It can be difficult to decide which of Greece’s more than 200 inhabited islands to take your family to with the abundance of fantastic options. But a few islands stand out due to a critical mass of family-friendly beaches, activities, and lodgings, in addition to the calm waters, picturesque communities, and abundant history that make them a magnet for any holiday.
Eight of the most family-friendly Greek islands to visit this summer are listed below, from Crete’s well-known island to the Naxos’s relaxed isle. The only thing left to do is choose what to pack.
While it may be tempting to do nothing but relax on the picture-perfect beaches of Corfu, the island is ideal for more adventurous activities. Families can visit the Old Town of Corfu, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, browse the ancient artefacts on display at the Museum of Palaiopolis-Mon Repos, and stroll through the gardens. They can also visit the Achilleion Palace, which features impressive artwork, ceiling frescoes, and statues of Greek mythological figures.
The Cape Drastis Loop is a favourite trail for hiking and bicycling, and those looking for outdoor recreation can also go kayaking, snorkelling, or scuba diving in the Ionian Sea with the assistance of outfitters like Aqua Funtastic Watersports. Another option is to go on a boat cruise to see Corfu’s breathtaking coastline. Ride the slides all day at Aqualand Waterpark.
Regarding accommodations, Tripadvisor visitors adore the Ikos Dassia, winner of Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best, for its several pools and kids’ club that caters to visitors of all ages.
Crete, the biggest of Greece’s Mediterranean islands, is ideal for families seeking an exciting and educational holiday. A visit to the stunning Samaria Gorge National Park, the prehistoric archaeological site of Knossos, and the Historical Museum of Crete in Heraklion, the island’s capital city, are a few must-see attractions.
Other options include sea kayaking Sfakia, a glass-bottomed boat excursion to search for octopuses, horseback riding in the highlands with Deres Horse Riding Centre, and the Aquaworld Aquarium for indoor entertainment. Book a room at the cosy Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa, which is close to Chania and has childcare services.
Compared to other of Greece’s more well-known islands, Naxos offers a laid-back, family-friendly environment. Ancient history enthusiasts can visit the Venetian Museum, housed in an 800-year-old Venetian villa, or see what is left of the Temple of Apollo. Hiking atop Mount Zas, the tallest mountain in the Cyclades, or windsurfing and kiteboarding at Mikri Vigla Beach are two options for outdoor pursuits. Alternatively, you may take a day trip to the adjacent island of Delos, where Greeks think Apollo was born, to explore well-preserved ancient remains, or you could wade in the shallow waters of Agios Georgios Beach.
Naxos has a huge selection of eateries that both parents and kids will enjoy when they are hungry. Try Scirocco, a restaurant managed by two brothers and their mother, where you can savour dishes like moussaka, lamb chops, and fried calamari that are prepared at home. Make Villa Marandi Luxury Suites, winner of Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best, your home base. It has direct beach access, a special kids’ pool, and even a playground.
Rhodes offers a variety of family-friendly activities, from relaxing on the beautiful beaches for teens to exploring the historic ruins for tweens who love history. Visit the Palace of the Grand Master, a former medieval castle turned museum with rooms stuffed with antique furniture, sculptures, and mosaics, or take the 2.4-mile walk to the Lindos Peninsula Lookout for stunning beach and bay views. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Book a room at the all-inclusive Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort & Villas, where there are eight pools (including an outdoor kids’ paddle pool for younger kids) and a kids’ club on site for youngsters between the ages of 4 and 12. This will provide a stress-free vacation.
Paros, a little but gorgeous island in the Cyclades, is yet another excellent choice for families seeking a relaxed atmosphere. Visit the Panagia Ekatontapiliani church, built in the Byzantine era, to see stunning mosaics and frescoes away from the usual crowds; have lunch by the water in the fishing village of Piso Livadi; or take a stroll through Paros Park, a nearly 200-acre seaside area with dramatic rock formations, secret coves, and a protected beach. Older children may also enjoy a marble-carving class where they can create their very own souvenirs.
Stay at the well-liked Saint Andrea Seaside Resort, which offers a sizable pool, a free shuttle to the beach, and bicycle rentals to let you explore the island. Several reviewers have noted that it is a family-friendly resort that isn’t overly child-focused—the ideal balance of complete relaxation and a new sense of energy for kids below elementary school and beyond.
Although Santorini is more frequently associated with honeymoons, there are plenty of family-friendly activities there as well. Take a catamaran cruise to the nearby volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni to explore hot springs, volcanic craters, and more, or brush up on your island history at Akrotiri, one of the best-preserved ancient settlements in the Aegean that was completely buried by a volcanic eruption in the 17th century B.C. Swim at Perissa Black Sand Beach, which is ideal for kids with calm, crystal-clear water.
The Majestic Hotel is ideal for families travelling to Santorini, featuring three fresh-water pools, a playground, a TV room with board games, and a billiards area for teenagers.
On Skiathos, you can spend your time relaxing on the island’s many beaches (Koukounaries is a family favourite due to its shallow water), discovering the charming fishing villages that dot the coastline (try Skiathos Town and Paralia Megali Ammos), or visiting historical sites like the 18th-century Monastery of Evangelistria, which is now home to a small ecclesiastical museum.
When it’s time to eat, visit Johnny’s and Maistrali, two classic Greek tavernas, to savour hearty regional fares like veal spaghetti and saganaki. (If you plan to visit Johnny’s in the summer, make a reservation well in advance.) The Mystery Skiathos Luxury Residence, which includes apartment-style accommodations perfect for many families travelling together, is where you may rest your heads after that.
Visit Zakynthos for the Blue Caves, where you may swim and snorkel in turquoise water, Skopos Hill trekking, and Navagio Beach, a sandy beach accessible only by boat with a shipwreck at one end. The island is also home to a number of water parks, including Tsilivi Water Park and Zante Water Village.
Stay at the all-inclusive Domes Aulus Zante Autograph Collection, where kids may participate in the KiEPOS programme, produce their own greens, herbs, and flowers, or hang out in the playground with Montessori-inspired decor.