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5 Family-Friendly Greek Islands

by Eugenia Lazaris

Sep 25, 2017

Serban Enache | Dreamstime


The Greek Isles have a reputation for fun, sun and romance, but while thy each offer their own charm, culture and beauty, they are not all family-friendly. Some of the islands are strictly party islands while others are ideal for honeymooners, but with 140 inhabited islands, there are still plenty to choose from. These five are great choices for those looking to entertain a family while still getting the fun, sun and romance that they came to Greece hoping to find.

Family on Beach in Greece

Family on Beach in Greece. Photo: Yuriy Brykaylo | Dreamstime

These islands are great destinations for kids for a number of reasons. They are all easily accessible from mainland Greece by plane and, in some cases, other countries as well. They are also on common ferry routes, making it easy to reach from other islands if your family is planning an island hopper itinerary.

Each of these islands, like all Greek islands, are famous for their beaches, but these in particular cater to children and teens with calm seas and sandy beaches, as well as a myriad of water sports available during the summer months.

Naxos, just a four-hour ferry ride from Athens, is a member of the Cycladic island chain. It is loaded with Greek history and offers long stretches of sandy beaches with calm waters to swim and play in. Many of its beaches are equipped with umbrellas, water sports and beachfront tavernas so families can spend a day playing in the sun, relaxing in the shade and eating delicious island cuisine all day long.

Zakynthos, in the eastern Ionian Sea, is best reached by plane from Athens or by ferry from Bari, Italy. The island is covered in fairytale scenery and the long stretches of beach are calm and pristine. Zakynthos offers plenty of water sports by day and dance clubs for teens by night, but the main draw is the incredible shipwreck on the southern Navagio beach and the blue caves on the northern face of the island. These attractions are best visited by a boat tour that can be taken from the port town.

Crete Island in Greece

Crete, Greece. Photo: Smallredgirl | Dreamstime

Crete, once an island nation in its own right, is the largest island in Greece. It boasts beautiful sandy beaches and seemingly endless activities for families. The island is rich in history and folkore, so kids can get an educational vacation and still fit in some sandcastles and water sports. Plan your stay near Golden Beach, near the northwestern town of Chania. It’s calm, shallow waters provide safe fun for children while parents can relax with a drink under a beach umbrella.

Milos, also in the Cycladic islands of the Aegean, is a fun island getaway that offers jaw-dropping rock formations to explore all over the island. The sandy stretches of beach and unique landscape are a perfect match for the warm, emerald waters of the island. Water sports are available at many beaches, but children are equally entertained by the local sights.

Serifos is a laidback member of the Cycladic island chain. Although it gets tourists during the summer months, it is not overcrowded and, therefore, ideal for families with small children. The mountainous island has beautiful hidden valleys and meadows, but the main draw is the long stretches of sandy beach where the waters are calm and shallow. The safety of the beaches and the laidback vibe make it a wonderful destination for parents looking for relaxation while their children enjoy some summer fun.

Whichever islands you choose, a Greek island vacation will be one the entire family enjoys and remembers for years to come.


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