Best Greek Islands to Visit with Families and Kids who Love Greek Mythology
Myths are captivating, no matter their origin. However, ancient Greek mythology has its own charm. Action, romance, drama; it’s all there in abundance. No wonder why kids love it. If this is the case for your children as well, the destinations below will grant you and your family the holidays of your dreams. So read on and discover some of the top Greek island destinations that combine natural beauty with a rich mythological background.
Crete is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Greece, with a long history and plenty of must-visit attractions associated with some of the most fascinating ancient Greek myths. And one of the most noteworthy sites on the island is Knossos; the palace that became the center of the Minoan civilization.
The myth says that King Minos, looking for a way to retain this half-man half-bull son, turned to Daedalus to ask for help. And Daedalus made him the labyrinth; a large maze where the Minotaur was trapped. Every nine years, King Aegeus of Athens was required to send seven young boys and seven young girls to be eaten by the Minotaur. One year, his son, Prince Theseus, volunteered to go to the labyrinth and try to kill the beast. And so he did. With the help of Ariadne, King Minos’ daughter, and the sword and ball of the thread she gave him, he managed to kill the Minotaur and find his way out of the labyrinth.
Want to follow the footsteps of King Minos and discover the magnificent Palace of Knossos, home of the Minotaur? Join our Private Family-Friendly Guided tour at Knossos Palace and offer your kids a memorable time travel experience to the glorious Minoan era.Check availability
In the center of Crete, you’ll find Ideon Andron; a cave of great mythological importance on the island’s highest mountain, Ida (or Psiloritis). According to the myth, Cronus – the youngest but most ambitious of the Titans – overthrew his father with Gaia’s help, but his fear of having the same fate led him to swallow his own children. His wife and sister Rhea managed to save their last child, Zeus, by hiding him in the Ideon Andron cave and giving Cronus a stone wrapped as a baby to swallow. The cave’s entrance was guarded by the Kouretes, who performed a war dance, striking their swords on their shields so that Cronus would not hear baby Zeus crying.
According to a different myth though, the birthplace of Zeus is located in a sacred cave on the Lassithi plateau; Diktaeon Andron. This cave is believed to be the place where Amalthea – sometimes depicted as a goat and sometimes as a goat-tending nymph – nurtured the infant Zeus as his foster mother.
Explore the atmospheric cave of Diktaeon Andron and enjoy the Cretan nature at its best at the Lassithi plateau, accompanied by of knowledgeable family-friendly guide. A memorable experience for kids and parents alike!Check availability
Looking for family-friendly accommodation on Crete island? The options are really numerous! Have a look at some of our highly suggested family-friendly accommodation options on Crete or contact us at [email protected] for many more beautiful suggestions for families.
Delos island is inextricably linked to its rich mythology since it is considered to be the birthplace of the twins that Zeus’ lover, Leto, gave birth to; Apollo and Artemis. And, therefore, it is believed to be a sacred place.
Myth has it that Delos was an invisible wandering sea rock that formed when Asteria, Leto’s sister, transformed into a rock to escape from Zeus. Then Zeus fell in love with Leto, got her pregnant, and had to face his wife’s wrath. Hera conspired with the other gods to prevent Leto from giving birth to her twins.
Zeus turned to his brother, Poseidon, for help. And he came up with anchoring the invisible sea rock to turn it into a safe place for Leto to give birth to her children.
Want to discover more about Delos? Discover the beauties and secrets of Apollo’s and Artemis’ birthplace via joining our Private Family-Friendly Guided Tour at Delos island.Check availability
Looking for accommodation on Mykonos island? Check out our list of family-friendly resorts and villas and book your stay now!
Aegina is a beautiful little island in the Saronic Gulf, just a few miles from Athens, which makes it a popular destination for both Athenians and tourists. But it is also a destination of great mythological interest.
According to the myth, Aegina was a nymph and one of the twenty daughters of the river god Asopus and Metope. Zeus fell in love with her, took the form of an eagle, kidnapped her, and took her to a nearby island, then called Oenone, and later named it after the nymph. Aegina gave birth to Aeacus, who became the king of the island.
Hera, who was of course once again furious with her husband’s newest affair, sought revenge, sending a plague that depopulated the island. Then the young king Aeacus asked his father, Zeus, for help, praying for the ants that were infesting an oak tree to turn into humans and repopulate his kingdom. His prayers were answered. And the ants became the Myrmidons – the fierce and loyal soldiers who were commanded by Achilles to fight in the Trojan war.
If you are planning to spend a few days with the family in Athens, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a Family Day Trip to Aegina Island with the kids!Check availability
Apart from being a place of unique beauty, Corfu island is closely connected to ancient Greek mythology too.
Myth has it that Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra – the daughter of the river god Asopus and Metope and sister of Aegina. And just like Zeus did with Aegina, Poseidon abducted Korkyra and brought her to an up-till-then unnamed island, which later took the nymph’s name.
Poseidon and Korkyra had a child together. His name was Phaiax, and the island’s inhabitants were called Phaiakes after him, with Corfu also being known as the island of the Phaeacians.
Join our Half-day Family Tour in Corfu and discover with the kids the magic hidden in this amazing Greek island.Check availability
Looking for family-friendly accommodation on Corfu island? Have a look at three highly suggested options both you and the kids will love:
Naxos is closely connected to Greek mythology as well. It is the island where Zeus is believed to have grown up, with the inhabitants giving his name to the highest mountain. And it is at the top of this mountain that Zeus received his thunderbolt from an eagle.
Zeus fell in love with the daughter of the king of Thebes, Semele, who asked him to appear before her in all his glory. Her mortal heart, however, could not bear this sight and she died before she could give birth to their child. Zeus took the fetus and sewed it on his thigh, from where Dionysus – the god of wine – was born shortly after, on the island of Naxos. And the myth goes on…
On his triumphant way home, Theseus stopped at the island of Naxos. With him was the daughter of the king of Crete, Ariadne, who had previously helped him in his mission to kill the Minotaur. Dionysus, who fell in love with Ariadne, appeared in Theseus’ dream and persuaded him to leave her on the island. When she was left alone, Dionysus appeared and made her his wife.
Naxos island is a paradise for families. Besides its amazing beaches, Naxos offers so many different experiences you could enjoy with the kids during your stay. Have a look at our family-friendly suggestions on Naxos and experience the island to the fullest!
Looking for family-friendly accommodation on Naxos island? Review some of our highly suggested family-friendly villas on Naxos or contact us at [email protected] for many more beautiful suggestions for families.
According to the myth, when Zeus prevailed over the Giants, he decided to divide the land to the Olympian Gods. Helios (the Sun), however, was absent on his daily celestial journey during this draw, and thus was left without a land of his own. Zeus, wanting to be fair, proposed to start over again, but Helios replied that the land that would emerge from the sea at sunrise the next morning would become his. And so it happened.
At dawn, he saw a beautiful island emerging from the turquoise waters. It was his love for the beautiful nymph Rhodes that transformed her into the island. Fascinated by its beauty, he bathed it with his sunbeams. Since then, Rhodes is known as the island of the Sun.
Book your accommodation on Rhodes, the so called ‘Knights’ Island’!
Standing on the crossroad of 3 seas (Aegean, Ionian, and Cretan), at the bottom of the Peloponnese peninsula, Kythira is not only one of the most beautiful islands in Greece – but it is also home of not one, but two of the most well-known ancient Greek myths.
The first one is the myth of Cytherea, the emerging Aphrodite. According to the myth, Aphrodite – the goddess of love and beauty – was born when Cronus the Titan cut off his father’s (Uranus) genitals and threw them in the sea. Aphrodite then emerged from the foam that gathered on the surface of the water (aphros in Greek). And since then, Kythira is considered to be a sacred place.
The second myth is associated with one of the most famous love couples, Paris and beautiful Helen. The myth says that Zeus organized a reception on Mount Olympus to celebrate the marriage of Peleus and Thetis. All gods, goddesses, and demi-gods were invited except one; Eris, the goddess of discord. No wonder why. For revenge, Eris threw a golden apple with “ti kallisti” (for the most beautiful) written on it and caused a dispute between the goddesses. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all claimed the apple and asked Zeus to decide who should have it. Zeus, however, wanting to avoid taking part in that decision, asked Paris, the prince of Troy, to decide who was the most beautiful.
The three goddesses tried to bribe Paris; Hera offered him political power over Europe and Asia, Athena offered him wisdom and skill in battle and Aphrodite offered him the love of the most beautiful woman on Earth, Helen. And Paris chose Aphrodite.
The problem was that beautiful Helen was married to King Menelaus of Sparta. So, Paris had to steal her from him. And this was the cause of the Trojan War, according to the myth. As the couple waited for favorable winds to take them to Troy, they found refuge in Kythira, under Aphrodite’s protection.
Santorini is a crescent-shaped island in the Aegean Sea and one of the most popular travel destinations, famous all over the world for its unique beauty and magnificent sunset view. At the same time, though, it’s a destination of great mythological interest.
A myth connected to the Argonaut expedition says that Santorini was initially created from a clod of earth. Upon their return from Colchis, Jason and the Argonauts stopped at the small island of Anafi. There, Poseidon’s son Euphemus dreamt of making love to a nymph, the daughter of Triton, who then told him that she was pregnant. Fearing her father’s wrath, she needed to find a place to hide and give birth to her child. So, she asked Euphemus to take a clod of earth from Anafi and throw it into the sea. And that’s what he did. The island that emerged got the name Thera from Euphemus’ son, Theras.
Another fascinating myth linked to Santorini is the one of Atlantis. The excavation of Akrotiri, which was buried in ash after the volcanic eruption that took place sometime in the 16th century BC, increased the speculations that the island’s round pre-eruption shape was similar to Plato’s description.
Santorini is an island of unique beauty offering so many different things to experience and enjoy with the kids. Have a look at our family-friendly suggestions on Santorini and enjoy the most memorable family vacation on this volcanic paradise!
Looking for family-friendly accommodation on Santorini island? Contact us at [email protected] and we will help you find the perfect accommodation for your family!
The island of nature and longevity, that, according to the myth, derived its name from Daedalus’ son, Icarus.
After constructing the labyrinth for King Minos to imprison the Minotaur, Daedalus and Icarus ended up being the king’s prisoners too. Daedalus, however, who was a skillful craftsman, made them wings using feathers and wax, with which they would fly and escape. Before taking off, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, as the heat from the sun would melt the wax and destroy his wings. Icarus, though, despite his father’s advice, flew too close to the sun. The island next to the place where Icarus drowned was named Ikaria.
Book your accommodation on Ikaria, the mythical island of Icarus.
Sitting in the Cyclades island complex, Milos is known for its volcanic landscape, its turquoise waters and its little whitewashed houses and cobblestone alleyways. The island is, however, also closely connected to ancient Greek mythology.
According to the myth, there was once a young man from Delos called Milos, who became friends with Adonis (Aphrodite’s beloved one) and married Pelia, one of Adonis’ relatives. When Adonis died during a hunt, both Milos, who couldn’t bear the pain from his friend’s loss, and his devastated wife committed suicide. Aphrodite sent their only son, whose name was also Milos, to live on an island of the Aegean Sea. And the island took his name.
The best and more fun way to explore Milos island is by boat! Join our Sailing Fun for Families in Milos day trip and discover the multiple hidden beauties of Aphrodite’s island with the kids!Check availability
Looking for family-friendly accommodation on Milos island? Contact us at [email protected] and we will help you find the ideal accommodation for your family!
Kos is located in the Dodecanese island chain in the southeastern Aegean Sea, close to Turkey’s coast. Ancient Greek mythology links the island to the most famous of all ancient Greek heroes; the invincible demi-god Hercules.
Returning from Troy, Hercules and his comrades got caught in a terrible storm that was summoned by Hera. Blinded by her hatred, the goddess was determined to get rid of him once and for all. Five of their six ships were completely destroyed, but Hercules and some of his friends managed to reach land and found themselves at the cape of Gourniatis in Kos.
There he bumped into Antagoras, a young shepherd from whom Hercules demanded food. Antagoras, though, being physically strong himself, wasn’t intimidated, and the two men ended up fighting. When Antagoras’ fellow citizens came to help, Hercules sought refuge in the house of a woman from Thrace, disguised himself in her clothes, and took off to hide in the mountains.
Book your accommodation on Kos, the beautiful Dodecanese island linked to mighty Hercules.
“As you set out for Ithaca, hope that your journey is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery”, Constantine P. Cavafy wrote, referring to Ithaki (or Ithaca) as one’s ultimate destination. Located in the Ionian Sea, Ithaki stands out for its beautiful beaches and traditional villages.
But it also bears a name that is well-known all over the world, thanks to Homer’s Odyssey. Ithaki was the home island of Odysseus, the hero of the epic poem. The story follows Odysseus on his journey home after the end of the ten-year Trojan War and the ten-year adventures he encountered until he finally reached his destination.
Book you accommodation on Ithaki island, home of the legendary Odysseus.
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