Greece is a popular destination for summer holidays, although not limited to that! Greek islands are known for their natural beauty, warm hospitality, and vibrant nightlife for endless partying. And yet, there are some Greek islands that make for ideal family vacation destinations, with opportunities for many outdoor activities, such as snorkeling, SUP, swimming and other fun water sports, or hiking and exploring.
Which are the best Greek islands for families?
7 Greek Islands Perfect for a Family Vacation.
Crete is the largest island, offering endless possibilities for a family vacation. Generally, the whole of Crete is suitable for families, but there are certain spots that are ideal.
If you don’t have the luxury of time for a whole tour around Crete, choose Heraklion, the capital of the island. While there, you can’t miss a historical excursion to the Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum to explore the beauty of the Minoan era and learn more about the history of this civilization. There is also a helpful mobile app called Kids Love Knossos, which offers stories and information about the site in an engaging way! This historical sightseeing activity will be memorable for the whole family, and educational nonetheless!
In Rethymnon, you can stroll around and marvel at the Venetian influence of the Old Town as seen in the fortresses and its picturesque pedestrian alleys! Kids of all ages love castles and fortresses, and it is sure to instigate their imagination!
Family-friendly accommodation options in Rethymnon are ample, and its location is perfect for daily excursions nearby, from Matala caves to the gorge of Samaria, or nearby beaches such as Geropotamos beach and Baia Beach bar, both offering amenities and comfort. In the vicinity, you can also visit Biotopoi Nature Park.
If you choose the region of Chania, know that it is quite busy with visitors during the high season from mid-July to the end of August. While in Chania, don’t neglect to explore the nearby natural beauties by day, including the Balos lagoon. This magnificent landscape of sandy shores and shallow turquoise waters is perfect for children to swim, play and explore nature. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches worldwide, and it’s a lifetime experience!
A boat trip to Balos also includes a stop in Gramvousa, a wild and beautiful island complex, also known as the Pirate’s Island! The rich seabed and rocky formations give endless opportunities for snorkeling! On the island, you can also find remains of an old Venetian castle, yet another gift to be explored by your children!
What else to do in Crete:
- Explore Agios Nikolaos or Sitia
- Go on a boat tour to Spinalonga island
- Go on a day trip to Chrissi island
- Visit one of Crete’s Pink beaches Elafonisi
Naxos island is another jewel of the Cyclades, ideal for family activities and lots of sightseeing!
While in Naxos, you can’t miss Portara, the imposing ‘great door’ made out of marble, which is a remnant of the ancient Temple of Apollo in antiquity. Sunsets in Portara are also ideal for photos and a romantic evening stroll.
Naxos is known for its wonderful beaches, with beautiful turquoise waters. You can choose Agios Prokopios, Plaka Beach, or Agia Anna if you are into organized sandy beaches with sunbeds, umbrellas, and amenities provided by the beach bars. These two are also very children-friendly, as the depth increases very gradually and it is quite safe.
If it’s windy, you can head to Stelida and its Aqua Fun Water Park, for a fun day with waterslides or try an alternative. Many clubs in Naxos offer horseback riding for families and children, which is the ultimate experience for children of all ages.
What else to do in Naxos:
- Visit the village of Halki
- Go sightseeing at the Ancient Temple of Dionysus
- Watch the windmills at Vivlos village
- See the marble remains of Kouros
- Visit the Temple of Dimitra
- Discover the beauty of Apiranthos
Check out the best things to do in Naxos.
Rhodes is the island that keeps on giving to its visitors, and also one of the best Greek islands for families. It is perfect for sightseeing, relaxing, and exploring the rich culture of the Dodecanese.
You can’t miss an evening stroll in The Old Town of Rhodes, with the incredible Palace of Grand Master situated at the end of the Street of the Knights. Wander around in the Old Town and past St Catherine’s Gate to find the fairytale-like 14th-century palace to make memories and feel like you’re time-traveling together.
A great family activity would be a daily boat trip to Lindos Village, with the Acropolis of Lindos and unique natural beauty!
For some fun, head to Faliraki beach, a sandy organized beach offering many amenities, among which the lovely Faliraki Water Park and a luna park! If it is open, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the mesmerizing Valley of Butterflies, 27 km outside of Rhodes city! Your children will have the chance to walk along thousands of beautiful butterflies.
Tip: Take your kids for some ice cream in Old Town, known as a specialty among locals and visitors!
What else to do in Rhodes:
- Day trip to Symi island
- Visit the Byzantine Art Museum
- Admire views from the Roloi Clock Tower
Check out: The best things to do in Rhodes.
Kerkira, also known as Corfu yet another of the best Greek islands for families, and a jewel of the Ionian islands which has a lot to offer. The island’s road network and Corfu’s international airport make it a convenient family destination. There are also many resorts and accommodation options for families.
The highlight of the island is Corfu town, known for the traditional Ionian beauty, with distinct Venetian influence prevalent in the Venetian fortresses, a French-style arcade, and the famous grand Palace of St. Michael and St. George. For a chance to grasp Corfu’s distinct atmosphere, visit the main square of Corfu with the Liston, a series of imposing buildings.
As regards its beaches, Corfu has some stunning coves with lush green surroundings, organized with beach bars, sunbeds, and umbrellas. The most noteworthy beaches in Corfu are Paleokastritsa and Pelekas, as well as Glyfada, all of which are equipped with seaside restaurants for a great beach getaway.
What else to do in Corfu:
- Visit the Mon Repos villa
- Hike around Angelokastro
- Visit Achillion, Sisi’s Palace
- Hike to Mount Pantokrator
- Go to Paleokastritsa Monastery
- Take a taxi boat to Pontikonisi (Mouse Island)
Check out: Things to do in Corfu.
In the northeastern Aegean Sea, Lemnos is a beautiful, relatively unpopular island, ideal for a family vacation, away from the fuss of the crowds of tourists, usually found on other Greek islands during the high season.
In Myrina, the capital, you can learn the island’s interesting history in every corner; the Ottoman remains, old mansions, and a picturesque promenade, as well as an excellent Archaeological Museum. Nearby, you can also find a castle on a promontory known for its great views and deer population.
Discover the pristine beaches of the island such as Avlonas, Romeikos Gialos, and Tourkikos Gialos. If you choose the eastern part of the island, head to Keros beach, with opportunities to learn windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Tip: While in Lemnos, grab the chance for some alternative holidays, by trying horse-riding, sailing, hiking, as well as pottery and cookery lessons offered in various places, as farm visits.
Check out: Things to do in Lemnos.
What else to do in Lemnos:
- Visit the Petrified Forest in Moudros
- Tour the archaeological sites of Hephaestia and Poliochni
- Visit the desert
Similarly, the Ionian beauty of Zakynthos, also known as Zante makes for the perfect Ionian destination for families, for sunbathing and swimming, as well as sightseeing and active adventure.
The highlight of the island, and one of the most photographed places in Greece, is the famous Navagio of Zakynthos, a virgin beach with a rusty shipwreck, accessible only by boat. Take the boat taxi with your kids and dive into the waters of endless bright blue with awe-inspiring sight of the shipwreck in the background. Head to the Blue Caves in Agios Nikolaos Schinari, a complex of arch-shaped caves perfect for day trips by boat, for another adventure.
Opposite Limni Keriou beach, you will find the almost exotic islet Marathonisi, with amazing shallow turquoise waters, sandy shores, and lush vegetation. It is also the place where the rare Caretta-caretta turtles lay their eggs, perfect for children to learn about the endangered species and get closer to nature!
What else to do in Zante:
- Visit the Venetian bridge in Argassi
- Stroll through the Venetian Castle in Town
- Enjoy nature in Askos Stone Park
- Visit Solomos Museum
- Tour the Monasteries
Check out: Things to do in Zante.
If you’re thinking of the best Greek islands for families, you can’t ignore the beauty of Cycladic Paros. From the beautiful windmills in Paroikia to the picturesque and quite romantic Naoussa with its old port, Paros is the perfect destination.
Explore the white-washed dwellings in Naoussa, with the colorful bougainvillea, and spend the evening trying out the delicious local cuisine for dinner. For a daily excursion, head to the picturesque village of Lefkes.
During the days, chill out by the sea in Kolymbithres beach, organized yet relatively untouched, with rocky surroundings and shallow clean waters. Alternatively, if you are an active family, head to Paros Park in Naoussa, where you will find countless hiking trails, but also an open-air cinema.
Another option, if you stay many days, is a boat tour around Small Cyclades and Antiparos, where you get access to untouched isolated coves, and hidden caves.
What else to do in Paros:
- Explorethe Monastery of Panagia Ekatondapiliani
- Visit the Archaeological Museum in Paroikia
- Spend the day at sandy Monastiri beach
Check out: Best things to do in Paros Island, Greece.
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