The 10 Best Greek Islands for Families

What’s your idea of a dream family destination? Perhaps it’s an action-packed island, with waterparks and other diversions. Or maybe it’s an educational destination, with eco-friendly and animal-friendly activities. Maybe your children love the Percy Jackson books and have a taste for archaeology.

Or perhaps you and your very smallest children simply want a choice of sandy shallow beaches, unspoiled nature, and welcoming traditional villages in an unspoiled setting. Here is a selection of the best Greek islands for families, whatever their travel style may be:

10 Greek Islands to Visit with Kids

1. Crete

West Bastion with the fresco of the bull at Knossos Palace Crete
West Bastion with the fresco of the bull at Knossos Palace

This largest of all the Greek Islands, easily reached by direct flights from many European cities, has a wealth of family activities. Aquaworld, a habitat for rescued and injured creatures of the sea and some reptiles offers hand-on experiences. At Kamihis Farm, children and adults can become farmers for a day, learning about agriculture and caring for farm animals.

Vai Beach - top things to see in crete
Vai Beach

For archaeology, it doesn’t get more exciting than Knossos- this vividly restored Minoan Palace captures imaginations of all ages. And of course don’t forget the beach! Elafonissi, on the southwest coast enchants everyone who visits with its pink sands. Its soft clear waters are so kid-friendly shallow you can wade to a beautiful sand island covered with wildflowers. Children will also love Vai, the large palm forest with a fabulous beach.

You might want to check out some Crete content here:

Top things to do in Crete
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Things to do in Heraklion, Crete

2. Rhodes

The Palace of the Grand Master Rhodes
The Palace of the Grand Master Rhodes

One of the most famous of Greece’s islands and easily reached by direct flights from many European cities, Rhodes combines extraordinary natural beauty and exciting history. The medieval magic of Rhodes town– once the headquarters of the Knights of St. John- delights children and adults alike.

At the Farma of Rhodes, children can enjoy an interactive experience with rare animals particular to Rhodes, including fallow deer and exotic looking moufflon sheep.

Valley of butterflies in Rhodes- things to do in Rhodes Greece
Valley of butterflies in Rhodes

Near the Farma is the Valley of the Butterflies! A natural forest of sweetgum trees gathers thousands and thousands of butterflies each May. Of course, children love a day at the beach:  the lovely waters of fully serviced Tsambika beach make it one of several fine family options.

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3. Naxos

Portara Naxos - Things to do in Naxos Greece
Portara Naxos

For a beach centred holiday with children, it’s hard to go wrong with beautiful Naxos. This is not a cruise ship destination or a party island, but rather a quiet and peaceful destination, offering traditional Greek cuisine at family-style restaurants, unspoiled nature, and the relaxed island lifestyle.

The Best Naxos Beaches
Saint Prokopios beach

Many of Naxos’ soft sandy beaches are excellent for children, including Mikri Vigla, Agiassos, Pyrgaki, and Kastraki. At Panormos, boat trips will take you to hidden beaches and a sea cave! Naxos’ Old Town is full of charming lanes and alleys to explore. The Eggares Olive Press Museum makes a fun outing. And for archaeology, the 6 meters long Kouros statue outside of Melanes is sure to grab children’s attention.

Check out more information on Naxos island here:

Things to do in Naxos
The best beaches in Naxos

Where to stay in Naxos

4. Lemnos

Lemnos - quiet Greek island
Myrina town harbor on island Limnos

Delightfully out of the way of the usual tourist path, this large North Aegean island offers plenty of variety for families seeking an authentic Island experience. The main village Myrina has an enchanting waterfront with Neoclassical mansions, and the fishing village Moudros has a lovely port. Children will love the countryside and the mountain villages like Kondias with its old windmills and stone houses.

windmills in Lemnos
windmills in Lemnos

There is a wonderful choice of beaches, including Plati and Riha Nera, with watersports for exciting family fun, and partially organized sandy Fanari and Thanos beaches.

Check out:

Things to do in Lemnos
The best beaches in Lemnos

5. Kimolos

Prassa Beach Kimolos

This petite, exquisite Cycladic Island is a family friendly paradise! Perfect for an active holiday, Kimolos is full of organized hiking trails, such as one to the unusual rock formation Skiadi- not too much climbing, and stunning views of the surrounding islands.

There are both wild and organized beaches, like kid-friendly Prassa, which even supplies beach toys! Chorio- the one and only town, is a charming maze of nearly car-free alleys to explore. Try a boat trip around the uninhabited neighbouring island Polyaigos (“many goats”), with its hidden coves, secret beaches, and dramatic rock formations. Dining on Kimolos is family-friendly, with wholesome and delicious local specialities.

skiadi - kimolos
Skiadi

Tip: The family-owned Kimolia Gi near Prassa beach is a particularly kid-friendly choice for your stay, with elegant traditional cottages and farm-fresh delicious breakfasts.

Check out:

Things to do in Kimolos

6. Corfu

Things to do in Corfu- Old Fortress

This popular lush green Ionian Island offers nature and culture. The Venetian main town will enchant children and adults alike. Beaches like Glyfada, St. Gordos, and Pelekas are particularly child-friendly. Corfu also has one of Europe’s most impressive waterparks- Aqualand guarantees a day of family fun! The Corfu Aquarium includes Corfu Sea Discovery- windows right out into caves to see the sea life in its natural habitat.

Things to do in Corfu - Glyfada beach

Tip: For a true splurge, the family-friendly resort Ikos Dassia offers every convenience with plenty of grown-up luxury.

Check out:

Things to do in Corfu
The best beaches in Corfu

7. Zante (Zakynthos)

Navagio Beach Zante
Navagio Beach Zante

Future zoologists and marine scientists will love Zante. This popular Ionian Island is a preferred habitat for the vulnerable Caretta Caretta- commonly known as the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. The Zakynthos National Marine Park aims to protect the precious Caretta Caretta, the Monk Seal (MoanchusMonachus), and the marine and coastal ecosystems.

Staying at the Logothetis biodynamic farm deepens a connection to nature. Horses are also popular on Zante; a center in Kalamaki can arrange a horseback ride along the beach. Zante has many sandy, organized family friendly-beaches, like Kalamaki, Spanzia, Porto Zoro, and Limni Keriou.

Check out:

Things to do in Zante
The best beaches in Zante

8. Thassos

Marble beach (Saliara beach)

Away from the typical tourist path, North Aegean Thassos’ big attraction is its particularly child-friendly beaches, with soft sands and calm shallow waters. Try Pachis, with its shade from pine trees, or Atspas, with its long shallow area and magnificent sunsets.

Older children and teens will enjoy watersports and even diving at some beaches like Golden Beach and Potos. Thassos is famous for its excellent pine honey; for a sweet diversion,visit the beekeeping cooperative near Skala Prinos.

Check out my post: Things to do in Thassos island. 

9. Evia

The city of Chalkida

Second only to Crete in size, Evia has a diverse terrain to explore- perfect for an action packed family holiday in nature, whether marine, mountainous, or both! In Chalcis, the Thalassa Diving Academy offers boat tours and snorkeling in addition to diving.

Young equestrians will love the Ranch Eros in Agia Anna, a refuge for stray and feral horses that also offers horse rides for all ages. The 1743 m Mt. Dirfys has trails to suit every ability, including an SUV route. Of course, Evia has splendid beaches with sparkling clear waters. Try Armyrichi, in a protected bay.

seaside village of Karystos

Tip: For a complete family-friendly experience, Club Agia Anna offers a whole host of activities to delight young visitors and offers a variety of accommodations, from fully equipped bungalows to tents.

10. Kos

Ruins of the Ancient Agora - things to do in Kos
Ruins of the Ancient Agora

Conveniently reached by many direct flights from European cities in the high season, this popular tourist destination offers a host of family-friendly activities. The Medieval castle Nerantzia in Kos town will enchant young imaginations, and so will the Ancient Agora. Beautiful Nyssiros, with its active volcano, is just a daytrip away by boat.

Waterparks are always a sure hit with children, and Kos has three to choose from. Young animal lovers will enjoy the Kos Natural Park- a habitat for indigenous animals like turtles, deer, peacocks and rabbits. The Salt Lake stables at Maramari offers horse rides for all ages. Kos is also known for its abundance of sandy beaches, many fully organized.

Check out more information on family-friendly Kos Island

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Best Beaches in Kos

Why Greece is the Perfect Destination for Families

The food

The Mediterranean cuisine of Greece with the fresh vegetable, the fruits and the olive oil are perfect for a healthy meal. Also in most tavernas and restaurants in Greece, you will find delicious home -made food ideal for children. The tavernas and restaurants are also child-friendly, many of them offering chairs and special menus for kids.

The beaches

Greece and the Greek Islands are home to some fantastic sandy beaches, safe for children. The beaches  are perfect for kids to play in the sand, build castles, explore around and pick shells, while their parents relax. The waters are calm and warm perfect for young swimmers and playing in the water. A wide range of water sports is also available in organised beaches. There is no way your kid will get bored on the beach.

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Children friendly activities

There are many activities in Greece that children will find interesting. Through the many monuments and historical sites that can be found around the country, they can learn history and mythology in a fun way. Your kids will love the stories of the ancient Gods of Olympus and their magical powers. Other exciting activities include water parks, horseback riding, children’s museums, the big Aquarium in Crete.

Nature is also amazing in Greece with rivers, waterfalls a wide range of flora and fauna perfect for exploring.

Children will also find the village life of Greece interesting with all the farm animals and nature all around them.

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Family Friendly Hotels

The are many hotels in Greece that offer facilities perfect for family holidays. Large family rooms, babysitting services, children’s pool, playgrounds, entertainment rooms, animation services, private sandy beaches with watersports activities, tennis courts, basketball and other sports facilities ideal for older children. Excellent restaurants with kid menus.

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The people

The local people in Greece are very friendly with children. They will make you feel welcome in the restaurants, and they will help you on the road.

Lastly, the weather in Greece is very pleasant with mild winters making it a great destination for families all year round.

Whatever island you choose, you’ll find that children are the centre of Greece’s family-oriented culture. You’ll arrive in a warm welcome and return home with beautiful family memories.

You might also want to check out:

The best Greek Islands for beaches.

The best Greek Islands to visit in September.

The best Greek Islands to visit in October.

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