Greece’s largest island, Crete is a must-see for families looking to experience an island vacation, but one so large, you may forget you are actually on an island. The island is home to a variety of terrains, from pristine, sandy beaches to rugged mountains and everything in between. There are so many wonderful activities to entertain every member of the family, you won’t know where to begin. The island is steeped in ancient history and mythological lore, not to mention the beautiful landscapes and picturesque villages waiting to share their secrets. Check out the following list of experiences to guarantee your family enjoys their time on the island.
The island’s port city is not only easily accessible but full of fun things to do. Spend some time exploring the city’s maze of narrow streets or strolling along the waterfront visiting the patisseries and restaurants to discover the local flavors. There are plenty of museums to explore and history buffs will love the 16th-century lighthouse that stands guard over the Venetian port.
Uncover Ancient History at Knossos
The ancient city of Knossos is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the country and is a great way for the family to learn about the history of the Minoan civilization. This site, located in the city of Heraklion, is often referred to as the oldest city of Europe and is home to the remnants of an impressive palace and some of the most beautiful frescoes created by the ancient Minoans.
Commune With Nature at Samariá Gorge
Samariá Gorge, located inland on the western side of the island, is an ideal way for an adventurous family to explore nature on the island. The gorge, part of Samariá National Park, is also a World Biosphere Reserve and known for its most impressive feature, the Iron Gates. This is a part of the gorge that narrows to 4 meters (more than 13 feet) with sheer cliffs that rise 300 meters from the base (more than 980 feet). A hike through the gorge is approximately 15 kilometers (nine miles) long.
When Crete’s overwhelming size makes you long for a little peace and quiet, head to the tiny island of Sipnalonga, off the coast near the island’s northeastern town of Plaka. The island is uninhabited and great for a morning or afternoon of exploring the ruins of a 16th-century Venetian fortress and what remains of a former leper colony.
Explore an Ancient Cave
Psychro Cave is not only a fascinating natural phenomenon to explore, but it is fun for mythology buffs as Psychro is known as the possible birthplace of Zeus. The cave was used by Cretans for centuries, often for cult purposes, and ancient artifacts have been found within its chambers. Visitors today can explore the cave and experience its stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
Most museums tend to be boring for children — they have to be quiet, they may not be interested in the exhibits and they can’t touch anything. At the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, kids are encouraged to run around, play and have fun while learning. The beloved museum will safely reopen in 2021 for kids and families to run, play and touch exhibits as they used to, and now is a great time to plan a visit next year.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
In times of stress, boredom and even enjoyment, some of us find ourselves reaching for a treat or two — or a dozen. When you need the crunch or sweetness of a snack, but not all the guilt and remorse to follow, registered dietician Lisa Moskovitz, founder and CEO, New York Nutrition Group, recommends these not-so-bad snacks — they’re also great in kids’ lunches or as after-school snacks!
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
Whether the young adults or young professionals in your life are heading back to school, the office or some new version of normal, sending them off with something thoughtful is always in style. Check this list for something your loved one (or yourself) can use to ease out of the house with style.