Our Tips for Travelling With Kids
Taking your little ones on an exciting journey can be an incredible bonding experience that they will cherish for years to come. In this comprehensive guide, I will share my expert tips and insights on how to prepare for an unforgettable family adventure. From selecting the perfect destination to packing essentials and engaging activities, Nannies of Greece has you covered!
Choosing the Perfect Destination
Spectacular Corfu is an island of lush greenery, dramatic hills and quaint little villages where beautiful and varied beaches abound. In the west, you’ll find Glyfada and Saint Gordios with their stretches of soft sand and the pebbly playground of Paleokastritsa. Meanwhile, the island’s north side offers warm shallow waters for swimming and stunning rock formations on beaches like Sidari. From sandcastles to water sports, beaches are always a hit with the kids.
The UNESCO-ranked Corfu Town is where kids tend to love running through the mazes of traditional kantounias, winding alleyways that encircle the city’s distinctly Venetian architecture. It’s the perfect place to introduce the kids to some local cuisine and scope out a restaurant serving pastitsada (best enjoyed with some local ginger beer). Corfu may be popular with the tourists but don’t be afraid to head off the beaten track as Corfu hides some incredible hidden gems within its olive groves and rural villages.
The Greeks call Crete Megalónisos – The Great Island – and it’s well worth a visit to find out why. Crete’s sunny beaches and sparkling coves mingle with ancient caves and ruins that could make anyone’s fantasy run wild. This is where you’ll find the heart of Europe’s oldest civilisation, Knossos, and its spectacular palace ruins. Thanks to the efforts of modern archaeology, visiting Knossos in the twenty-first century is like walking the kids through a history lesson come to life. And for even more learning about the history and culture of Crete, head to the capital city of Heraklion, sometimes known as Iraklio City, and explore the interactive kid-friendly museums there. We’re particularly big fans of the CretAquarium and the Natural History Museum.
For a beach day (or two, or three), Chania on the west side of the island is the place to go. The white sandy beaches here feel like they’re on a desert island but are just a stone’s throw from the city’s gorgeous Venetian harbour and waterfront restaurants where the kids can have a taste of freshly caught calamari. Kids will particularly love the lagoons of Elafonisi and playing in the rock-pools at Kato Gouves. Sea kayaking, scuba diving and windsurfing are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to water-based excursions in Crete – make the most of it!
Dikteon Cave is another fascinating excursion to take with youngsters who will be as fascinated by the Greek legends associated with its depths as by the mysterious rock formations that are revealed inside. For further outdoor adventures, find your way to the Samarian Gorge; the perfect day-long hiking excursion in Europe’s longest canyon. It’s perhaps best suited to older kids who enjoy a bit of physical activity, but certainly a sight to see.
The gorgeous island of Rhodes has much to look forward to, not the least of which its magical east coast covered in beaches. For thirty miles, all you’ll see is soft golden sands and warm shallow waters. If you came to Greece looking for rest and relaxation, you’ve found it. Faliraki beach is one of its most family-friendly stretches, with plenty of recreation for kids like the Faliraki Water Park and a Luna Park. But if you’re after something more slow-paced and quieter, try Agathi and Kallithea Springs as well. A bonus is that Rhodes has the longest-lasting summer of all the Greek islands, so if you’re lucky enough to get away in the off-season you can enjoy these places when the biggest crowds haven’t arrived yet.
Rhodes Town is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed haven of car-free cobbled streets and medieval fortresses which feels like taking a walk through history. You can even wander along the walls of the old town and take in all the great views from up high. At sunset, head to the harbour and watch the fishermen reel in their catch of the day (then head to one of the local restaurants for a fresh taste). Kids will also love getting up close to the underwater world of the eastern Med at the Marline Aquarium. Find it in a medieval building right on the town’s beachfront, designed to give the feeling of being underwater yourself, surrounded by corals, octopuses, turtles, fish and much more.
Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades Islands, is famous for its spectacular beaches – unique in that the coastline isn’t cluttered with all-inclusive resorts as you’ll find in most of Greece. Perhaps for this very reason, Brits don’t seem to have quite discovered the magic of Naxos yet. The rest of Europe, however, has appreciated it for years.
With crystal clear waters that are completely safe for children to play and swim in, as well as soft golden sands, Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna are all great central options. They’re perfect for when you want to be close to the sights as well as the affordable shops and restaurants in town. For something a bit more adventurous, head to Plaka Beach for windsurfing lessons accompanied by the prettiest sunset on the island.
Kos is one of Greece’s most family-friendly islands. It has adapted to being popular with tourists and offers a real taste of local culture to its visitors. Among all the fascinating history of Kos, the Asklepion certainly stands out. The ruins of this ancient hospital originate from the time when the likes of Hippocrates still inhabited the island. Today you need a bit of imagination to picture its original glory, but kids tend to have plenty of that, and the whole family will love hearing about how this institution worked way back in the day. The Asklepion is just one of many ancient ruins scattered across the island, and you’re sure to stumble on quite a few.
The beaches on Kos are enchanting and very varied. Thanks to the island’s volcanic nature, some have black-ish sands but many, especially on the south coast, are perfectly golden. Paradise Beach is probably the most popular, and for a good reason. The sea is warm and shallow, and there are lounges and umbrellas for hire that make it the perfect family day out. If you’re looking for something a little different, head to Agios Fokas. This pebble beach isn’t the main attraction, but a short walk from its shores you’ll come across the hot springs of Bros Therma. These are natural thermal springs that emerge from the crags thanks to the island’s volcanic past, a natural swimming pool if there ever was one.
You’ll find plenty of picturesque stone windmills on most Greek islands. On Kos, however, you’ll find one of the few that are still active. The last working windmill of Kos stands in the village of Antimachia, and you can taste the lovely creations made from its flour in the shop on site. Another great adventure in nature for the little ones is a visit to Zia Natural Park. It’s a great way to appreciate the stunning natural landscape of Kos, and kids are welcome to feed the animals as you make your way along the paths. At the very top is a beautiful lookout point with views over the island and hammocks to rest tired little feet.
Essential Tips for a Smooth Trip
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect destination, let’s delve into the essential tips for a smooth and enjoyable family adventure. These tips will help you navigate the planning process and ensure that your trip is filled with laughter, joy, and precious memories.
Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Journey
Planning ahead is the key to a stress-free family adventure. Research the destination thoroughly and create a detailed itinerary that includes a balance of activities and downtime. Look for family-friendly accommodations that offer amenities such as kids’ clubs or playgrounds. Consider the weather conditions and pack appropriate clothing and accessories for your little ones. By planning ahead, you can avoid last-minute stress and make the most of your time together.
Pack Smart for a Hassle-Free Experience
Packing smart is essential when traveling with children. Be mindful of the essentials and pack light to avoid unnecessary hassle. Pack comfortable clothing, suitable footwear, and any necessary medications. Don’t forget to bring along a small first-aid kit for those minor bumps and scrapes. Consider the activities you have planned and pack accordingly, whether it’s swimwear, hiking gear, or art supplies for creative moments on the go.
Get them counting down
How many days to go? A good ole countdown is a great way to start to get kids excited. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy (I just print off a calendar for the month we are leaving) If you child is anything like mine, they’ll ask 10 times a day how many more days until we depart…I suggest you only do your countdown 20-30 days prior. Or else you are going to need that holiday more than you think.
Engage and Educate for Enriching Experiences
Transform your family adventure into a valuable learning experience for your children. Involve them in the planning process and encourage them to research the destination. Teach them about the local culture, history, and traditions, igniting their curiosity and respect for different ways of life. Engage them in age-appropriate activities, such as scavenger hunts or journaling about their experiences. Encourage interactions with locals to foster cultural understanding and broaden their horizons.
Capture and Preserve Priceless Memories
Make sure to capture the special moments of your family adventure through photographs and videos. Encourage your children to take their own pictures, allowing them to express their unique perspectives. Create a travel journal together, where they can document their favorite memories and draw pictures of the places they’ve visited. These keepsakes will become cherished mementos that your family can revisit and reminisce about for years to come.
Preparing for a family adventure requires careful planning and consideration, but the rewards are immeasurable. By selecting the perfect destination, planning ahead, packing smart, engaging your children in the experience, and capturing precious memories, you can create a family adventure that will be etched in their hearts forever.
OUR HOLIDAY FAQS
Where is best for families in Corfu?
The best areas to stay in Corfu for families are: Agios Georgios Pagon, Arillas, Acharavi and Roda, Kassiopi, Sidari, Benitses, Messonghi, and Paleokastritsa
Is Crete a good place to take kids?
Is Crete a good place to take kids?Crete is a great choice for a family vacation. Almost every part of the island is suitable for families. Major towns like Chania have excellent family friendly resorts.
Is Lindos baby friendly?
For a luxury toddler friendly hotel in Rhodes, The Lindos Imperial Resort & Spa is located in a quiet area of Kiotari on the beach, and is a great resort for families looking to relax and enjoy summer
Is Naxos Greece family-friendly?
Is Naxos Greece family-friendly?Naxos has gained a reputation as the most family-friendly of the Greek isles and for good reason. The beaches are relaxed and tranquil and there are plenty of family-friendly historical attractions, from ruins to museums.
Can you see dolphins in Kos?
Can you see dolphins in Kos?Dolphins have been known to swim around the island of Kos. On some days, you may be lucky to see curious dolphins swim next to the beach.