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The Best Greek Islands for Traveling with Toddlers

Photo of The Best Greek Islands for Traveling with Toddlers

Beyond Greece’s capital, Athens, are islands with breathtaking beaches, luxury cruises, stunning sceneries, and superb cuisine. The question is, are they child-friendly? And if so, which are the best Greek islands for traveling with toddlers?

You’ll find endless options in these surprisingly kid-friendly Greek islands, from thrilling adventures to rich history to restful solitude.

Buildings in Santorini, Greece with view of the sea
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

Santorini

With its volcanic beaches and whitewashed houses on rugged cliffs, Santorini exudes charm and romance. But there’s more to this Greek island than its reputation as a dreamy honeymoon destination. Santorini has exciting experiences for people of every age, toddlers included.

Our first stop is Fira, the island’s capital. It is home to museums and majestic churches, including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the blue-domed Three Bells of Fira, one of the most photographed sites on the island. Kids will love the cable car ride to the Old Fort, where your family can enjoy a delicious meal at a taverna by the sea.

About six miles from Fira is the quaint town of Oia, known for maze-like alleys and magical sunsets. Pyrgos, the island’s highest village, offers breathtaking panoramas of the Aegean Sea from its 16th-century fortress. In Emporio, you will find traditional windmills on a hill.

While most beaches in Santorini are rocky with patches of sand that get too hot to walk on barefoot, some are impressively family-friendly. These include Kamari, Amoudi Bay, and Monolithos. Of course, you can’t miss a caldera boat tour, the best way to explore Santorini’s craters, towering cliffs, hot springs, and neighboring islands.

 

Crete

Children are never too young to soak up some culture and history, and Crete is the perfect place for this. It is a paradise for lovers of mythology, architecture, and the great outdoors. But what makes Crete one of the best places to tour in Greece for those traveling with toddlers is its wide range of activities for the young and young at heart.

Crete has dozens of family-friendly beaches with clear, calm shallow waters suitable for younger kids. The pink sand Elafonsi Beach is arguably the most beautiful beach on the island, but it can get crowded during summer and the weekends. Head to Vai Beach, the Bali beaches, or Lake Kournas for someplace more secluded and mellow.

Apart from the beaches, Crete teems with spots that will intrigue even the fussiest toddlers. These include Dinosauria Park, home to life-size animatronic dinosaurs, and CretAquarium, an award-winning aquarium with over 2,000 marine creatures. In addition, it has many waterparks that are ideal for a day out, including Water City, Bravo, Star Beach, and Aqua Plus.

And what toddler doesn’t enjoy good storytelling? The Labyrinth Theme Park features interactive activities and attractions that allow young kids to discover Greek mythology, while Minoan’s World teaches them about Crete’s history through a thrilling 3D cinematic experience.

 

Harbor in Naxos. Greece with boats and buildings
Image by Thomas G. from Pixabay

Naxos

Naxos, Greece’s greenest island, is also the most kid-friendly. Scenic villages, olive groves, and ancient temples dot its lush landscape, while tranquil beaches wrap around its sandy coastline. Despite its natural beauty, Naxos is not full of tourists, partygoers, or adults-only resorts.

When in Naxos, visiting the beaches is a must, and the island has plenty of ones suitable for families with young kids. The most popular include Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, and St. George, all with fine golden dunes, shallow waters, and child-friendly tavernas. If you’ve had too much sand on your Greek vacation, head to Aqua Fun Park to enjoy the thrilling slides, multiple pools, and other exciting facilities.

Alternatively, you can visit Laguna Beach Park to learn windsurfing, one of the most popular sports in Naxos. Don’t worry, the waters are calm, the waves gentle, and the school offers workshops to students of all ages and skill levels.

Be sure to explore the old town’s lively port, the 13th-century castle on a hill, and the Archeological Museum. For the best sunset views, climb up to the 2500-year-old ruins of the Temple of Apollo. If you have time to spare, make a beeline for the island’s traditional mountain villages.

 

Paros

Anyone can find their perfect family vacation in Paros. Fill your itinerary with fun activities designed for young globetrotters. Take cooking lessons, join child-friendly tours, or try watersports on one of the island’s gorgeous beaches.

Compared to its more luxurious neighbors, Santorini and Mykonos, Paros is cheaper and caters to travelers with young kids. You will find affordable but quality accommodations in Paros for families. Plus, it has superb dining at reasonable prices.

If the main reason you chose an island as your holiday destination is the beaches, Paros doesn’t disappoint. Almost all beaches have fine golden sand and crystal-clear waters, but the most kid-friendly are Marcello Beach, Faragas Beach, Santa Maria, and Kolymbithres Beach.

A trip to Paros is incomplete without exploring Parikia, the capital. Its villages, Naousa, Piso Livadi, and Leftes, make a perfect cycling and hiking destination.

Children can also stargaze at the Parikia harbor, create pottery, or meet rescued birds at the Alkioni Aegean Wildlife Hospital.

 

Rhodes

Located in the heart of the Aegean Sea, Rhodes is one of the most-visited islands in Greece and a favorite among families. Not only is Rhodes sunny and balmy all year round. It also has many historical sites, sprawling parks, incredible beaches, and museums that host games and workshops for young children.

Spend a day or two swimming and lounging on the sand. Pefkos, Agios Pavlos, Tsambika, and Vlicha beaches are the most child friendly. If you’re looking for a change of venue, check out Falikari Water Park. Your little one will love the mini water slides, wading pools, and pirate ships for toddlers.

Visit in summer or early fall to see millions of colorful butterflies on a hike in the Valley of Butterflies. For more nature, discover marine life at the Rhodes Aquarium or get up close and personal with farm animals at the Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo.

Toy enthusiasts will have fun at the Rhodes Toy Museum, home to miniature cars, old-school pinball machines, and vintage video games. For a bit of history, stroll down the halls of the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. To experience more of the local culture, see the churches in the medieval village of Asklipio or ride a donkey to the clifftop acropolis in Lindos.

 

You might also be interested in these articles from Bébé Voyage:

Greece with kids: Top tips for exploring the Cyclades

48 Hours in Athens: A Family-Friendly Adventure Through the City of the Gods

 

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