Out of the 6000 islands scattered around the Greek coastline, it’s a hard decision to decide which island to visit, especially if you’re visiting Greece with kids. From the more well-known islands of Santorini, Mykonos and Crete to the hidden gems of Ios and Naxos, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for the best Greek islands for families, the best Greek holidays for families or the best Greek island for kids, look no further. We’ve got you covered.
I have spent many weeks in Greece over time, more recently exploring the Cyclades and Crete for a month in the summer of 2020. I also asked some top travel bloggers to share their views on the best greek island for families.
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A beginners guide to family travel in Greece
The Greek Islands
There are several groups of islands in Greece based on geographic locations.
The Cyclades are the most widely known group and include the likes of Mykonos and Santorini as well as the lesser-known islands of Ios, Amorgos and many others. Click here to view our 10-day island-hopping itinerary around the Cyclades islands and Athens.
The Dodecanese are next to the Turkish coast. The islands can be reached from Athens (15 hours) or from Marmaris in Turkey.
The Saronic islands are located near Athens and are possible to visit on a day trip. They also make a grand island-hopping itinerary!
North-Agean islands are also a short ferry ride from the mainland and include the likes of Samos and Lesvos and many others.
The Ionian islands include six islands on the East coast of Greece. If you wish to travel to the Ionian islands by ferry, you must depart from Killini on the East coast of mainland Greece.
If you’re hiring a car to visit the Greek islands, it’s easy to drive from Athens to Killini. There’s also a bus from Athens (30 Euro), or you can take public transport to Parta then take a taxi to Kyllini. Click here for our in-depth guide on travelling from Athens to Kefalonia.
To view the best beaches in Greece for families, click here.
Travelling between the Greek islands
When travelling as a family in Greece, it’s better to create an itinerary based on one island group (or 2 nearby groups). Ferry routes often operate around individual island groups rather than between. Most ferries start in Athens.
If you’re planning a family holiday to just one island, it’s best to choose one with an international airport rather than a regional airport, only with flights to Athens. Islands mentioned in this post with an international airport include:
- Chania (Crete)
- Heraklion (Crete)
Islands with regional airports (flights only to Athens) include:
You can also travel around the Greek islands by ferry. This way, you can discover more remote islands that are less touristy. To book ferries, I use Ferryhopper. You can book a whole island hopping trip in one go on the easy to use app. Check prices and ferry times below:
Can’t get to Greece just yet? Take a look at how to explore Greece from home.
The Best Ionian Islands for Families
Best for: Beaches, scenery, boat trips, turtle spotting
As the largest of the Ionian islands and the 6th largest island of Greece, Kefalonia seems somewhat less developed than its neighbours of Zakynthos and Corfu, with plenty of places to explore.
If you’re heading on a beach holiday, there are lots of places to choose from. The resort of Lassi is popular with package holiday tourists and families for its long beaches and clear seas. The resort has all the facilities you’ll need, including excellent Greek food and sunbeds to hire.
In the South of Kefalonia is Skala beach, a picturesque sandy beach popular with families and surrounded by the resort town of Skala. Take your pick of the watersports available on the beach to keep all the family happy, from jet-skis to banana boating. There are lots of sun loungers to hire too!
Things to do in Kefalonia with kids
Kefalonia is also a good island for some turtle spotting. There are a few beaches in Kefalonia where you can spot loggerhead turtles and their nesting sites.
The main site to spot nesting sites is below Ratzakli at Mounda bay between Skala and Katelios. If you want to spot adult Loggerhead turtles in their natural environment, try Koutavos Lagoon in Argostoli near De Rosset bridge. They often tail fishermen in search of food.
There’s plenty of day trips in Kefalonia that the kids will love. Visit the awe-inspiring Melissani lake, see stalactites and stalagmites in Dragorati cave, visit the famous fishing village of Fiscardo or walk the streets of Kefalonia’s capital Argostoli.
Best for: Turtle spotting, boat trips, family atmosphere, ease of access
Zakynthos (also known as Zante) is one of my favourite islands for a family holiday in the sun and the first Greek island I ever visited.
There are several options for a beach holiday; Tsilivi is a large resort town on the East coast, popular with those who want a quiet break but with lots of activities on offer.
The resort has come to be the busiest and most popular resort in Zakynthos, especially with families. The town is home to a wide range of souvenir shops and traditional tavernas and cuisine from all over the world. Tsilivi is also home to Zante’s best waterpark.
Laganas is popular with both families and young people. It’s an excellent resort to stay in as you explore Zakynthos with plenty to see and do. Laganas beach is one of the best beaches in Zante and one of the longest too (9km).
Things to do in Zakynthos with kids
While you are in Laganas, you can visit Cameo Island. The wedding venue in Mamma Mia, Cameo is a small island attached to Zakynthos by a small bridge. Once on the island, you can relax on the beach with stunning views onto Laganas bay or sip a cold drink at the bar.
Visible from Laganas beach, Marathonisi (Aka. Turtle island) is an uninhabited island just off the coast of Zakynthos. Marathonisi is part of a national marine park that aims to protect loggerhead turtles.
Boat trips can be booked to view Marathonissi and maybe even some turtles close up. There’s so much to be seen from the water. The blue caves are one of Zante’s most popular attractions. When inside the caves, the reflections turn the water a fantastic shade of blue! Other famous sights include Shipwreck beach and banana beach. Click here to view the tours available in Zante.
Related Post | Visiting Lycabettus Hill with Kids
By Ucman, Brown Boy Travels
Best for: History, atmosphere, beaches, ease of access
Corfu has a special place when it comes to the Greek islands. It is located on the Western side of Greece and offers great beaches facing the emerald waters of the Adriatic. Another huge positive for Corfu is the lack of wind that blows through the Cycladic islands like Mykonos and Santorini.
Corfu is a big island and has a lot of gorgeous beaches. The international airport is located close to the old town of Corfu. The town is everything you expect from a beautiful Greek summer heave; narrow cobbled streets with whitewashed houses laden with flowers, plenty of great food and a sense of relaxation that wafts through your being.
The island has many beaches both in the north and south, and all of them are easily accessible, especially by car. In the south, try the vast golden Sandy strip of Issos beach, and in the north, Agios Georgios is a great beach to enjoy with the entire family. The monastery of Palaiokastritsa is not too far either and offers a great chance to enjoy the views and a small hike for everyone.
Whether you are a young family or a couple, a chance to reconnect with your siblings and parents on holiday, Corfu offers great options for everyone, from partying to lounging on a sunbed. As a bonus, you can take a speed boat trip to Ksamil in Albania, because why the hell not!
By Oskana and Max from Drink Tea and Travel
Best for: Beaches, scenery, boat trips, off the beaten track
Lefkada is a beautiful, lesser-known Greek island worth exploring with your family. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, great food, plenty of day trip options.
Lefkada is an island connected to the mainland via a bridge. You can’t fly into the island. The closest airport is in Aktion/Preveza, located on the mainland, 25 kilometres from Lefkada’s main town.
We would recommend you rent a car for your trip. Despite being a small island, some of the best beaches in Lefkada are spread out. Plus, having a car will give your family a sense of freedom you couldn’t achieve by taking taxis everywhere.
One of the best beaches on the island is Mylos Beach. This family-friendly beach is very picturesque. It has white sand, sheer cliffs, and turquoise waters. Spend the day sunbathing, swimming and playing beach games.
Another great beach is Porto Katsiki Beach. This beach has been voted amongst the most beautiful beaches in Europe time and time again. There are sunbeds for rent on the beach, and you can order food from the restaurant at the base of the stairs.
If you feel like a day trip, you can hire a boat tour to take you to the Skorpios & Meganisi Islands. You’ll explore caves, uninhabited islands, and pretty swimming bays. It’s the ultimate family outing.
Best Greek islands for kids | Best Saronic Islands for families
By Violeta, Offbeatgreece.com
Best for Scenery, seafood, pistachios, crystal clear waters
Located in the Saronic Gulf, Aegina is the closest island to the port of Piraeus. Its proximity to Athens makes it one of the favourite weekend getaways of Athenians. Aegina is famous for its pistachios. From a history and culture standpoint, Aegina stands out from all other Greek islands for the Temple of Aphea, the Agios Nektarios Monastery, and the former neoclassical mansions well-preserved to this day.
Aegina is a great destination for families due to its shallow, crystal clear waters, great food, and proximity to the wonderful natural paradise that is Moni Island, a tiny, uninhabited islet very close to Aegina’s port town of Perdika.
The best thing to do on Aegina with kids is to take a water taxi from either Perdika or Aegina Town to Moni Island and spend the day lying on the beach, snorkelling and admiring the wild peacocks with their cute peachicks roaming around under the pine trees. You can climb to the top of the hill to take photos of the breathtaking Saronic Gulf scenery.
The best place to stay on Aegina is Aegina Town. The waterfront promenade is perfect for evening strolls. Have ouzo (or two) on one of the terrace bars, then enjoy a dinner with amazing sunset views. End your evening with a scoop of tasty ice cream.
Marathonas is the next best place to stay on Aegina, particularly if you travel with kids. Here you can book beach chairs and tables at once, as restaurants are set right on the sandy beach.
Even though Aegina isn’t famous for the size of the amenities of its beaches, it is a good choice for families due to the convenience of the shallow and tranquil waters. The magnificent views, the proximity to other Saronic islands and Athens, the wide variety of pistachios and the fresh fish and seafood make Aegina a great idea for your next family vacation.
Best Cyclades islands | Best Greek Islands for Families
Great for: Beaches, food, culture
Best Family areas: Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, Naxos Chora and Plaka
Naxos is my number 1 recommendation for families visiting Greece. Naxos is the biggest island in the Cyclades and quieter than some of the others.
There’s a huge variety of beaches to choose from of varying sizes, most of which have white sands and crystal clear waters. Families can choose from staying in a small secluded resort with basic amenities such as the fishing village of Appolonas or a more lively resort such as Agios Prokopios.
There’s plenty of sightseeing to be done in Naxos too, from ancient ruins of the temple of – and the prehistoric acropolis to exploring the winding streets of the old town all the way up to the old castle.
Naxos is the greenest island in the Cyclades and grows most of the food for the region. Make sure you try some local food at one of the many family tavernas – especially the signature Naxos potatoes.
How to Get to Naxos
There’s a small airport which has many daily flights from Athens. Most people arrive by ferry from other Cyclades islands or from Athens. We travelled in a cabin from Athens. Click here to view our detailed guide on exactly how to get from Athens to Naxos.
Where to Stay in Naxos
By Dymphe, Dymabroad
Best for: beaches, windmills, typical greek streets, food
A great island in Greece for families is the island of Mykonos. Mykonos is part of the Cyclades island group, and you can find the islands Paros and Naxos near it. The island is beautiful to see, and there are many lovely towns and beaches.
One of the best towns on the island is Mykonos Town, where most of daily life on the island happens. You find here typical Greek streets, cute houses, magnificent churches and lovely windmills. Furthermore, you can go to the Agricultural Museum, which is great for children as there is so much to do. There, you can see old farm tools, and you can go inside of a windmill. Also, Little Venice is a beautiful part of the town. Furthermore, if you are in the city, you might stumble upon the Pelican that lives there and is very friendly.
Besides Mykonos Town, there are many great beaches. One of the best of these is Ornos Beach, and this is also a great beach for families.
Another great beach for families is Platis Gialos, as it has many facilities, stores, and places to stay within walking distance. Also, the food on the island is great as there are many lovely restaurants! You can easily go here by public transport, there are many stores nearby, and you’ll find here many hotels.
Great For: Photography, Calm seas, beaches, nightlife
Best Family Areas: Yialos Beach
Although Ios has a reputation for being a party island, look deeper, and you’ll find a family-friendly atmosphere with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and very calm seas.
Yialos beach is the perfect place to base yourself. The beach is within walking distance of the port in a small resort with plenty of family tavernas. Stroll along the waterfront looking at the fabulous views towards Sikinos island or walk to the nearby church – painted in the traditional blue and white Cycladic style.
Yialos beach is also in the perfect location for day trips. From the port, you can go on day trips to Santorini, Folegandros, and Sikinos. There’s also a regular bus service to Myopotos beach and Ios Chora.
How to Get to Ios
Many ferries pass through Ios en route through the Cyclades islands from Athens.
Where to Stay in Ios
We stayed nearby the port on Yialos Beach at the Mare Monte Hotel. The beaches calm waters make it excellent for families. Click here to view our in-depth guide on the best places to stay in Ios for families.
More on Ios – A day trip to Ios, Greece
By Chrysoula, Travel Passionate
Best for: Boat trips, unique landscapes, beaches, archaeology
Best areas for families: Polonia, Adamantas
The Greek island of Milos is a family paradise with 70+ beaches, traditional villages, historic sites, and caves and cliff jumps galore. While Milos is by no means an undiscovered island, it is much quieter than neighbouring Crete and Santorini while still offering plenty to see and do.
Families can take catamaran tours around the island to explore off-the-beaten-track beaches, go scuba diving, paddleboarding or horseback riding or discover the breath-taking, moon-like landscape of Sarakiniko Beach. Unlike most other Aegean beaches, Sarakiniko was formed by smoothing out the volcanic rock, leaving almost mythical rock formations contrasting with the azure blue waters. This is THE place on the island for photography, cliff jumping, and sunset, meaning there’ll be something for all the family to enjoy.
Families might also want to take a sailing trip out to the old pirate hiding spot Kleftiko (aka Bandits’ Lair) or visit the Amphitheatre of Milos, an ancient archaeological site overlooking the sea.
Other spectacular beaches to enjoy while visiting Milos is the geothermal Paleochori Beach and the classically beautiful Agia Kyriaki.
When choosing where to stay in Milos, you’ll probably want to consider the town of Polonia in the northeast of the island. This town offers a great mix of white-washed tradition and modern amenities with well-equipped apartments, family-friendly restaurants, a playground and even a sandy beach within walking distance beach that boasts shallow waters and tavernas. Alternatively, you could choose the port town of Adamantas where the delicious O! Hamos restaurant is located.
By Natasha from the Great Ocean Road Collective.
Best for: Beaches, traditional villages, architecture, nightlife
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of busier Greek Cyclade Islands like Santorini and Mykonos, head to the secluded island of Paros. The island attracts a mix of people, including families, young couples, and retirees. You’ll find everything from classic Cycladic architecture, charming rural villages and stunning beaches.
Best Beaches in Paros
Families with young children will love Paros’ 35 beaches. Check out Kolymbithres Beach – the small beach lays between large boulders to either side, creating a shallow bay of clear water. There are also plenty of water sports to take part in. You can rent a kayak or paddleboard or take sailing lessons with a local company.
Families with young children will also enjoy Monastiri Beach and Santa Maria Beach, which have nice shallow water for splashing around. You’ll find amazing Greek food everywhere you go, but some of our favourites were the zucchini fritters, squid, and tzatziki.
Where to Stay in Paros
Several villages can stay on the island, including Parikia, Naoussa, Piso, Drios, Lefkes, and Marpissa. Parikia and Naoussa are the busiest and have the most nightlife and bars, so if you prefer a quieter scene, check our Drios, Lefkes, and Marpissa.
To see most of the island, we recommend renting a car. Because the island is relatively small, it only takes 30-40 minutes to drive from one end to the other.
Best for: Landscape, views, photography, shopping, sunsets
Best Family Areas: Fira, Kamari, Perivelos
Santorini is one of the most popular islands in Greece and a year-round holiday destination. Choose from a relaxing beach holiday on the black sand beaches of Perivelos and Kamari or a holiday of exploring from the island’s capital, Fira. It’s also a fantastic place to bring the kids.
You’ll get the chance to visit fantastic volcanic landscapes, world-famous vineyards and view one of the worlds best sunsets – it’s no wonder people keep coming back to Santorini!
How to Get to Santorini
Santorini airport has seasonal flights all over Europe and plenty of flights to Athens, where you can fly to most places in the world. Many ferries pass through Santorini from Crete and Athens on the route through the Cyclades. Seasonal routes run to islands outside the Cyclades group.
Where to Stay in Santorini
We enjoyed our stay in Fira at Anessis. The outdoor pool is a lifesaver on a hot day! The apartments are within walking distance of Fira, where buses can be caught all over the island.
More on Santorini – Santorini in one day | A day trip itinerary
Crete for Families
Best for: Culture, history, attractions, food, family atmosphere
Crete is the largest island in Greece, with an incredible family-friendly vibe. We stayed in the resort of Gouves. There’s plenty to choose from in the resort, including several beaches, plenty of tavernas and souvenir shops and even an aquarium.
From Gouves, you can go on day trips to nearby places such as Hersonnisos (a larger resort – great for shopping and boat trips), Heraklion (the biggest city in Crete with a great Saturday market) and Knossos Palace (one of the most famous historical sites in Greece).
The area around Rethymno town is also great for a family holiday. The long sandy beach is perfect for a holiday in the sun. You can go on trips to the nearby Rethymno old town, Chania (a beautiful city just 1 hour away), and Kournas Lake.
How to Get to Crete
Crete has the luxury of having 3 airports, 2 of which (Chania and Heraklion) fly to destinations throughout Europe. The main port in Crete is located in Heraklion, with ferries to destinations throughout Greece. There is a high-speed service to Santorini (2.5 hours) and Athens (8 hours), Where to Stay in Crete.
Where to Stay in Crete
You’ll be spoilt for choice with family-friendly accommodation in Crete. From all-inclusive hotels to mountain retreats, you’ll definitely find something to meet your families needs. Click here to view accommodation in Crete.
More on Crete – Things to do in Crete with kids
Best Dodecanese islands for families
Best for: Family atmosphere, beaches, history
Kos is one of the most popular family destinations in Greece. The island hosts over 1 million visitors every year. One of the best areas in Kos to stay for families is Kardamena. Kardamena is a small town 7km from the airport, surrounded by plenty of perfect sandy beaches with calm waters, perfect for a relaxing break in the sun.
From Kardamena, you can go on day trips to other beaches on the island and Kos Town, where you can really get an insight into the local culture.
How to Get to Kos
Nearby Kos town, there’s an airport which flies to many destinations throughout Europe. The ferry port is located in Kos town. Services run throughout the Dodecanese islands and towards Athens.
Where to Stay in Kos
There’s a huge range of options, from huge all-inclusive hotels to small townhouses in Kos town and beachside bungalows. View accommodation in Kos here. We stayed at Atlantica Portobello Beach Hotel. The all-inclusive hotel has an excellent kids pool as well as free sunbeds on the beach.
Best for: Beaches, history, culture, attractions
Rhodes is one of the most popular islands in Greece for tourists. The island is very family-friendly, with numerous white sand beaches with crystal clear waters. Many have even been awarded blue flag status.
If your kids like attractions head to butterfly valley or Rhodes aquarium.
There’s plenty of history to see in Rhodes, both in the capital, Rhodes town and the old town of Lindos. Both are nearby family-friendly resorts.
Booking a package trip to Greece
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There is a wide range of great value for beach holidays and city breaks in Greece, combining easyJet flights with 3, 4 and 5-star hotels and other extra services such as car rental and transfers. View the latest offers here.
Letsgo2 provides a fantastic range of great value luxury holidays in Greece to Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Santorini. The company takes the time to understand your needs before recommending the perfect baby and toddler break for you and your family. View the latest offers here.