Greek Islands

The Greek Islands

The Best Greek Islands for Families

Many things about the Greek islands make them seem like a breath of fresh air. It’s a basic way of life, yet it’s stunningly beautiful. When things become stressful at home, it’s nice to come here where time appears to have stopped. The only thing that can bring a family closer together and help build lasting memories is a short vacation when everyone simply focuses on the present situation.

Greece’s greatest asset is the sheer number of islands to explore (227 to be exact), each of which offers something special. A trip to any of our list of greek islands is a sure bet, but doing your homework beforehand is always a good idea when traveling with children. We’ve put up this guide to assist you determine which of the Greek islands is perfect for your family and to get your wanderlust going. Take your time, read about the best Greek islands, and then locate your favorites on the map.

Corfu
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Spectacular Corfu is a green, hilly island with charming towns and a wide range of stunning beaches. Glyfada and Saint Gordios, with their soft sand beaches and Paleokastritsa, a pebbly playground, are located in the west. On the other hand, the north of the island, where beaches like Sidari offer spectacular rock formations and mild shallow seas, is ideal for swimming. Beaches are a favorite of children for a variety of reasons.

Corfu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a popular destination for families with young children who enjoy exploring the city’s twisting passageways known as kantounias. It’s a great location for introducing youngsters to regional food and looking for a restaurant selling pastitsada (best enjoyed with some local ginger beer). Despite the fact that Corfu is a popular tourist destination, don’t be afraid to go off the main path in search of the island’s many spectacular hidden jewels.

Most Greek islands, like those in Spain, have a legally enforced mikró pno (or “movement halt”) between 3 and 5 p.m. Mikró pono is a great opportunity to relax by the villa pool with a cool drink and some munchies before venturing out for the evening.

If you’re planning a trip to Corfu you may want to look at this handy Berlitz guide book

Crete
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Visit Crete and discover why the Greeks refer to it as Megalónisos, or “The Great Island.” Crete’s golden beaches and glistening coves mix with prehistoric caverns and ruins, making for a dream vacation for anybody. Knossos, the center of Europe’s oldest civilisation, and its magnificent palace remains may be found here. Modern archaeology has made a trip to Knossos in the twenty-first century akin to taking the youngsters on a tour of a live history lecture. Heraklion, Crete’s capital city, is also known as Iraklio City and has a number of kid-friendly museums where visitors can learn more about the island’s history and culture. CretAquarium and the Natural History Museum are two of our favorite places.

Chania on the west coast of the island is the place to go if you want to spend a day (or days) at the beach. The white sand beaches here seem like they’re on a desert island, yet they’re just a short walk from the city’s charming Venetian port and waterfront cafés, where the kids can have freshly caught calamari. Elafonisi’s lagoons and Kato Gouves’ rock pools are especially appealing to children. Crete has a plethora of water-based activities to choose from, so take advantage of them while you can!

Visiting the Dikteon Cave with children is a fascinating experience because of the Greek mythology that surrounds it as well as the amazing rock formations that are exposed within. If you’re looking for more outdoor fun, go to Europe’s longest canyon, the Samarian Gorge, for a day hike. If you have older kids who love some physical exercise, this is probably for you. Regardless, it’s quite a sight.

Rhodes
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Rhodes, a stunning island, has a lot to offer, not the least of which is its stunning beach-lined east coast. Soft, golden beach and warm shallow water stretch out before you for thirty kilometres. If you came to Greece in search of leisure, you’ve come to the right place. The Faliraki Water Park and Luna Park may be found on the beach, making it a great place for families. Agathi and Kalithea Springs, on the other hand, are great choices if you like a more relaxed pace of life. If you’re fortunate enough to go to Rhodes during the off-season, experience the island’s best feature: a summer that lasts longer than on any other Greek island.

Rhodes Town, with its car-free cobblestone alleys and ancient fortifications, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that seems like a trip back in time. You may even walk around the ancient town’s walls to soak in the stunning vistas. At dusk, go down to the port to see the fisherman bring in the day’s catch (then head to one of the local restaurants for a fresh taste). At the Marline Aquarium, kids can get up and personal with the aquatic life of the eastern Mediterranean. A medieval structure on the town’s coastline has been transformed into an underwater wonderland, complete with corals, octopuses, turtles, and an array of fish and other marine life.

The interior of Rhodes is dominated by lush green woods and towering mountain ranges. A trip to Petalodes (Butterfly Valley), a tranquil and green natural reserve where you may walk the pathways while being surrounded by butterflies, is a must. Visit the ancient site of Lindos, where you’ll find more about Rhodes’ interesting past while admiring the island’s towering Acropolis. The views from its hill are breathtaking, and you can see this 300 BC edifice up close if you’re willing to put forth the effort. Once you arrive at Lindos, take a side trip to St. Pauls Bay, where the turquoise seas provide a stunning background for family portraits.

Mykonos
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While Mykonos is known for its nightlife, there is much more to the island than that. Many factors make the Isle of Winds one of Greece’s most popular tourist attractions, starting with Mykonos Town (or Hora in Greek). One of the most attractive medieval cities in the Mediterranean, this little capital entices visitors to become lost for hours, discovering hidden treasures at every turn. It’s also a great place to take family photographs because of the amazing backgrounds. ‘Little Venice’s’ colorful balconies conceal little cafés and boutiques, while a series of famous ancient windmills, which were in operation until the 1960s but are now businesses, museums, and hotels, can be found in the area as well. When traveling with children, be sure to keep an eye out for Petros the Pelican, the island’s friendliest bird inhabitant and the town’s unofficial mascot.

Those looking for a luxurious beach experience while still being shielded from the strong winds of Mykonos should go to the island’s south side, which offers both. However, bear in mind that family-friendly beaches like Agios Ioannis are best to avoid the never-ending party atmosphere of places like Paradise Beach. As a rule, families will have an easier time finding space on the north side of the island, where it is less congested and more suitable for eating fresh local fish. However, depending on where you’re staying on the island, a good middle ground would be Psaro on the west side or Kalafátis and Kaló Livádi on the east.

A trip to Mykonos is ideal for scuba-diving, whether your children are old enough to attempt it or you’re seeking for something to do with just the adults. There are several caves, reefs, and shipwrecks to discover, as well as excellent diving schools for those who are just starting out. You may also go kitesurfing at Korfos Bay if you like to be above the water.

Santorini
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If you didn’t know, the island of Santorini was formed when a volcano erupted and submerged the island’s center, leaving only the rim standing. The geography of the island has allowed it to become home to some of Greece’s most well-known and revered landmarks. Villages perched on cliffs overlooking the crater of the Aegean Sea… Isn’t that what we imagine a Greek vacation to be like? Modern Santorini is a surprisingly fantastic destination for family vacations with nature-loving youngsters who also appreciate swimming. To be safe, expect black volcanic sand on the island’s beaches. While this makes for a terrific swimming experience (Monolithos Beach is our favorite), it can become quite hot on these beaches by midday. Save your afternoons for seeing Santorini’s other attractions.

Santorini’s picturesque settlements, such as Caldera and Oia, are what make the island so popular. Even though they’re well-liked and a must-see on your Santorini bucket list, these hotels aren’t the best choices for families. If you’re looking for a more family-friendly ambiance and easier access to the beach, go to Perissa or Kamari.

A must-see in Santorini is the Minoan village Akrotiki, sometimes known as the ‘Greek Pompeii’ because of its extensive ruins. Incredibly well-preserved after being buried under the volcanic ash for thousands of years, the village’s ruins were rediscovered and made accessible to the public. Santorini’s famed volcano is another major attraction, and a trip here would be incomplete without taking a boat cruise to view it up close. Even if you don’t get all the way to the summit, you can still see the craters and take a dip in the volcanic hot springs, which have a very warm water temperature.

Naxos
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There are no all-inclusive resorts on the shore of Naxos, the biggest of the Cyclades Islands, which makes it a special destination for beachgoers. That the British have yet to discover Naxos’ enchantment may be due to this. However, the rest of Europe has long admired it.

Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, and Agia Anna all have crystal-clear waters and fine golden beaches, making them excellent central choices. They’re ideal if you want to be near to the city’s major attractions while having access to the more cheap local businesses such as stores and restaurants. If you’re feeling more daring, take windsurfing lessons at Plaka Beach and watch the sunset while you’re at it.

On the island’s interior, you may climb 40 kilometers of paths that pass through several of the island’s old settlements, including the former capital Haldiki, which is particularly interesting to explore. Discover the core of the local culture, as well as intriguing historical landmarks, on a visit to one or more of these picturesque mountain communities. Because Naxos is unique among Greek islands in that it continues to produce the majority of its food on-site, you can be certain that no matter where you choose to eat, you and your family will be getting only the best.

Milos
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Milos is a Greek island that is seldom visited by outsiders and is a beloved vacation spot for Greek families. Before the rest of Britain discovers this up-and-coming hotspot, we suggest going. On the volcanic island of Milos, your little explorers will find a wealth of tunnels, caverns, and stunning rock formations. Kids with a spirit of adventure will love swimming amid the towering cliffs, and they can even go cliff jumping if they’re feeling courageous. In the event that you only have time for one spot to see, go to Kleftiko, a group of rocks with caverns buried underneath that were formerly utilized by pirates. Take your snorkeling gear with you, too.

The youngsters will probably like Paliohori if you prefer relaxing on the beach. Because it’s the island’s most well-known and active beach, there’s usually something going on there. Except for beach clubs and bars, there are more than 70 beaches along the coast, so whatever your preference, you’re sure to find it here.

A trip to Milos wouldn’t be complete without taking in some local culture, which abound on the island. It’s the location of the fabled Venus of Milos statue, which is currently housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Along a mile-long hiking track on the island, visitors may see the world’s third-largest catacombs, a stunning Roman amphitheatre, and the charming hillside communities of Trypiti and Klima.

Paros

Paros epitomizes everything we love about the Greek islands, and we could go on and on about it. A short distance from beautiful sandy beaches are picture-perfect communities with blue-domed churches and bustling harbours.. Paros, on the other hand, is just a two-hour catamaran ride from Santorini and Mykonos, making it an ideal day getaway during your vacation. Because there are three Greek islands within easy reach, why limit yourself to one? Tom Hanks’ private island retreat on Antiparos, where the rest of us may marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites in the gorgeous, deep caverns, is an additional, even shorter excursion.

If you’re traveling with children, stay at Naousa, a charming fishing village on the island’s northern shore. This place has it all: hip seafood eateries, charming local tavernas, and a classic, laid-back feel. Visit the island’s capital of Parikia as well; nonetheless, it still has a party feel from before Paros became a family-friendly haven. In many respects, it resembles Mykonos, although it’s far less congested.

As with other Greek islands, beaches abound in Paros. The most popular is Chryssi Akti, often known as Golden Beach because of its golden sands and mild waves. However, there are other smaller coves around the coast with similar amenities but fewer tourists. Kolymbithres Beach, known for its intriguing rock formations, is a great choice for those looking for something a little different. If you’re traveling with an energetic family, consider hiking to Cape Kórakas’ 19th-century lighthouse, windsurfing at Khrys Akt, or joining a morning ride on the beach.

Lefkada

Because of the long and thin causeway connecting it to the mainland, Lefkada isn’t officially an island. The fact that it captures the essence of a Greek island is enough for us to include it on our list. Even though the charming but tiny capital city can be traversed on foot in less than a half day, a trip there is nevertheless well worth the effort. Walking down the coastline and stopping at cafés, shops, museums, and cathedrals while the sun sets isn’t our idea of a wasted day. Instead, we’ll travel to the marina for supper and a show.

Watersports experiences are a key draw for Lefkadas, in addition to the laid-back atmosphere. Many watersports may be enjoyed in and around the marina and the bays around it. If you’re interested in giving it a go, Vasiliki Bay or another area nearby should have it. The beaches of Porto Katsiki and Kathisma, on the west side of the island, are great for relaxing, sunbathing, and picnics. The golden beaches and blue seas of Lefkada, which are surrounded by wooded mountains, are a major draw for visitors (not many are, when compared to the likes of Mykonos and Santorini).

Nidri Falls, located on the island’s east side, is a must-see for nature lovers. Water cascades down the mountainside and into a ravine surrounded by white rocks. Swimming is permitted, by the way.

Paxos

Paxi is a tiny island with a population of just 2300 people. It’s little and unassuming, but that only adds to its appeal as a getaway. Because it lacks an airport, it’s a little less well-known. Even though Paxos is a popular day excursion from the bigger islands during high season, it’s worth it to stay for longer.

It’s simple to view everything on the island of Paxos, considering there are only three towns: Gaios, Lakka, and Loggos. You can watch small sailboats come and go as they navigate the picturesque harbor at Lakka, which looks like something out of a picture postcard. The waterfront is unquestionably the hub of local activity, as shown by the fact that all roads go there. This picturesque harbour town has excellent family-owned tavernas by the sea, which are a pleasure if you prefer a leisurely evening dinner accompanied by ocean sounds. Despite its small size, Paxos’ capital Gaios is the point of departure for most day journeys to the island. It boasts a charming town center, a plethora of stores where you can buy olive oil and wine from the region, and adjacent beaches are fantastic.

These beach towns are connected by well-marked routes, so you’ll be at ease in no time. Considering the island is just 16 kilometers long, walking it is also a viable option.

Zakynthos (Zante)

Zakynthos, often known as Zante, is a lesser-known but no less beautiful Greek island. Located in the heart of Zakynthos, the Old Town has a rich Venetian heritage, stunning architecture, and several pedestrian-only lanes teeming with charming boutiques and restaurants. Strani Hill’s Venetian Kastro, a magnificent fortress perched among lush vegetation, offers the greatest views of the city. However, before you depart Zante, make sure to pay a visit to some of the island’s traditional mountain villages, which are home to antique windmills and breathtaking sunsets. Cape Skinari Lighthouse and Zante’s Blue Caves are located in the north of the island. Cape Skinari Lighthouse is a must-see. You may swim, snorkel, and even scuba dive in the caverns, which have a surreal ambiance. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

The east half of the island, with its white sand beaches and turquoise seas, is ideal for families. Tsilivi is a great place to go if you want to spice up a boring day with some water activities. Many of the most stunning coves can only be reached by boat, so don’t be afraid to wear your captain’s hat and set sail. Smugglers Cove, located northwest of Shipwreck Beach, is one of the area’s most famous secret coves, known as the ‘Navagio.’ Despite the fact that it washed ashore in the early 1980s, the ship still stands majestically on the beach, attracting tourists of all ages and enticing photographers.

A large population of ‘Caretta-Caretta’, or Loggerhead Turtles, may be seen on the beaches of Zante. In subsequent years, they’ve become endangered, but you may still see them if you search in the right places for them today. If you’re going to Marathonisi, Turtle Island, take a tour and keep your eyes out for dolphins. Zakynthos Town’s Daphni Nesting Beach, which is also a turtle conservation area, is an excellent choice. Only your snorkeling gear should be forgotten!

Kos

Family-friendly island Kos has adapted to becoming a major tourist destination and provides guests with a true experience of local culture. The Asklepion is without a doubt one of Kos’ most interesting historical figures. This old hospital’s ruins date all the way back to the time of Greek physicians like Hippocrates. Imagination is required to really appreciate the museum’s former greatness now, but kids have plenty of it, so the entire family will enjoy learning about how the museum operated in its heyday. There are several old ruins like the Asklepion strewn over the island, so you’re bound to find a few.

There is a wide variety of beautiful beaches on the Greek island of Kos. As a result, certain beaches on the island have dark-colored sand, while others, particularly along the island’s southern shore, have light-colored sands. The most well-known is Paradise Beach, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great place for families since the water is calm and shallow, and you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas. Go to Agios Fokas if you’re seeking something different. The hot springs of Bros Therma are only a short walk from this pebble beach, which isn’t the major draw. Because of the island’s volcanic heritage, these natural thermal springs rise from the crags like a natural swimming pool.

Most Greek islands have a plethora of magnificent stone windmills. However, in the Greek island of Kos, you’ll discover one of the few remaining working. On Kos, the last working windmill may be found in the town of Antimachia, where you can sample delicious treats cooked with its flour. Zia Natural Park is a terrific place to take the kids for a nature experience. Kids are allowed to feed the animals along the trails as you walk through Kos’ beautiful natural surroundings. An amazing vantage point with panoramic views of the island and hammocks for weary tiny feet may be found at the very top of the mountain.

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