When it comes to Greece, anyone should know that a land of such a big and great history holds treasures and surprises of thousands of years of age, inviting you to get acquainted with the ancient civilization that once gave birth to democracy, while at the same time sink blissfully and alternately into deep relaxation and adventure!
Whether you would love to share with your family an educational experience that will forever enrich your mindset, or stimulate your senses hovered in breathtaking natural beauties, Greece is undoubtedly the ideal place to have your next family vacation, satisfying your minor as well as your major cravings.
Greece is considered a safe destination in terms of hygiene and criminality, it offers relatively low prices compared to other European countries, and most importantly it guarantees you will spend your days under a clear blue sky that’s beset with the bright Mediterranean sun!
Now, family trips are always a puzzle when the moment comes to search the what and the where, as one needs to be sure of every little detail before hopping into a plane with two or three little devils thirsty to live the myth, so we are here to speak the language of experienced locals, making sure you and your children breathe in and out our Greek excellencies, as any family aiming to a quality holiday should.
Where to go
A family reading a map - credits: Sunny studio/Shutterstock.com
Almost every airport in the world easily connects to Athens International Airport. The Eleftherios Venizelos Airport offers numerous options; from fashion/electronics/gift shops, newsstand spot and telecommunication offers, a pharmacy and a beauty salon, currency exchange services and car rental companies, to restaurants, coffee, and pastry shops, landing here will also make sure that you have easy access to Athens city center, whether you prefer private or public transportation.
The list of places to visit in Greece is endless, so keep in mind that choosing which ones will eventually end up in your itinerary is the most important aspect of your perception of a fulfilling vacation, even though we know just a few can resist a second trip to this truly magnificent country one can never get enough of.
Having Athens as your base for this at least seven-day Greek experience will firstly allow you to explore Greece’s captivating capital with its marvelous archaeological, culinary and cultural offerings. Secondly, this way you can have thrilling day trips to tremendous sites around Athens and the Peloponnese - until finally expanding your special touring to one or two greek islands taking a fast ferry from Piraeus Port or catching a plane to the blue paradise waiting for you within just a few traveling hours!
Acropolis, Sounio and the Temple of Poseidon, the Oracle of Delphi, Epidaurus monuments, the islands of Crete and Naxos are only some of what is best proposed as fascinating inclusions to a fulfilling itinerary.
The best time of the year
Family in Greece - credits: TravnikovStudio/Shutterstock.com
Everyone knows that a Mediterranean country is best visited during sunny months, as one of the highlights to such a visit is the warm weather with the sun shining on every natural surface, creating sceneries ideal for postcards and happy family albums.
Hence, a large number of travelers chooses July and August for their trip to Greece, creating notable big crowds to the sites worth visiting and enormous queues which, in combination with the summer heat, can make your experience overwhelming and even exhausting - especially if you are not used to wandering around in temperatures over 37 Celsius.
That said, should you like to enjoy the sunny greek sky avoiding unbearable thermometer numbers, as well as stroll around at ease feeling comfortable at a calm Acropolis, mid-April to mid-June, and early September to late October is the best time of the year for you to do so!
The weather during these months is relatively warm, allowing you to enjoy your walks in t-shirts and summer shoes, while at the same time spend time at the exquisite greek beaches with no worries about your children having a sunburn when they playfully lose track of time building amazing golden sandcastles.
Family on the beach - credits: piggyback goodluz/Shutterstock.com
The traveling options from airfare companies to lodgings and tours are countless these days, and you can be lucky enough to find last-minute flight tickets for the whole family, availability for group tours, as well as family rooms and suites in different cities of Greece.
Nonetheless, organizing your trip many months in advance can result in a great amount of money-saving, as airline companies have promotional offers to several destinations for bookings made very early ahead, inviting you to travel in less than half the price compared to last-minute buyings - while the same applies for renting accommodation!
Moreover, booking as far in advance as possible is in some cases needed! Regular half-day archaeological tours may be easy to track down, but if you are keen on unique, thematic or custom made vacation, specially designed for you and your family needs, you will have to keep in mind not only their preparation takes longer, but specialized tours’ guides and spots are also truly limited - therefore, you may better reserve your own before everyone else does. It really comes down to choosing the type of experiences you would like to craft your souvenirs with!
And let us not forget something very important: those of you reaching Greece intercontinentally, will most probably need a Visa; make sure you gather all necessary documents and have enough time ahead to patiently wait until traveling is permitted. You wouldn’t want to miss your flight’s date, just because how long administrative processing takes was underestimated. Be organized and provident! Greece will stay put for you.
Some childrens’ love to's in Athens
Family time on the Acropolis of Athens - credits: NadyaEugene/Shutterstock.com
We will agree that a family trip to a destination lacking children's activities is like seeking water into the deep desert. And well, so to speak, we can say Greece is an oasis for which we can provide you with a fascinating treasure map - to more than one treasure trunk.
The Greeks love children and love to have plenty of options when enjoying family moments during weekend strolls. More than 6 million people live in Athens, so every quarter has little surprises, yet the big ones are the ones we strongly propose!
Since Athens would be deservedly a base to return to during half of your trip - offering so many options to every single traveler regardless of age - knowing your way to your childrens’ pleasure and consequently yours, is something more than necessary.
A natural little getaway right in the center of Athens and next to the Greek Parliament is the National Garden, where your kids can play safely! You can explore together several varieties of plants and trees, observe ducks and fish in ponds, see statues of poets and politicians and some ancient remains, visit a small zoo and the children's library - as you all walk around in a romantic and calm scenery experiencing a different aspect of bustling Athens.
You will inevitably spend hours at the Acropolis museum, which the whole family will absolutely love, but you can not leave Athens without having visited some of the children-oriented museums, which host thousands of visitors each year. At the Greek Children's Art Museum you can see exhibitions of children’s artworks aiming at an educational experience, which strengthens children’s love to culture and creation. The four-decade collections at Goulandris Museum of Natural History, welcome visitors to a close look at our ecosystem’s plants and animals in the departments of botanology, entomology, marine biology, minerals, and paleontology, gaining interesting and important knowledge!
If you are up for some more science, then the Planetarium Eugenides Foundation is a must - your children will be astonished to gaze at our galaxy in 360° rotating projection, and if on the other hand stimulation and fun is what you most crave, Allou Fun Park will excite your fearless little ones!
And since this is a what-children-would-adore list, the greek cuisine - although not an activity - can not be excluded! Everyone knows how kids love to taste delicious food, so once in Athens, you will be thrilled to be served nutritious Mediterranean ingredients in original recipes your children would beg for you to include in your daily home menu once back in your country!
A couple of family-friendly islands
Dad and daughter on the beach - credits: Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com
Naxos is not only the largest of the Cyclades islands, but it is the greenest one, making the combination of outstanding nature along with great culture found in its villages, which reserve the traditional architecture, irresistible. You will find yourselves pleasantly dazed in stone-paved alleys leading to beautiful houses and churches, admiring Venetian castles, before you fully relax in one of its family-friendly beaches with calm clear water, where time stops and delight seems endless.
Known for its rare and wild beauty, Crete is the place where one feels like stepping into a whole different world; the sceneries majestically surround you everywhere on the island, from amazing seasides to breathtaking mountain landscapes and views, and it won’t be long enough until you realize that the Cretans have a mentality of their own, treating travelers with the utmost hospitality while respecting their land and traditions. Apart from great local food and astonishing nature, Crete promises to educate you with impressive historical monuments of great importance children will find more than amusing; stones and shapes will set their imagination on fire, giving life to past glorious civilizations!
The things you should know in general
Family in the streets of Mykonos - credits: TravnikovStudio/Shutterstock.com
Greece is part of the European Union, and the currency is Euro. If not in your country - although it would be recommended that you arrive with at least a minimum budget already exchanged - you can exchange currency at Athens International Airport once you arrive, in several spots in Athens city center, and you can even find exchange services in big hotel’s lobbies!
The language spoken in Greece is greek, you will be enthusiastic about learning how to pronounce our “Kalimera”, but you needn’t worry about communicating with locals as the vast majority speaks English.
It is very common for locals to use public transportation, which despite being crowded it is proven to be in many cases faster, however, they very often use taxis as well, as they are notably cheap! Taxis in Athens have a yellow color and they are pretty much everywhere, and all you need to do is just raise your arm and make a nod to the driver. The only thing we would certainly advise you to pay attention to is your personal belongings when in very crowded areas or means of transport; pickpockets can be very civil and quiet, leaving no trace of their theft, so make sure you have your wallets, IDs, and passports securely placed.
You can find good food almost everywhere; yet, there is a significant price difference in restaurants situated in touristic areas, where servings may be double priced, while quality gets cut down in half. Don’t hesitate to search for cookshops where locals eat - just carefully follow the greek humming!
The law of laws
Family vacations in Greece - credits: d.travnikov/Depositphotos.com
Remember, we the Greeks are loud in terms of verbal expression, and we enjoy large and excessive body language! Don’t rush to quick conclusions that people are disputing, they are most probably loving each other in a greek way. Μost importantly, we like sharing, so once in Greece and in need of directions and local advice, just think “whoever seeks will find” applies in the Greek territory, stop the first trustworthy-looking greek passenger, kiosk employee or metro co-passenger, pop a question and get an answer - it is the Greek subtext street-law of laws.