You’re planning a family vacation, and this year, the family has decided to holiday in Greece. As one of the finest travel destinations for families looking for ancient excursions, fantastic island adventures, and some extremely one-of-a-kind places to visit, this is sure to be a trip to remember.
Traveling offers many benefits for families. It exposes them to different cultures, languages, and even food, all of which can influence young minds for a lifetime. However, with all these important benefits that traveling has to offer, you may still be receiving some hesitation from a number of your family such as teenagers who might think all the wonders of Greece cannot compare to social media or their friends, or younger kids who may not appreciate or care that the Acropolis was built in the 4th century BC. Whatever the case may be, I’m going to try my best to offer suggestions that will entice the entire family for this once-in-a-lifetime experience in one of the world’s most beautiful countries – and I am not just saying that because I am Greek!
First Stop: Athens, Greece
The beautiful city of Athens is the nation’s capital and largest city and should be a main stop on your Greece holidays. Despite being the busiest part of Greece, it is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world and can be counted as one of the top cities to visit due to its history, culture, and vast selection of things to do. You’ll find everything in Athens from ancient ruins to the most modern fashion trends. This may be a selling point if you have a fashion trendy teen girl in the mix. And since you will most likely fly into the Athens airport, it’s great to make sure that it’s your first or last stop along the way.
Some great Athens tourist attractions to explore include:
The Acropolis. The climb to the top of the mountain is an adventure in itself! Kids love the steep dirt roads and the old stairs up the hill that lead to the top. The Acropolis, often referred to as the “Sacred Rock,” constitutes the single most important site of the entire country, and is considered one of the most recognizable monuments in the entire world. Trust me when I tell you that years from now, you will look back on the photos you took when visiting the Acropolis and be happy you went!
Attica Family Zoo. Greece’s best-known zoo resides in Spata, Athens, and it’s on the top of my family’s to-do list this summer on our trip to Greece. Attica Family Zoo is determined to be the biggest zoo in Southeast Europe as well a global-scale theme park when it comes to the protection of biodiversity. Currently, 60% of their resident animals are rare or threatened with extinction but the zoo is playing its part to ensure that does not happen. They have a large selection of mammals, sea creatures, reptiles, and birds, and are one of only a few aquariums in Europe to host the dolphin species. Dolphins played a major part in Greek mythology, and there are many stories to tell from there!
Allou Fun Park. Greece’s biggest amusement park complex is also located right in Athens. Folks, they just didn’t have this stuff when I went to Greece as a child! Times have changed, and this is awesome. Kids can now experience a bit of Greek culture as they immerse themselves in activities they love to do! With roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and 7D interactive movie rides, the entire family can play. There is also a special area called “Kidom” filled with unique activities for kids that will certainly guarantee a good time in Athens.
Best Greek Islands to Explore with the Family
As important as it is to visit Athens when on holiday in Greece, you also will want to choose an island or group of islands to tour. Although almost every beach in Greece has crystal clear waters, the islands possess a different type of archaic beach feel. Most are home to small, quaint villages, glorious beaches, and beach-side dining. We haven’t discussed food here, but it’s an understatement to say that Greek food is utterly delicious! You’ll definitely enjoy the island cuisine.
Many of the islands have outdoor activities including kitesurfing, catamarans, and other water activities. Some of the more popular Greek island vacation destinations are:
The Cyclades: This group of islands is ideal for families taking a Greek island holiday, as they have daily ferries that travel among them, and getting to and from them is a breeze. Paros has some world-class sandy beaches, Milos features volcanic beaches, and Naxos offers both beach life and ancient temples, blending play with history. Then we have Santorini. When you see pictures of Greece, if it doesn’t have the Acropolis, it almost always has the landscape of Santorini – the most visibly beautiful town you have ever laid your eyes on rests in all white with accents of blue on the side of a mountain. Yes, when you eat dinner at any local restaurant, you can look down a cliff. You can celebrate the sunsets nightly and dine under the stars. Your walks through the village feel miniature, as there really isn’t much room for cars so everyone walks or rides scooters. There may never be another time in a kid’s life where he can come face to face with a volcano or a beach made of volcanic ash, so grab this photo op and unique experience.
Crete: This is an extremely popular Greek destination and an ideal location for family holidays, as it offers everything including hikes, deserted beaches, caves to explore, and a plethora of kid-friendly museums. If you and your family solely traveled to Crete alone, you would get everything amazing that Greece has to offer in one shot. There are two aquariums on the island, AquaWorld and Cretaquarium, both with shark tanks and hands-on pools. You will not want to miss the mythic labyrinth of the ancient Cretan ruins in Knossos.
Other Islands: Greece has many more islands to explore. Here’s a map of Greece Islands.
Greece is a place you have to visit to see for yourself. On warm summer nights when the weather is nice, Greek life comes alive in the town squares and harbors with nighttime festivities. And if you need an incentive to visit my country soon with your family, think ice cream. Yes, you can get ice cream on almost every corner at every hour of the day and night. If that is not enticing for a family holiday stay in Greece, then I don’t know what is!