When my then boyfriend, now husband, and I were in Albania, traveling through Eastern Europe on our way to Turkey, he asked me which country I would like to go to next. “Greece,” I definitively replied. “Greece. Just Greece. Let’s go to the Greek islands.” I was dreaming of the blue skies, island hopping, quiet [...]
When my then boyfriend, now husband, and I were in Albania, traveling through Eastern Europe on our way to Turkey, he asked me which country I would like to go to next.
“Greece,” I definitively replied. “Greece. Just Greece. Let’s go to the Greek islands.” I was dreaming of the blue skies, island hopping, quiet beaches, and rocky coasts.
Unfortunately, it was vetoed with a promise to return for our honeymoon. While I am still waiting for a honeymoon, we finally made it to Greece eight years later, albeit with two young children in tow.
While we were only there for a short time, I was quickly won over by Greece as a perfect destination for families for the following reasons.
My husband and I are classic examples of opposites attract. Throw into the mix two opinionated daughters and travel is a constant exercise in taking turns and compromise. Our seven-year-old is skilled in the activity negotiations and will often offer us deals like “We can go the museum in the morning if we can go to the beach in the afternoon.” Greece is the perfect country for this. But also, every island has its own personality and unique traits: fishing villages, empty beaches, ancient ruins, cosmopolitan cities, the country has it all.
If you ever wanted to spark a kid’s interest in history, the best way to do it is to make it real for them. Nothing is more real than ruins they can see, touch, and climb on. What kid doesn’t want to visit a castle? The island of Rhodes has picturesque castles such as the Kastello.
Gyros, baklava, souvlaki, feta, seafood, Greek coffee, Yes. Yes. Yes. Even picky kids can find food they love.
The beach is amazing for all ages. I remember when we landed on the beach when our first child was a toddler. What an amazing relief it was to find that we could sit still, drink a beer, contemplate the waves while our kid played in the sand. Sand and water can keep little ones entertained for hours so parents can have time to relax. Elafonisi beach on Crete, Perissa beach on Santorini, and Glyfada beach on Corfu are all great choices.
Athens is an underrated world city. Not only is it full of tourist attractions and archaeological sites but it is accessible. It is a cosmopolitan city full of shopping, tourist sights, and eating. But it also has neighborhoods more like villages where families gather in the evening to sit in cafes and children playing ball in squares.
- Greeks Love Babies
There are just some cultures that love babies more than others. Greece is one of those cultures. They are faster to smile at a baby, more tolerant of crying babies, more helpful to families.
- Athens International Airport
The Athens airport is an airport with great connections to the rest of Europe making it a budget friendly place to get in and out of.
- Outdoor activities
For older children who want more adventure in their day, Greece offers lots of opportunities for hiking, snorkeling, even rock climbing. Go to Kos and go hiking around Mount Dikeos, explore the caves on Crete, go kayaking in Santorini or countless other adventures.
Greece offers lots of opportunities for kids to explore all kinds of boating from taking water taxis to renting kayaks or going on sailboats. Boats are a great way to explore more hidden destinations like pirate coves in Kefalonia.
Okay, so maybe not the most family friendly reason to go to Greece, but hey parents deserve some special treats when traveling too. The island of Samos, close to Turkey, is famous for its sweet Muscat wine.
Our family had an incredible time in Greece, but next time I am going to hold my husband to his promise of that honeymoon and we are going to explore the romantic sunsets, secluded beaches, quiet vineyards, and the rest of this amazing country . . . without the kids.