Greece has to be one of the best holiday destinations on the planet for families. With so much to see and do and at a very affordable price point it is safe, clean and the Greek people absolutely love kids. Do not be surprised if you find your toddler being given free donuts or you baby being cuddled by a local Yiayia ( grandmother). The mainland has a lot to offer and really lends itself to a family road trip but the islands are, of course, very popular. With over 200 islands to choose from which are the best Greek islands for families?

We’ve tried and tested a bunch of Greek Islands with our own family over the years and these are our picks.

 

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When to visit Greece with kids

Whilst Greece is home to some of the best beaches and stunning clear azure waters on the planet there are many things to see and do year round.

Summer in Greece is over June, July and August and is the ideal time to spend at the beaches and waterfalls while Spring and Autumn are excellent for hiking and exploring Ancient Ruins, Caves and Archaeological sites. August is also the busiest and most expensive month of the year whilst many islands close their tourist ‘season’ down between late October until Easter each year.

Most people would say that May – June and September-October are the best times to visit Greece, when the weather is great and the prices and crowds are low.

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Insider tip

 

” Kids love being in and on the water. A sailing holiday in Greece will be one the whole family will never forget. If you would rather stay on land then make sure you do a sailing trip for the day – there are a number available in Paros, or hire a small boat and explore the local coves and caves in the Ionians islands. You will see little boats for hire in the small harbors that do not require a special license. Sandy - Greece Travel Secrets

Kefalonia with kids

best greek islands for families
Kefalonia is located in the Ionian islands, which are close to Italy and therefore have strong Venetian influences in the Architecture rather than the white sugar cube style synonymous with the Cyclades.

Kefalonia is also a very large island that could easily take weeks to properly explore. There are towns full of high end resorts as well as small, picturesque villages with charming seaside rooms and tavernas. Especially popular with families who love the outdoors.

Some of the best things to do on Kefalonia with kids include; 

Kefalonia restaurants

The food on Kefalonia is excellent with an abundance of locally caught and grown ingredients like fish, vegetables and honey.  Check out Paradise Beach Taverna in Agia Effimia  for authentic home cooked food looking out to Ithaca and the extraordinary views and great food from Hellenic Taverna up above Assos.  

In Fiscardo we’ve had great meals at Roulas Grill or sit across the harbour at Nicolas’ Taverna and watch all the comings and goings of harbour life in front of you.   

Where to stay in Kefalonia with kids

Unless you have several weeks, due to the size and topography of Kefalonia, you probably need to choose between staying in the south OR the north. 

In Lassi San Lorenzo Village is a big favourite with families as they have a great pool and a well equipped games room. Not far from the airport and 15 minutes from Argostoli Avithos resort is perfect for families with a kids pool and have beautifully appointed family studios that sleep up to 4 people. 

To explore the North Agia Effimia is a quaint village in a central location and Odyssey Hotel is both stunning and located at the end of a no-through road. There are excellent local tavernas out front and small secluded coves for swimming. In Assos Kanakis Apartments have stunning views over the bay, a nice pool and well appointed family rooms with kitchenettes, or Faros Suites in Fiscardo have great views and are meters from the calm beach and a short walk to the village centre. 

best greek islands for families

How to get to Kefalonia

 

You can take a ferry to Kefalonia from the nearby islands of Lefkada, Ithaca and Zakynthos as well as the Greek Mainland and Italy.

You can also fly into the small International airport near Argostoli. 

Ferry to Kefalonia

You can take a ferry to Kefalonia from the nearby islands of Lefkada, Ithaca and Zakynthos as well as the Greek Mainland and Italy. 

There is typically a direct ferry from Sami to Brindisi in Italy. Otherwise you can connect with ferries from Venice, Bari and Ancona via Patra or Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. Patra is a 2 hour drive from Athens. There is also a ferry from the Peleponnese peninsula at Kyllini, or Astarkos near Preveza International airport on the mainland.

Fly to Kefalonia

Alternatively, you can fly non-stop from Athens to Kefalonia airport on Olympic Air for as little as $45 each way! 

You can also fly from several airports in the UK, other European countries and sometimes further afield. Charter flights vary each season and with the demise of Thomas Cook new schedule and carriers to Kefalonia are being announced regularly.

Check prices and schedules here – and if your travel dates don’t show up, check back in a month or two as new schedules are released. 

Paros with kids

best greek island for families
We’ve taken our extended family to Paros several times and travelled there with friends a lot – it really is the perfect Greek Island! Situated in the Cyclades islands between Santorini and Mykonos it is one of the best Greek Islands for families due to its wide array of accommodation and range of activities and things to do. It has a number of towns and villages that really lend themselves to family holidays.

Some of the key highlights when travelling to Paros with kids are;

  • the lively and upmarket fishing village of Naoussa
  • cheap and cheerful Parikia Port town
  • world renowned watersports including windsurfing and kitesurfing
  • significant religious monuments such as the Church of a Hundred Doors
  • some of the best beaches and beach clubs in Greece
  • the medieval village of Lefkas
  • easy day trips to Antiparos, Naxos and even Mykonos and Delos
  • sailing the Small Cyclades
  • plenty of animals to interact with including cats of course!

Paros Restaurants

Paros is a food lovers dream with an abundance of traditional tavernas, modern restaurants and cafes and some truly amazing bakeries.  We’ve had excellent meals in Nasoussa at Statheros right on the beach, SoSo tucked away in a back alley and Yemeni has been one of the best Taverna’s on the island for years.

Spend the days at Monastiri Beach which has an excellent beach club and restaurant as well as sunbeds on a protected and calm beach – great for kids. Dine at any one of the waterfront tavernas in Naoussa – you really cant go wrong at any of them.

If you have kitchen facilities is is possible to get traditional local takeway from To Tsoukali tis Giagis ( Grandma’s pot) opposite Market Inn supermarket in Parikia or Lemon E in Parikia behind the pharmacy at the crossroads.  

Where to stay in Paros with kids

There are a wide variety of Paros hotels and something to suit all budgets. We like to stay in Naoussa where the best dining and shopping is located, although there are many great spots scattered around the island. Families are particularly drawn to Santa Maria, Piso Livadi and the northern area of Parikia where the beaches are calm and protected. Paros is big enough to offer a lot to see and do but small enough to drive around in a day so a central location is achieved almost anywhere.

In Naoussa we love to stay at Paliomylos Hotel and Spa where Greek/Aussie Chrys and the team deliver the most efficient yet friendly service in town. They have a nice pool overlooking the bay and excellent family apartments that can cater for up to 6 people with kitchenettes. Piperi beach is right next door and is a wide sandy beach and great for small children.

In the southern part of the island it’s worth checking out Acquamarina Resort at Chrissi Aliki – a short stroll around the Golden Beach, and Irene’s View Apartments near Pounda which have both kitchenettes and a tennis court.

See our Paros Accommodation Guide for even more suggestions.

How to get to Paros

You can take a ferry to Parikia or you can fly to Paros domestic airport in the south of the island. 

 

Ferry to Paros 

Paros is one of the first ports of call on the ferry routes to the Cyclades islands from Athens. There are three ports in Athens – Pireaus is the largest and also Rafina and Lavrio. Schedules to the smaller ports changes very regularly and some years may not run at all. The fast ferry from Pireaus takes around 3 hours and the slower but excellent Blue Star Ferries take just over 5. 

There are also ferries to Paros from Mykonos, Syros, Naxos, Serifos and Kithnos which all go on to service islands throughout the Cyclades and beyond.

 

Fly to Paros 

Paros has an airport with up to 6 direct flight from Athens per day in summer. The flight takes around 35 minutes. Be sure to book a window seat on the left hand side ( rows A-B) for some spectacular views as you land!

The airport is small but new and located near Pounda, where you can catch the ferry over to Anti-Paros. You will need to either take a taxi, organise a transfer or rent a car to get anywhere else on the island. 

Naxos is very popular with families and its easy to see why. Wide sandy beaches, small family run tavernas, rich anicent heritage and quaint local villages gives it a disctintive family feel. There is over 40kms of coastline to explore and numerous activities for the whole family. 

Some of the best things to do on Naxos with kids are;

    • easy day trips to Paros, Amorgos and even Mykonos and Delos
    • sailing the Small Cyclades
    • the beaches of Angios Georgios, Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna – all very safe for children and with crystal clear waters and wide sandy beaches
    • windsurfing and kitesurfing at Plaka Beach
    • Aqua Fun Park at Stelida
    • horseriding
    • archeological monuments such as the Venetian Kastro(Castle) and the Portara ( pictured above)
    • cooking classes
    • famous Naxian food such as kefalotyri and touloumotyri cheeses and Naxos potatoes

Naxos Restaurants

Naxos food is famous across Greece and even the world. The above mentioned cheeses are found on menus all over Europe and the potatoes are so famous they’ve even set a world record with the largest number ever roasted! Make sure to also try the local honey, sausages and citron liqueur known as Greek Limoncello ( perhaps just the adults for that one). 

There are many wonderful places to eat for the whole family. We love Maro’s Taverna on Protodikeiou Square or To Ellinikos for dinner. For lunch Yasouvlaki has great ( you guessed it) Souvlakia, and Gyro Gyro have great Yiros!

Spend the days at St. George Beach which has an array of water sports as well as sunbeds, and then dine at any one of the waterfront tavernas along the beach. Yialos Taverna has really delicious Gemista – stuffed tomatoes and eggplant, and veal meatballs that are always a hit with kids.  

 

Where to stay – Naxos hotels

There is a lot of choice with accommodation on Naxos and something to suit all budgets. Families love to stay in or near the Chora ( main town) or at the more developed beaches. 

In the Chora Nissaki Hotel is excellent and we have had a lovely stay at Nastassia Village with our kids. Well located and very good value too! If you would prefer your own self contained Villa then Diadema Villa is lovely and has its own pool or Iliana By The Beach is a 3 bedroom villa right on the beachfront at nearby Agios Georges beach.

In Agios Anna lades Studios are great value whilst in Agios Prokopios the Agios Prokopios Hotel has a games room a great pool and is walking distance to the beach and all the amenities and shops. Further down at Plaka Beach are the stunning Salinus Villas which has a huge pool and is right across from the beach.

See our Naxos Accommodation guide for even more suggestions.

How to get to Naxos

You can take a ferry to Naxos Town ( Chora ) or you can fly to Naxos domestic airport which is 10 minutes from town.

Ferry to Naxos

Naxos is adjacent to Paros and it’s less than a 30 minutes ferry ride between the two. Most ferries to Naxos come from either Mykonos or Paros or, in the other direction,from Santorini ( where people may have flown).There are also ferries to and from Naxos from Syros, Ios, Iraklia, Folegrandos and the Small Cyclades including Donousa.

Fly to Naxos

Naxos airport is a short drive from the main town and has several direct flights day from Athens in summer. The flight takes around 35 minutes. Be sure to book a window seat for some spectacular views as you land!

This is a question that gets asked a LOT!

We love them both and it is always a difficult question to respond to. Generally, I encourage people to try and spent a bit of time on both. Our personal favorite is Paros but only by a smidgeon and probably because our kids are older. If we had young kids again I might say Naxos.

They are very similar in many ways but there are a few key differences;

1. Paros is smaller and is able to be explored by car in a loop around the island. It takes about 6 hours to drive around the island with several stops.

2. Naxos is much bigger but that means road trips have to go either north or south and back again.

3. Both islands get very windy at times in Summer. You will hear people say one or the other is windier but the same wind – the Meltemi – blows on the same days in both places ( and Mykonos and other Cycladic islands too).

4. Both have excellent beaches but Naxos have larger ones that have shallow water and are generally safer and better suited to families with small children.

5. Naxos has one main town, Chora, whilst Paros has two. Many people see this as an advantage for Naxos as the port, airport, main town and good beaches are all close together. On Paros the airport is about 10 minutes from the port town of Parikia and 20 minutes from Naoussa.

6. Paros has a livelier bar and nightlife scene, especially in Naoussa,so if your kids are older or are young adults they may prefer it there.

7. Paros has better shopping ( and overall, more shops).

Corfu with kids

romantic greek island
aCorfu has been charming people for centuries with its beautiful mix of Venetian and neo-classical architecture, stunning beaches and proximity to both the Dalmatian Coast and Italy.

Corfu Old Town is steeped with history having been occupied at various times by the Venetians, British and even the French. It is a large and very green island that has a lot to offer all travellers, especially families. 

Whilst some pockets are largely populated by large all-inclusive resorts there are magical gems such as the 5 bays that make up the village of Paleokastritsa, which translates to ‘old castle’. This is a place that remains one of the best holidays of our lives and transforms from a busy tourist destination during the day to a quiet magical paradise in the evenings.

Some of Corfu’s key highlights are;

Corfu Restaurants

Food on Corfu is a delight with many dishes influenced by the flavours and style of Italy as well as traditional Greek cuisine. The best of both worlds!

In Paleokastritsa we had a wonderful night at Archontiko and also at Nausika Taverna where the meat roasts on a spit out front and young men dance with fire. We still talk about that night regularly! For something a little more tranquil and right on the water then look no further than a candlelit dinner at Akron (pictured below). 

In Corfu Old Town you will find a number of tavernas and cafes along the shady Venetian Colonnade. We like Methystanes for traditional greek food, especially the mussels, and Libra D’Oro which will make you feel like you’re in Venice. 

For a lovely lunch with views over Mouse Island head to La Veranda di Corfu.

corfu attractions

Where to stay in Corfu with kids

In Paleokastritsa we stayed at the wonderful Zefiros Hotel, a small cheap and cheerful pension across the road from the beach. You can just see its distinctive red walls through the pine trees in the photo below. The rooms were basic but comfortable and breakfast was amazing. I can still picture those fat lazy bees buzzing around the honey. Close by and more upmarket is Odysseus Villa which can sleep 6.

In Corfu Town Artemis Apartment and Anesis Apartment both sleep 4 and are in great locations in the old town. At the southern end of the island Seaview is a cheap and cheerful family apartment above the pastry shop and is only 10 meters from Agios Georgios Beach.

See our Corfu accommodation guide for even more suggestions. 

 

How to get to Corfu

Corfu has an International Airport and it can be reached by ferry from several destinations, both domestic and international.

Ferry to Corfu 

Corfu can be reached by ferry from the Italian ports of Ancona, Brindisi, Triest and Venice. Brindisi is the shortest route and takes about 8 hours and most of these ferries allow you to take your car. 

There is also a ferry that runs between Corfu Town and Albania. 

Most ferries from mainland Greece are from Igoumenitsa to Corfu Town but there is also a small service that runs from Ladochorion ( adjacent to Igoumenitsa) to the southern town of Lefkimmi. Further to this there is a long service ( around 6 hours) from Patra which is then a 2 hour drive to Athens.

 

Fly to Corfu

Corfu International Airport is a new airport located around 15 minutes south of Corfu Town. Landing is quite spectacular!

There are flights daily to and from Athens and between May and October there are numerous international flights from the UK and other parts of Europe.

Check prices and schedules here – and if your travel dates don’t show up, check back in a month or two as new schedules and sale fares are released.

best greek islands for families

Rhodes with kids

Peloponnese town
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and also the 4th largest Greek Island after Crete (#1), Evia (#2) and Lesvos (#3).

The island is home to more than 40 beaches, stunning landscapes and vistas, authentic Greek towns and villages as well as modern resort precincts. It also has an incredible fortified old town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is a LOT to do and see on Rhodes for families. Some of the best activities in Rhodes with kids are;

 

Rhodes Restaurants

Food in Rhodes has a distinctive blend of influences and flavors from both traditional Greek as well as the Ottoman and Middle Eastern flavours from its neighbours and, at times, occupiers.It is common to be offered a glass of Ouzo or Raki here after your meal.

Odyssey Restuarant is located in the Old Town and has traditional Greek Food at excellent prices. Also Hermes Greek Grill House has cheap beer and huge plates of Souvlaki. The kids will love the watermelon and fruit platters too.

In Lindos Village House has some of the best food in the Dodacannese whilst Ktima Lindos has spectacular sunset views.

Where to stay in Rhodes with kids

Rhodes is one of the most popular islands in Greece and one of the most developed in terms of some of the best family resorts in Greece and things to see and do. There are several big all inclusive resorts along the beach and small family run hotels in the Old town and in many towns and villages across the island.

In Rhodes Old Town kids will love Camelot Hotel which has a medieval look and feel and is close to the Grand Master’s Palace. If you need more space Villa Nonna has 3 bedrooms and traditional Turkish Hamam. The family will never be so clean!

In Lindos Lindos Seaside Villa and CasaLindos Cottage are lovely 2 bedroom houses near the ancient Acropolis and at Faliraki Beach Mitsis Faliraki Beach Hotel & Spa have quad rooms, a huge pool, tennis courts and a fitness centre.

See our Rhodes Accommodation Guide for even more suggestions.

How to get to Rhodes

Rhodes has an international airport and is well serviced by ferries from both the Greek islands and the Turkish mainland.

Ferry to Rhodes

Rhodes is a major port island and acts as a transportation hub for other islands of the Aegean and additional destinations such as Cyprus and Turkey. There are ferries that run daily from Piraeus in Athens but these are general overnight trips and take about 16 hours. Book a cabin on the Blue Star Ferry and enjoy a cruise on your holiday as well!

There are also ferries to and from the neighbouring Greek islands of Symi, Chalki, Tilos and Kos as well as Marmaris in Turkey.

Fly to Rhodes

Rhodes airport is located in Paradisi about 16kms south of Rhodes Town. There are flights year round to the major cities in Greece and in summer there are many flights to other countries thoughout Europe and the Middle East including the UAE. 

Check prices and schedules here – and if your travel dates don’t show up, check back in a month or two as new schedules and sale fares are released.

best greek islands for families

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