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Crete with Teens: Where to go and what to do in Crete with teenagers

    Crete is a great island for family vacations with teens. The island is the largest in Greece and has a mind-blowing varied landscape and long rich history. Crete hosts two cities and one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. All this created a plethora of things to do with teenagers. From outdoor activities of all kinds to cultural outings, theme parks and shopping opportunities, it is all there!

    Here is a list of our top things to do in Crete with teens!

    SAILING IN CRETE

    Being the largest island in Greece, the opportunities for fun and exploring are endless in Crete. This is the same on the water. There are lots of small uninhabited islands near the West and East coast of Crete, many with ancient ruins, castles or wildlife.

    Family Sailing Adventure to the West Coast of Crete – 3 day

    From Chania in West Crete, we recommend sailing to the famous Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa island. Our 3-day Family Sailing Adventure to the West Coast of Crete takes you to this ‘Island of Pirates’ and shows you the centuries-old castle on top with breathtaking views.

    sailing Greece Crete

    South Coast of Chania Day Cruise

    If you join our South Coast of Chania Day Cruise, you will find several isolated and strikingly beautiful locations across the South coast of Crete like Ag. Roumeli (where the exit of Samaria gorge is), beautiful Ag. Pavlos beach, Marmara caves, gorgeous Loutro, and Sweet Waters beach.

    Sailing Loutro Crete with kids 3

    Family Sailing Adventure: East Coast of Crete Multi day

    If you go to the East of Crete with teens, we recommend the Family Sailing Adventure: East Coast of Crete.

    You will visit Dia island, opposite the capital city Heraklion. This dragon-shaped island is a top attraction in Crete. It is considered a small nature paradise with a wonderful sea and a magic seabed that offers lots for snorkelers. You can take a walk on a beautiful trail of cedars, and admire the unique biotope of Dia, an environmentally protected area with a long history as it was a Minoan port. Dia is surely one of the top attractions in Crete.

    Dia sailing family (2)

    Other highlights of this 3-day trip are the breathtaking Mirabello Bay and Elounda, the Kolokytha island, Mochlos Psirra islet, and cosmopolitan Agios Nikolaos. The trip starts in trendy Heraklion.

    If your base is South East Crete, have a look at our Family Sailing Experience on the Cretan South Coast. This fun experience leaves Plaka and takes your family to the magnificent beach of Kolokytha. You will also visit the islet of Spinalonga (famous from the novel “The Island”, by the awarded author, Victoria Hislop).

    Paralia Kolokytha Elounda KidsLoveGreece.com
    cretanbeaches.com

    One-day sailing trips: Chania or Dia or Mirambelo Gulf

    If your teen does not want to be on a boat for many days, we recommend our 1-day sailing trips around the beautiful Venetian port of Chania or sailing cruise to Dia near Heraklion or the Family Sailing in Elounda.

    Have a look under Tours in Crete on our website for all Kids Love Greece sailing adventures.

    Teenager boy sunbathing on a sailing boat in Greek islands CV

    COOKING LESSONS AND FOOD TOURS

    Cooking lessons can leave teenagers filled with the confidence that they can cook well for themselves, and they may even replicate some of the dishes that they have learnt.

    Cretan Cuisine Cooking Lesson for families

    During the Cretan Cuisine Cooking Lesson for families in East Crete, teens will explore the colors and flavors of the Cretan cuisine through various, delicious recipes based on well-hidden secrets and old traditions.

    Cretan cooking class for kids Kissamos (15)

    Cooking Lesson in a Traditional Farm in Chania

    In West Crete, we much recommend our bestselling Cooking Lesson in a Traditional Farm in Chania. Teens can get hands-on and learn more about organic produce, herbs, olive oil, and other ingredients while preparing Greek pies and other delicacies.

    Cretan cooking class for kids Kissamos (12)

    Food Tours

    If your teen loves food (and which teenager doesn’t?!) but is not interested in a cooking lesson, why not book a food tour! While tasting delicious Greek snacks, your teen also gets to learn something about the city and find out where its best to go shopping after!

    Our Heraklion for Foodies walking tour leads your family via a scenic city trail through Heraklion’s streets to find the best traditional eateries, while experiencing the local vibe and shops. Teens will love to taste the puffy Cretan pastries, the delicious cheese, and mouthwatering desserts while learning all about the Cretan cuisine & culture.

    Foodies-Feast-of-Heraklion-Family-Food Tour-Crete-Gastronomy-Kidslovegreece-culture-bougatsa-pies-loukoumades-oil-cheese-herbs-9

    PHOTOGRAPHY

    Instagrammable places

    The turquoise Bay of Balos with Gramvousa‘s pirate island and the lagoon, Seitan Limania Beach, Elafonissi with its pink sand, palm trees, and canyons… If there is one place in Greece with such diverse and Instagrammable natural treasures, it has to be Crete!

    If your teen loves to be active on social media and wants to impress his or her friends with beautiful photos of special places, Crete will not disappoint you! Read on about some of these fantastic natural photo opportunities.

    Balos

    THE GREAT OUTDOORS: GORGES

    The spectacular natural surroundings in Crete do not only create tons of Instagram locations but also a wide variety of outdoor activities. Hiking in gorges and on mountain plateaus, Via Ferrata, Kayaking, Biking, it is all possible.

    Samaria Gorge

    The most famous gorge of Crete is Samaria Gorge and a must-visit for any active family with teens visiting Crete. This gorge is Europe’s longest, deepest, and arguably most dramatic gorge!  Families with teens can hike the 18kms of the gorge and have the experience of a lifetime!

    With a private Samaria Gorge tour, you get the benefit of an earlier start so you finish the walk before the intense heat of the afternoon. In addition, you have a private guide to assist your family in case of any problems (you can all walk together at your own pace).

    Hiking in Crete with Family Samaria Group

    Gorge of Saints Family Hiking Adventure

    The gorge of Saints or ‘Agiofarago’ is located on the South coast of Heraklion prefecture near Matala. During our Gorge of Saints Family Hiking Adventure, families with teens can hike through this historic gorge before emerging at the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea at the unique beach of Agiofarago. This gorge used to be the shelter of the monks of the nearby monasteries. You will even see the cave and house of a monk who was a local hero during the revolution of 1866.

    You can also choose to go rock climbing and rappelling in the Gorge of Saints. After the hike through the gorge that ends on the beach, you will put your harnesses and helmets on in order to participate in our most exhilarating activity. You will climb at least two climbing routes offering amazing views over the natural lagoon.

    Gorge of Saints- Crete

    Family canyoning

    Gorges are also great for family canyoning, another activity that teens will love. Tsoutsouros gorge is one of the most beautiful technical canyons in the Asterousia Mountains on south Crete. It is ideal for canyoning as it is easy to cross and quite narrow mainly at its end. It is well belayed, perfect for the training of new explorers.

    After you’ve crossed its middle, it gets steeper and narrower, with bigger descents and more beautiful rocks. We may find water until the beginning of summer and you can cross it throughout the year with no difficulty. The gorge ends at the south coast at Tsoutsouros village where we can swim and relax at the sandy beach and the restaurants and cafés.

    kids love greece canyoning family adventure outdoor activities crete

     

    Family river trekking adventure

    The gorge of Kourtaliotis is great for a family river trekking adventure. In the summertime, this adventure starts with a visit to the waterfalls at the source of the river. You will then go to the arched Venetian bridge from where the real adventure begins: walking in the riverbed, swimming, and playing in the spectacular natural playground of the Kourtaliotis gorge! The exit of the gorge offers an unforgettable picture of palm trees.

    fun activities for kids in Crete with Kids

    MOUNTAIN AND PLATEAUS

    Family tour to Dikteon Andro

    A Kids Love Greece family tour to Dikteon Andro, the Cave of Zeus, and the Lassithi Plateau is great for teens who love action and mythology. Here you will see where Zeus was born!

    This day trip combines a visit to the mysterious cave of Zeus, along with a sightseeing trip around the Lassithi Plateau. It is a fun, family activity that involves some physical activity with the hike up to the cave, which is well rewarded by glorious views of the area. Inside the cave, stalactites and stalagmites fill the room.

    Dicteo Andro cave Lassithi

    Family Mountain biking

    Family Mountain biking is also possible at the Lassithi plateau. Together with a guide, you can explore the largest plateau of Crete and cycle around it including the valley of 10000 windmills. Although not in use anymore, you will have the chance to see some of these windmills close to the 20 villages that are dotted around the periphery of the plateau. You will pedal for about 3 hours on asphalt and dirt roads on a relatively flat route covering approximately 30 km, visiting traditional villages and enjoying spectacular views and smells of Crete’s countryside. 

    kids love greece outdoor activities crete mountain biking for families

    Family Trekking Tour

    Can’t get enough of hiking and mountains? Have a look at our Family Trekking Tour. Starting from the village of Tzermiado, the hike takes you to the small and beautiful “Nissimos” valley to reach the sacred summit of Karfi. This spot offers views over a Minoan settlement and panoramic- breathtaking views to the north coast and the mountains of Selena and Dikti.

    From the summit, you will descend back to Tzermiado from a different path by following the ridge and further down the old rocky-build mule path – Kalterimi. At Lassithi plateau, you can also visit the earlier mentioned Zeus cave of Dikteon Andro.

    family trekking excursions crete outdoor activities for families kids love greece

    Family Wild West Tour in Sfakia

    The Kids Love Greece Family Wild West Tour in Sfakia takes you hiking along a route used by escaping soldiers during the Second World War. The tour also includes a cooking workshop.

    kids love greece activities for families sfakia chania wild west of crete family day tour

    Via Ferratta

    Via Ferrata inSouth Crete is great for thrill-seeking teens. It also builds group spirit and self-confidence. Via Ferrata is the name given to a protected mountain route that usually has a permanent steel cable attached. This means that previously difficult sections of climbing can be easily achieved even by beginners, as long as they have the guidance of a trained climbing expert.

    Our highly experienced local climbing guide will lead the way, showing you how the equipment works and where to go. This magnificent Via Ferrata route is the only one in Crete, located in a remote location on Asterousia Mountains (south Crete). It crosses the first part of a gorge, traverses the south face of Mountain Kofinas offering amazing views to Crete’s south coast and the Mediterranean Sea.

    Some teens take a Go-Pro and film their adventures, so they can show friends and family just how brave they were!

    Via ferrata

    SHOPPING

    Heraklion, as well as the pretty alleys in Chania and Rethymno, are great for traditional souvenir shopping and local products. But teens will also love the trendy fashion boutiques and the modern Greek designer stores.

    If you take a city walking tour in Heraklion or Chania, you will not only get insider information on the best shops and markets, but your teen will also pick up some history of Crete and Greece!

    MYTHOLOGY BUFFS

    Minoan Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

    If your teens are mythology buffs, Crete is a must-visit Greek island. The Minoan Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion are part of the most famous Ancient Greek attractions in Greece. Knossos features many Greek myths and legends. One is about King Minos who kept the Minotaur in a maze underneath the palace.

    If you opt for a private tour around the site, your guide will bring the site to life and describe the journey that Theseus undertook to slay this monster – and how his return had a tragic ending. You will also hear of how Hercules captured the Cretan Bull as one of his 12 Labors amongst many other stories. 

    Family friendly Tour in the Palace of Knossos with kids Crete (16)

    To complement the tour, there are also ipads available which can help everyone understand how the palace and surrounding buildings may have looked all those thousands of years ago. For artistic kids (teens or younger), this tour can be combined with a Pottery workshop.

    The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion contains numerous exhibits and artifacts found from all around Crete, including many from the Palace of Knossos. It is ideally best visited after first touring Knossos. A visit to the museum is the best way to fully appreciate the style and sophistication of the ancient Minoan culture. Don’t miss the Phaistos Disc, which has remained undecipherable despite the best efforts of experts from around the world. Will your teens be the ones to discover the meaning behind the strange writing and symbols?

    Percy Jackson Tour in the Palace of Knossos

    If your teens like the books or movies of Percy Jackson, featuring – amongst other creatures – the Minotaur, we recommend the Percy Jackson Tour of Knossos and Archaeological Museum.

    Palace of Knossos Crete Percy Jackson

    Waterpark Fun

    Take a wet and wild fun day trip with your teens to a waterpark. Heraklion city hosts two of these: Water City and Aqua Plus.

    If you are in West Crete, head over to Limnoupolis hidden away in the green hills near Chania. An instant hit for all teens!

    Limnoupoli A8

    Nightowls

    Teens never sleep early so why not book an evening tour? Relax at the beach during the day and get active when the sun goes down during our Family Stargazing in Chania. An evening activity to enjoy astronomy, astrology, and mythology, all followed by a delicious, traditional meal.

    Many constellations come from Greek myths and legends, and now you will have the chance to see them for yourself. In the company of a local astronomer, you can observe the skies, and listen to stories first told thousands of years ago about Gods, Goddesses, and mythical creatures!

    family evening tour in Chania Stargazing Greek Gods and stars at night kids love greece activities for families Crete Greek Mythology Percy Jackson

    Need more help to plan your vacation with teens to Crete? Do not hesitate to contact the Kids Love Greece Team, we are here to help!

    Best season to visit

    • summer
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