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15 of the best family destinations in Greece

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As long as it takes to eat a koulouri
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It's no secret why Greece is a top destination for families. The sun, sea and sand are enough. But then there are the mountains and other gorgeous scenery, the safety factor and the locals who make kids the star of the show. In this guide to some of the best places in Greece for family holidays, we focus on island and mainland destinations with resort hotels (with kids’ clubs, pools, water parks etc) as well as smaller family hotels. We highlight beaches with shallow, calm water, making them ideal for younger children… although you’ll find other beaches, too. They are all easy to get to and around (hiring a car is recommended) and we note top museums & cultural sites and other activities for the whole family. If that’s what you’re looking for, read on.

Crete

The No.1 destination for family holidays to Greece… and for good reason. Crete is Greece’s largest island and is a mature holiday destination. It’s easy to get to and there are beachfront resort hotels (especially along the northern coast, from Chania to Elounda and Agios Nikolaos), as well as countless smaller family hotels, in or close to the cities or in smaller settlements, if you prefer the quaintness of a traditional cafe or village square. Crete has landmark archaeological sites and museums and some of the top family beaches in Greece. In short, it’s an island that’s got it all. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Crete:

  • Family strollsChania and Rethymno Old Town and Agios Nikolaos
  • Beaches: Malia, Falassarna, Vai, Loutro, Voulisma, Frangokastello, Tris Ekklisies, Paleochora, Stavros etc
  • Culture: The Archaeological Museum of Chania and the Archaeological Museum & Natural History Museums of Heraklion, The Minoan palaces of KnossosPhaistosSpinalonga island, the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology
  • Activities & tours: Food tours, farms visit, pottery and mosaic workshops, excavations
  • Village life: Apokoronas villages or the villages in the Lasithi plateau
  • Getting there: By plane to Heraklion and Chania (international & domestic) and Sitia (domestic) and by boat from Piraeus and other Greek islands to Heraklion and Chania (year round), and Rethymnon, Sitia and Kissamos. 

Corfu

Also among the best Greek islands for family holidays is Corfu. There are resort hotels and a great choice of hotels near the beach, as well as villas or even boutique hotels in the Old Town that are perfect for families. Corfu's Old Town is mostly car-free and you can enjoy a coffee or drink in Spianada Square while the kids run around safely in the biggest square in the Balkans. Corfu has a good road and bus network, making it easy to get to fully organised beaches and tavernas and to activities in the countryside.

Highlights from your family holidays in Corfu:

  • Family strolls: Corfu Old Town
  • Beaches: Dassia, Barbati, Nisaki, Paleokastritsa, Glyfada, Kontogialos, Prasoudi, Messongi, Marathias
  • Culture: Mon Repos Palace (including a nature walk), Achilleion Palace, Archaeological Museum, Olive Museum 
  • Activities & tours: Corfu Donkey Rescue, Soap Factory, Kumquat Factory, olive tours, food tours, cooking classes, horse riding, water sports (incl. water bike, SUP etc) and water parks
  • Nature excursions: Vido island with beaches (without facilities) and nature walks where you can see bunnies and pheasants, the Donkey Path hike between Lakones village and Paleokastitsa or to Nymfes Waterfalls 
  • Village life: Kassiopi, Agios Stefanos, Benitses, Lakones, Pelakas and more villages of Corfu
  • Day trips or island hopping: Paxos & Antipaxos
  • Getting there: By plane to Corfu airport (international) and by ferry from Igoumenitsa (470km from Athens, 323km from Thessaloniki) to Corfu town or Lefkimi port.

Halkidiki

Halkidiki is right up there among the best places in Greece for families. Kassandra and Sithonia (the first two ‘fingers’ of Halkidiki’s three-pronged peninsula) have everything from beachfront resorts to smaller hotels and some of the best family beaches in Greece. Many are long and sandy, with beach bars, tavernas, water sports and other facilities. Distances can be big, so it’s best to hire a car. That way, you can explore Mount Itamos and Mount Holomontas in central Halkidiki and enjoy other nature and culture activities.  

Highlights from your family holidays in Halkidiki:

  • Beaches: Kassandra (Paliouri, Sani, Polychrono, Afitos, Chrousou) & Sithonia (Kavourotripes, Trani Amoudia, Kalogria, Vourvourou, Neos Marmaras)
  • Activities & tours: Apiary visit and honey tasting, cooking class, water sports & water parks
  • Village life: Central Halkidiki (Arnea, Taxiarchis), Kassandra (Afytos, Paliouri), Sithonia (Nikiti, Parthenonas), including nature strolls and small museums
  • Culture: Ancient Stagira, Aristotle’s Park
  • Nature excursions: Short hikes (eg Taxiarchis Forest, Mount Itamos and Mount Holomontas)
  • Boat trips: To Diaporos and Ammouliani islands, or hiring a boat and exploring remote beaches & coves
  • Getting there: By plane to Thessaloniki airport (international & domestic) and by road from Thessaloniki (70km-125km to Kassandra & 100km-150km to Sithonia)

Discover the 10 best things to do in Halkidiki

Rhodes

Rhodes is another top destination for family holidays in Greece, with resort hotels in and around Rhodes town and along the northeast and southeast coast. There’s a choice of family-friendly beaches, with calm, shallow water, and it’s another Greek island with a year-round population and well-developed infrastructure. The medieval Old Town is straight out of a fairytale of knights and castles and the archaeological site of Lindos is one of the most atmospheric in Greece. There are activities for the whole family and even boat trips to neighbouring Halki or Symi, two of the smaller Greek islands. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Rhodes:

  • Family strolls: Rhodes Old Town 
  • Beaches: Lindos, Agios Pavlos, Vlycha, Anthony Quinn, Tsampika, Agia Agathi, Afandou, Pefki and more of the best beaches in Rhodes
  • Culture: Archaeological Site of Lindos, Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, Bee Museum
  • Activities & tours: Water parks & water sports (SUP, kayak etc), pottery workshops etc
  • Nature excursions: Valley of the butterflies, Rodini Park 
  • Village life: Monolithos, Embonas, Lahania
  • Boat trips: Around the island and to Halki and Symi  
  • Getting there: By plane to Rhodes airport (international & domestic) or by boat from Piraeus. 

The ultimate bucket list of things to do in Rhodes

Kos

Kos is another big family holiday destination in Greece’s Dodecanese islands, with resort hotels (especially in Mastihari, Marmari, Agios Fokas, Kardamena and Paradisi) and smaller family hotels around the island. It has excellent infrastructure and a wide selection of well-equipped beaches, mainly on the south coast, easily reached by car or boat. Favourite activities include exploring Kos town on bikes and visiting the Asclepion and Botanical Garden of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who was born in Kos.

Highlights from your family holidays in Kos:

  • Beaches: Marmari, Psalidi, Tigaki, Helona, Polemi, Kefalos and more of the best beaches in Kos
  • Activities: A bike ride in Kos town, water park & water sports
  • Culture: Asclepion of Kos & Botanical Garden of Hippocrates, Stroll around the cultural landmarks of Kos town, Agios Stefanos beach & archaeological site
  • Boat trips: To the beaches of southern Kos, day trips to the volcano of Nysiros and to Kalymnos & Pserimos islands
  • Village life: Zia village (& nature walks)
  • Getting there: By plane to Kos airport (international & domestic) or by boat from Piraeus.

8 must do’s to experience Kos at its best

Zante

Zante (or Zakynthos) is another of the best Greek islands for family holidays, especially the seaside resorts in the east and south (towards Vasilikos and Laganas Bay). There’s a wide choice of activities, from water parks and horse riding to boat trips around the island and to the Blue Caves. But top of the list are the many beaches with great facilities and shallow water … always a hit with the family. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Zante:

  • Beaches: Kalamaki, Agios Sostis, Keri, Vasilikos, Agios Nikolaos, Porto Roma, Gerakas, Alikes and more of the best beaches in Zante
  • Family strolls: Exploring the Bohali district, the Venetian Castle and other landmarks of Zante town like Agios Markos Square, Solomou Square and the Church of Agios Dionysios 
  • Culture: Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos, Museum of Dionysios Solomos,  Natural History Museum in Helmi 
  • Activities & tours: Water park & water sports, olive oil tasting, cooking classes, horse riding, farm visits 
  • Boat trips: Around the island, Blue Caves and Keri
  • Village life: Keri (with a view of Myzithres peninsula), Kiliomenos, Kambi
  • Getting there: By plane to Zante (Zakynthos) airport (international & domestic) and by ferry from Killini port (western Peloponnese)

Discover 9 of the best things to do in Zante

Naxos

Whatever you’re looking for in a holiday on a family-friendly Greek island, you’ll find it on Naxos. Its main town has a Venetian castle and museums, there are ancient monuments and plenty of activities for you and the kids. In contrast to the arid landscape of other Cycladic islands, it is green and hilly, making it almost self-sufficient in local products. There are traditional villages, with tavernas, cafes and shops, and a choice of well-equipped beaches and remote with shallow water. The most popular places to stay are in Hora (the main town) and in the west, from Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna to Pirgaki. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Naxos:

  • Family strolls: Naxos town and castle, Portara
  • Culture: Temple of Demeter, Archaeological Museum, Byzantine Museum, Archaeological Site and Collection of Yria, Archaeological Museum of Giroulas
  • Beaches: Agios Georgios (Hora), Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, Marangas, Plaka, Pyrgaki, Mikri Vigla, Alyko & Panormos 
  • Activities & tours: Water sports, hiking, horse riding, hiring bikes & bike tours, horse riding
  • Village life: Melanes (famous for its 6th century BC Kouros statue), Sangri, Halki, Filoti, Apiranthos, Egares (including an olive oil museum)
  • Nature excursions: Hiking trails such as Koronos village to the Koutsounas Waterfalls and from Ano (upper) Potamia to Kato (lower) Potamia
  • Boat trips: To Delos and Mykonos and island tours 
  • Getting there: By plane to Naxos airport (domestic) and by ferry from Piraeus (and less regularly, Rafina and Lavrion)

Discover the top things to do in Naxos
 

Syros

Syros is the capital of the Cyclades islands. Staying in Ermoupoli, you have everything you need, with hotels, restaurants and shops that are open all year round. The food and local products include influences from Asia Minor, making every meal memorable. And almost all the beaches are easily reached and sandy and shallow. The north is the wildest part of the island. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Syros:

  • Family strolls: Ermoupoli and picturesque Ano Syros 
  • Culture: Archaeological Museum of Syros, Museum of the Textile Factory of Ermoupoli, Museum of Traditional Professions
  • Beaches: Kini, Galissas, Delfini, Agathopes, Komito, Finikas, Megas Gialos, Vari, Azolimnos, Posidonia and more of the best beaches in Syros
  • Activities & tours: Water sports, horse riding, food tours, cooking classes to discover the secret behind the local products
  • Getting there: By air to Syros airport (domestic) and by ferry from Piraeus (and less regularly Lavrion)

Discover the 8 top things to do in Syros

Peloponnese

The Peloponnese is family road trip territory. It has a good road network and destinations with beaches, water sports, landmark archaeological sites (including 5 out of the 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece), villages, nature activities, birdwatching etc – something different every day. A road trip allows you to explore different corners of the Peloponnese, changing hotel as you go. Or you could concentrate on one part, returning to the same spot every night. Nafplio, Kalamata, Pylos, Porto Heli and the likes of Gythio and Limeni in the Mani peninsula are great bases from which to plan day trips in the surrounding area.

Highlights from your family holidays in the Peloponnese:

  • Messinia: A stroll in Kalamata, Polylimnio, Ancient Messene, Koroni and Methoni castles, Voidokilia lagoon, Pylos & Gialova, family-friendly beaches and outdoor activities close to Kalamata and nature strolls on Mount Taygetos, Kardamili (Messinian Mani), olive oil tasting experiences. 
  • Mani: Mountain and coastal villages (Limeni, Aeropoli, Vathia, Itylo, Gythio etc), Monemvasia, family-friendly beaches, Mystras (UNESCO), Diros Caves
  • Nafplio: Nafplio town and Palamidi Castle, Nemea (vineyards & Ancient Nemea), Ancient Mycenae (UNESCO), Epidaurus (UNESCO) Mountainous Arcadia (Vytina, Dimitsana, Stemnitsa etc), Ancient Corinth & Akrokorinth,  Lake Stymfalia & Environmental Museum of Stymfalia
  • Ancient Olympia: Archaeological site (UNESCO) and museum, Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae (UNESCO), beaches of Ilia (Zaharo, Bouka, Loutra Killinis, Kalogria etc), Neda Waterfalls, Foli oak forest
  • Getting there: Hire a car and drive from Athens (138km to Nafplio, 240km to Kalamata, 290k to Ancient Olympia, 278km to Gythio. Kalamata also has an airport and car hire.

Kefalonia

Not one of the first places you think of when it comes to family holidays in Greece, but Kefalonia is hit with kids for many reasons. It has excellent family beaches (some with amenities and others sheltered in small coves) and activities for every age. You can also cross to Ithaca, the island of Homer’s Odysseus. Family-friendly accommodation is concentrated in Argostoli, Lixouri, Sami and Skala.

Highlights from your family holidays in Kefalonia:

  • Beaches: Antisamos, Foki, Emplisi, Xi, Marki Gialos, Atheras, Skala, Kaminia, Horgota and more of the best beaches in Kefalonia
  • Village life: Assos, Fiskardo and more coastal and mountain villages
  • Activities & tours: Boating in the Melissani Cave, cooking classes, boat trips, outdoor activities (water sports, horse riding and hiking on the slopes of Mount Ainos one of Greece’s few island national parks)
  • Family strolls: Argostoli and Lixouri
  • Day trips: Boat trip to Ithaca
  • Getting there: By plane to Kefalonia airport (international & domestic) and by boat from Killini (western Peloponnese)

Explore the 10 top things to do in Kefalonia

Athens

As a busy city, Athens may not seem like a destination for kids… beyond the obvious highlights of the Acropolis and other archaeological sites. But that’s before you discover the beaches and resort hotels of the Athens Riviera, offering a taste of Greek summer without ever leaving the capital. Alternatively, there are plenty of hotels in the city centre. There are plenty of things to do in Athens with kids, as well as unexpected green spaces and day trips to enjoy. And when it comes to treats, it’s a case of “come for the Acropolis, stay for the ice cream”. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Athens:

  • Culture: Landmarks like the Acropolis the Ancient Agora & Roman Agora and lesser-known gems like the Kerameikos Ancient Cemetery, and many of the best museums in Athens, like the Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art, Natural History Museum
  • Activities & tours: Myth-filled guided tours of the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum, self-guided arts & crafts tour, treasure hunts, workshops and arts & crafts activities, open-air cinemas, and even farm visits and tours that allow you to be an Olympic athlete for the day in the Panathenaic Stadium
  • Family strolls: Plaka, green spaces, Flisvos Marina, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, Ellinikon, nature walks
  • The Athens Riviera: Beaches, water sports, traditional tavernas, international & modern Mediterranean cuisine, Lake Vouliagmeni, the Temple of Apollo in Sounion
  • Day trips: Island and mainland destinations close to Athens
  • Getting there: By plane to Athens International Airport
     

Thessaloniki

The second-largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki is an ideal destination for a family city break. Most of the sites are in or near the centre, giving it the feel of an open-air museum. The castles and Byzantine monuments of the Upper Town also offer wonderful views of the Thermaic Gulf – on  a clear day, even as far as Mount Olympus. There’s a vibe about Thessaloniki that appeals to all ages (especially in the food markets and along the waterfront) and the food & drink scene is legendary. It’s also a great starting point for day trips or longer stays across Central Macedonia and into Halkidiki. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Thessaloniki:

  • Culture: The White Tower, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Galerian Complex & Roman Agora, Church of Agios Dimitrios, Church of Hosios David (Latomos Monastery) and Vlatadon Monastery
  • Gastronomy: Modiano Market, Food tours
  • Family strolls: Waterfront stroll or bike ride, castles of the Upper Town
  • Day trips & escapes: Beaches of Halkidiki, Polycentric Museum of Aigai, Mount Olympus & Archaeological Site of Dion, Lake Kerkini 
  • Getting there: By plane to Thessaloniki airport (international & domestic) or by road (500km) from Athens

Lesvos

Your next family friendly Greek island is Lesvos, one of the less-explored islands, known for its beautiful beaches and the Petrified Forest in Sigri ("the Pompeii of the plant world" and part of UNESCO’s World Geoparks Network). Mytilene (the capital) and Molyvos have Venetian castles and picturesque alleyways and Plomari (one of many traditional villages) is known as the home of ouzo in Greece. Lesvos is also famous for birdwatching. Most accommodation (not resort-style) is found in Mytelene, Molyvos, Plomari, Petra, Skala Eresou and Skala Kallonis. 

Highlights from your family holidays in Lesvos:

  • Family strolls: Mytelene, Molyvos and Plomari
  • Beaches: Vatera, Molyvos, Tarti, Haramida, Kanoni, Tsonia, Petra and more of the best beaches in Lesvos
  • Nature trips: Petrified Forest of Lesvos and Natural History Museum in Sigri, birdwatching in the Kalloni wetlands
  • Culture: Archaeological Museum of Mytilene, Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production
  • Village life: Agiasos, Mantamados, Sikaminea & Skala Sikamineas, Petra, Vatousa 
  • Activities & tours: Pottery workshops, farm visits, water sports, horse riding 
  • Getting there: By plane to Lesvos airport (domestic) and by boat from Piraeus (10hrs)

The 10 best experiences in Lesvos

Skiathos

Skiathos is another less-obvious destination for family holidays in Greece, with a mesmerising mix of pine trees and sparkling blue sea. There’s a choice of family-friendly beaches (some reached by boat). Koukounaries (Natura 2000-protected) and Lalaria beach area world-beaters. It’s also another island with smaller, family-run hotels, and the main town is charming. There’s also the bonus of visiting neighbouring Skopelos or Alonissos

Highlights from your family holidays in Skiathos:

  • Family strolls: Skiathos town 
  • Beaches: Koukounaries, Vromolimnos, Troulos, Krifi Ammos, Agia Eleni, Mikri Banana, Maratha, Agia Paraskevi, Koutsouri and more of the best beaches in Skiathos
  • Boat trips: Lalaria beach (with older kids) & boat trips around the island and to  Tsougria island
  • Day trips: Skopelos and Alonissos
  • Getting there: By boat from Agios Konstantinos port (168km from Athens)

The very best of Skiathos in 6 days

Parga & Syvota

Our final suggestion for family holidays in Greece takes you to Epirus, on the west coast. Parga is a picturesque seaside settlement with a Venetian fortress and Syvota is a well-equipped nearby resort. Both have family hotels (so you can choose the atmosphere you want) and fantastic family-friendly beaches and archaeological remains to visit. And for adventure combined with unique scenery, there are activities on or near the Acheron River ... even more impressive when you learn that the Acheron Springs were one of the entrances to Hades.

Highlights from your family holidays in Parga and Syvota:

  • Family strolls: Parga (including the Venetian castle, around the port & olive oil factory)
  • Beaches: Kryoneri, Valtos, Sarakiniko, Bella Vraka, Pisina (Blue Lagoon), Megali & Mikri Ammos, Agia Paraskevi, Lichnos, Loutsa, Zeri, DEI
  • Activities & tours: Water sports, rafting, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, cycling, zip wire and other activities on or by the Acheron River 
  • Culture: Ancient Theatre of Cassope & Ancient Nicopolis (museum, theatre & archaeological site) 
  • Day trips: Paxos & Antipaxos (for a boat trip) or Metsovo (for a mountain escape)
  • Getting there: By road from Athens (409km to Parga, 435km to Syvota) and Thessaloniki (344km to Parga, 340km to Syvota). The closest airport is Aktio (domestic).

Discover the best beaches of Parga

Top family destinations in Greece

There are many family-friendly destinations in Greece, depending on the age of your kids and what you're looking for. You might want more outdoor activities or road trip options, or you might be looking for more remote destinations. And don’t think twice about booking your holidays in spring or autumn (when the weather is at its best for nature activities) or even winter.