Athens is a city for lovers, a city for dreamers, and a city for adventurers, but if you didn’t know that it’s also a city for families, you just might be missing out. While it is well-known for its history, its culture and its nightlife, there are also some pretty unique opportunities to experience the kid-friendly side of Athens.
Specially designed tours like the Percy Jackson Tour of the Temple of Poseidon, organized by Kids Love Greece, offer a fun way to get kids excited about seeing the local sites by incorporating some of their favorite pop culture into the experience.
Whether your kids are fans of the Percy Jackson series of books or the movies, they’ll enjoy learning about the temple dedicated to the demi-god’s father, Poseidon, located at the beautiful Cape Sounion, just outside of Athens. The site is home to one of the most incredible monuments in Greece — a spectacular marble structure of Doric columns that stands on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. While the temple itself is full of ancient history, the location is simply breathtaking with amazing views of the surrounding sea and countryside.
This half-day themed tour picks you up at your hotel and takes your family on a trip along the coastal road known as the Athenian Riviera to enjoy the local scenery. Along the way, dedicated tour guides make sure the kids are entertained by telling fascinating stories from Greek mythology. They’ll get to learn about the history of Cape Sounion and the connections between mythology and the popular Percy Jackson series. And to keep the kids from going stir-crazy from spending too much time cooped up in a car, there will be fun stops along the way to enjoy some free time swimming in the Aegean at local beaches.
A visit to Athens is always an excellent opportunity to get the kids excited about nature by visiting the Archelon Sea Turtle Protection Society. Greece has an intimate relationship with these amazing creatures, as its shores are the exclusive breeding grounds of the species Caretta. Archelon has created one of the first sea turtle rescue centers in the Mediterranean in this Athenian seaside suburb of Athens, offering a unique experience for visitors who want to see firsthand the work that goes in to rescuing and caring for sick and injured sea turtles.
The facilities allow visitors to watch marine biologists at work, view turtles currently being nurtured by the center and enjoy an educational group presentation on the biology of the turtles and the work that goes on at the center. Admission to the facilities is free on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 a.m.–5 p.m., but the group presentations require a €3 ticket.
The facilities are geared solely toward caring for the turtles and educating young visitors, so if you are looking for a place to enjoy a bite to eat before or after your visit you will have to head to one of the numerous local eateries in the area.
Glyfada and the neighboring towns of Faliro and Alimos are home to some of the city’s best family beaches so you can round out your day with some time on the beach taking in the sun and enjoying some great swimming or water sports. Some beaches require paid admission but come equipped with well-kept facilities like restrooms, changing areas and cafés.