The 11 Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites for kids in Greece
- Acropolis, Athens
- The Archaeological sites of Delphi
- Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus
- Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns
- Archaeological Site of Mystras
- Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
- Archaeological Sites of Olympia
- The Old Town of Corfu
- Medieval City of Rhodes
- Minoan Palace of Knossos and other Minoan sites on Crete (tentative list)
- Gorge of Samaria National Park, Crete
- Island of Spinalonga, Crete
- Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark
There are over 1,000 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world, of which 18 are in Greece. Which of those are family-friendly though? We have hand-picked the Best 11 UNESCO sites in Greece for families.
How many are the UNESCO sites in total and how many of those are in Greece?
UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites are fascinating vacation destinations because of their importance as cultural and natural places. There are currently 1,007 properties listed worldwide, each with a unique history. There are 18 around Greece that have made it to the UNESCO list and currently 6 on the provisional list.
Why visit the UNESCO sites with the family in Greece?
Experts say that family travel is showing your kids that the world is huge and teaches them how to expand their horizons. If such family travel includes a visit to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, even better!
Visiting these UNESCO Heritage Sites is a perfect opportunity for kids to learn a lot about history and geography but, at the same time, appreciate the astounding beauty of the Greek destinations. Also, it’s time to take a family break, bond with one another, and make family memories that last forever.
Which are the most engaging and family-friendly UNESCO sites for kids in Greece?
It is not always easy to determine which UNESCO sites are family-friendly and which of them should be seen first while in Greece! As a travel agency, which focuses exclusively on family travel to Greece, we came up with this handy list for parents, which includes 11 sites (out of 18). The list is not in ranking order, but instead, we present them in terms of geographical locations, so it is easier for you to visit multiple during your family trip to Greece.
Acropolis, Athens (1987)
Visible from almost every spot in Athens is the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The Athens Acropolis is seated on a hilltop in the middle of Athens. It is fortified by stone walls because it was originally a fortress where people could retreat to when the city was attacked.
Zeus named the capital of Greece, Athens, after Athena. Legend says Zeus decided to give the Greek city to the god who offered the most useful gift to the people. Poseidon, the god of the sea, offered the city a water spring. Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, struck the ground with her spear and caused an olive tree to grow. Zeus awarded the city to Athena and named it Athens in her honor.
The Acropolis of Athens is a strong symbol of ancient Greek culture. It is not just a historical site in Greece but also one of the most significant ancient monuments in Europe. From the Acropolis Museum (nearby) to the temple (The Parthenon), there are lots of Greek Mythology bedtime stories your kids would love to hear again and again.
You can book our Greek Mythology Acropolis Tour for kids for this fun-filled experience.Check availability
The Archaeological Sites of Delphi (1987)
Less than 125 miles west of Athens, sits one of the most sacred sites of the ancient world, Delphi. For a long time, the Greeks believed Delphi to be the center of the earth. Today, it is called the center of wisdom and spirituality. In ancient times Delphi was a sanctuary dedicated to the god Apollo.
Many who have been to Delphi find themselves going back, why? Because of its exceptional beauty and serenity. Delphi is alluded to be heaven on earth. There is an archaeological museum where items discovered on the site are exhibited.
A zig-zag road leads up to the temple dedicated to Apollo. Climb higher and you will get to the ancient Greek stadion where races were held during festivals (the Pythian Games held every four years). Near the archaeological site, there is a modern Greek village with many hotels, cafes, and souvenir shops for tourists.
To enjoy Delphi, we would recommend you book a Private Guided Tour for Kids in Delphi with us for you and your family.Check availability
Meteora is home to several monasteries. Hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes in Europe, Meteora is a sight to behold with your family. The location, the unique architecture of the monasteries as well as the unique manuscripts found in those monasteries amaze people around the world.
Meteora monasteries are surely one of the breathtaking UNESCO Heritage Sites in Greece you Should Visit with your kids. No wonder why this place has featured in James Bond movies and HBO’s Game of Thrones.
You can hire one of our family-friendly guides for a Meteora Tour for Families.Check availability
Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus (1988)
The Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus s one of the most stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites for families in Greece. The grand open-air theater is the main attraction. as it seats majestically among rolling hills> This 14,000-seat amphitheater dates back to the 4th century B.C. Till today, the theatre’s acoustics are so perfect that it is still considered a prime setting for dramatic productions.
Epidaurus is also notable for the Temple of Asklepios located north of the theatre. The Temple was a prominent healing center in ancient Greece. Patients would therefore spend the night in the great hall of Asklepios, waiting for the healing god to visit them in their dreams. The Temple of Asklepios includes remnants of Greek baths, physician rooms, and an expansive gymnasium.
If you appreciate humanity, history, and arts, book our Epidaurus Family Friendly Guided Tour.Check availability
Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns (1989)
Home to the very first Greeks, Mycenae was a large city that had a population of around 30,000 people at its peak. The earliest record of Greek mythology was inscribed on clay tablets dating back to the Mycenaean civilization.
In Argolis, the major Mycenaean cities were Mycenae and Tiryns. The Lion’s Gate entrance features two lions flanking a pillar. The gate is about 10 feet wide and 10 feet high; the sculpture of the lions is about three feet high. This entrance to the palace and the Tomb of Agamemnon is simply breathtaking.
A family visit to Mycenae is a fantastic day trip and it just 77 miles from Athens. That said, even if you do not plan to stay in the Peloponnese, you could easily visit the archaeological site of Mycenae with the kids as a part of a day trip from Athens.
Book our Family Day-Trip to Mycenae from Athens and discover the glorious kingdom of Agamemnon, leader of the Greek army in the Trojan War.Check availability
Archaeological Site of Mystras (1989)
Mystras is a perfect blend of Byzantine art and creativity. Its survival, partly thanks to the fact that it was abandoned, and thus not brutalized by modern buildings, is a gift to all those interested in late medieval eastern art.
The eerie hill with the medieval ruins interspersed with wildflowers and cypress trees retains the spirit of late Byzantium and is a remarkable archaeological site. Nowadays, Mystras attracts more visitors than Sparta itself.
We have our -friendly guides at this location ready to give you a tour.
Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae (1986)
The temple of Apollo at Bassae is the oldest known example of a Corinthian column. It earned its place as a UNESCO heritage site in 1986.
In 450–420 BC, The temple was dedicated to Apollo Epikourios (“Apollo the helper”). It was designed by an Athenian architect named Iktinos. The beauty of its stone and the harmony of its construction were what brought this temple into the limelight. It is exquisitely poised at an elevation of 1,131 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mount Kotylion.
Our agency offers guided tours to this place as well. Learn more about our family-friendly tours and activities you can enjoy with the family in the beautiful region of Messenia, Peloponnese.
Archaeological Sites of Olympia (1989)
Who doesn’t like the Olympics? Even if you aren’t a sports person the opening ceremony delivers electrifying entertainment. So, why not take a chance to visit where it all started.
Olympia is a small town in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece. The town is well-known thanks to the nearby archaeological site of the same name, which was a major Pan-Hellenic sanctuary in ancient Greece, where the ancient Olympic Games were held. So, if you like ancient architecture and Greek mythology you should check this place out.
The archaeological site’s most important buildings are the Bouleftirion, the Gymnasium, the Palaestra, the Stadium, the temple of Zeus, the Baths, Phidias’ workshop, the Leonidaion (guesthouse for the noblemen), the Sanctuary of Hestia, and many more.
Explore the beautiful site of Ancient Olympia with one of our family-friendly licensed guides and feel its unique energy to the fullest.Check availability
Delos is surrounded by the Cyclades islands of Greece. According to Greek mythology, Apollo, the god of light was given birth to in Delos and so was Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo, goddess of hunting.
Delos holds UNESCO status for being a site of great religious significance from the seventh century BC. It is a small island a few miles from the famous island of Mykonos, in the center of the Cyclades. It functioned as a religious and trade center.
The significant monuments of the site are the Temple of Apollo, the Agora, the Terrace of the Lions, and the ancient theatre. On Delos, there is a small museum with relics from the island. To go to Delos, you can take our tour boat from Mykonos.
The island is not inhabited but it is an open archaeological place and once again you have our family friend tour guide at your service.
Join our Private Family Tour to Ancient Delos and discover the secrets of this magnificent archaeological site with the kids.Check availability
The Old Town of Corfu (2007)
Experience the classical Emerald Island which has an incredible verdant landscape. Relax with family on the picturesque beaches and also for you and your partner, there is the channel of Canal d’Amour where love can be ignited or re-ignited whatever the case may be.
Got kids? Don’t worry our guide is great with the kids! In the Old town of Corfu, you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the villages and the wonderful traditions of the locals. It is indeed a relaxing place to be with family.
Corfu island has so many amazing spots to explore with the kids. Join our Private Family Tour in Corfu and discover the island’s multiple beauties with the help of our family-friendly tour guides.Check availability
Medieval City of Rhodes (1988)
Also known as the Island of Knights as it was once ruled by the Knight Templars. Rhodes Island is very popular for its perfect Mediterranean sunshine. With an array of endless options when it comes to beaches, amazing culture, and a rich history including a picturesque village, Rhodes is indeed sensational. The old town with its cobbled streets is full of medieval architecture. The structures of old from the Byzantine and Ottoman era are still standing to this day.
You also have some intriguing things in the archaeological sites to connect with the glorious and troubled past.
Book your accommodation on beautiful Rhodes, the island of Knights and the famous Colossus of Rhodes, the statue of Helios, the Greek Sun God.
Tentative UNESCO Heritage sites
It is worth mentioning that there are tentative UNESCO Heritage sites your kids and family would love to visit. We have hand-picked 4 of them (out of 14) and we offer tours to most of those impressive locations as well.
Minoan Palace of Knossos and other Minoan sites on Crete
The Minoan Palatial Centres (most especially the Palace of Knossos) has undeniable historical and archaeological significance, as it was the capital of Minoan Crete and it served as their settlement, beginning in 6,000/7,000 BC. The location was abandoned in 1375 BC, thus marking the end of the Minoan Civilization.
Mythologically, there is immense importance to this place and the site is believed to be associated with the Greek mythological labyrinth. Learn more about the Greek myths associated with the Palace of Knossos during our Greek mythology tour for kids.
The various myths linked to the Palace of Knossos are really fascinating for kids and parents alike. Join our Private Family-Friendly Guided tour at Knossos Palace and discover the secrets of this glorious palace and its inhabitants.Check availability
Gorge of Samaria National Park, Crete
Gorge of Samaria National Park is a great location for family hiking. First of all, Greece is a perfect hiking destination as Greece has stunning landscapes, 80% mountains of which 20% of all of Europe’s Ultra peak mountains lies in Greece. Ultra peak mountains are mountains that rise more than 1500 meters above sea level.
It lowers the surrounding region and is therefore particularly of interest for hikers/climbers as Ultra peak mountains usually are the definition of epic and spectacular views. Gorge of Samaria National Park delivers views that are nothing less than spectacular.
We recommend that you visit the Samaria Gorge with one of our guides and use a private transfer from your hotel/ villa.
Are you ready for an adventurous family hike? Join our Private Family Hiking Tour at Samaria and offer your kids an amazing experience at the longest and most spectacular gorge in Europe.Check availability
Island of Spinalonga, Crete
The captivating and climatic Island of Spinalonga draws in a considerable number of guests and is effectively one of the primary vacation destinations in Crete. It is therefore a great place to visit during your visit to Crete.
The Island of Spinalonga can be accessed from the town of Elounda or even from the town of Agios Nikolaos. We highly recommend that you visit Spinalonga as part of a one-day sailing trip from Elounda or Aghios Nikolaos. It is also advisable that you hire a guide when touring Spinalonga.
Join our Family Sailing in Elounda and visit the historical island of Spinalonga, a source of inspiration for “The Island”, awarded bestseller by Victoria Hislop.Check availability
Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark
The largest petrified forest in the world is also on the list of proposed UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The island of Lesvos, situated in the northeast Aegean Sea, is the third-largest island in Greece (1,630 sq km). On its western side, one can find the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark, the very first Greek geopark, which consists of exposed fossilized tree trunks. There is also the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest which covers Lesvos’ pre-historic past, during which a tropical jungle full of strange beasts covered the land.
Book your accommodation on Lesvos, one of the most beautiful Greek islands of the northern Aegean Sea.
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