaches and turquoise waters. Breathtaking Lefkada is connected with the mainland by a small bridge thus accessible by car. The island hosts some of the most scenic beaches in Greece, often called the “Caribbean of Greece”, and an absolute dream destination for families with kids. Lefkada is great for windsurfing, kite surfing, and sailing trips.
Kea belongs to the Cyclades island group and is very close to Athens. Not well-known to foreign visitors, many wealthy Athenians have summer homes on the island. Kea is a quiet island with a picturesque old town on top of the mountains. Its ecotourism options make it a great choice for families looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience with kids in Greece. You can opt for a sailing adventure from Athens to Kea island.
Hydra is another Greek island that can be easily reached from Athens. Many people choose to visit Hydra on a day trip, but staying longer truly reveals the charm of the island. Hydra is a unique mix of glamour and tradition. A car-free island where active families can enjoy horse riding, hiking, and sailing, Hydra has many walking paths, secluded beaches, and a lively picturesque port.
Astypalaia or Astypalea is a relatively unknown mountainous Greek island in the Aegean Sea. This island is best visited by active families who have been to Greece before and want to get to know the country on a deeper level.
In Astypalea you can experience Greece with kids like a Greek! The town square in the main village is the lively heart of the island. Astypalaia offers eco-tourism and outdoor activities, watersports, and traditional cuisine. Find out more in our Astypalea guide.
Spetses is a small island in the Saronic Sea. Similar to Hydra, there is an absence of automobiles in the main town. Instead, there are horse-drawn carriages that are ideal for a tour around the area, especially if you have children. You can also use a bike to go around the island. The island is easily accessible either by a family private sailing trip or ferry from the port of Piraeus or from Hydra, Aegina, and Poros.
Need more help in planning your vacation in Greece?
If you would like some assistance in planning your family vacation in Greece, we are here to help! As passionate locals and parents, we know the best accommodation, places to visit, and activities for kids. Fill in this contact form, and we will help you to create the perfect family holiday in Greece!
Best season to visit
Get inspired by our top ideas for vacation in Greece. Discover our blog full of ideas, insights about Greek destinations, reviews for kid friendly activities, hotels, beaches, museums and so much more!