7 Best Greek Islands for Families

Rhodes is a historic Greek port that used to have a Colossus – Bucket list stop-off points for your next Mediterranean cruise

Are you ready to create some unforgettable memories with your family? With its iconic landmarks, captivating villages, and delicious cuisine, the Greek islands are the perfect destination for your next family vacation. But with over 220 islands to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to begin!

Fear not! We’ve done all the hard work for you and compiled our picks for the eight best Greek islands for families. On these islands, English is widely spoken, there are plenty of fun activities everyone in the family can enjoy, and stunning coastal scenery awaits around every corner. 

So, which are the best Greek islands for families? Let’s find out!

Naxos

The charming island of Naxos is one of the most laid-back and affordable in the Cyclades, making it the perfect spot for families.

Naxos offers plenty of sandy beaches, so if you’re all about sun and sand, then this is your ideal spot! Agios Prokopios is widely considered to be the best beach on Naxos – offering white sand, crystal clear waters, and plenty of room for relaxing and playing. For a beach that’s slightly quieter, though, head over to Agia Anna beach. 

If your kids love being active, they’re going to adore Naxos. Boat trips from Naxos are very popular, and your family can spend the day jumping from the boat into the water, snorkeling, and exploring hidden beaches. If you have slightly older kids, kitesurfing is also very popular in Naxos, and there are plenty of beginner-friendly spots where you can learn.

For an educational experience with a difference, don’t miss out on visiting the Apollo Temple – one of Naxos’ most impressive ancient sites. It’s very cool, and your kids will enjoy seeing their school history lessons come to life before their eyes.

Unlike the more popular Cyclades Islands, Naxos is relaxed and fairly quiet – there’s no all-night party scene here! That means your family will easily get a good night’s sleep, no matter where you stay on the island.

Paros

We’re sticking to the Cyclades Islands for now but heading over to Naxos’ neighbor, Paros. It’s becoming more and more popular as an alternative to Santorini, but it also has something that Santorini doesn’t – white sand beaches!

There are gorgeous beaches dotted all over the island that are ideal spots for sunbathing and building sandcastles, but Monastiri Beach is particularly popular amongst families in Paros. That’s all thanks to the beach’s shallow warm waters that make it perfect for little ones. All kinds of water activities such as windsurfing and paddle boarding are possible in Paros, just like Naxos! 

Again, just like Naxos, if your kids want an adventure, your best bet is to join one of the many boat tours on the island, where you’ll get to explore some of the smaller nearby islands such as Antiparos, and go snorkeling.

The two main towns on Paros are Parikia and Naoussa, but for a fun day out away from the ocean, you should add a half-day trip to the hilltop village of Lefkes to your Paros itinerary. It feels like Lefkes hasn’t changed for hundreds of years, and you won’t be able to stop taking photos!

If your kids enjoy hiking, head out on the short (3.5 km) Byzantine Road, a cool hike from Lefkes to an even smaller village called Prodromos. It’s a fun and active way to get off the beaten path and one of the best things to do with teenagers or older kids in Paros.

Corfu

With its picturesque mountain scenery and Albanian influences (it’s right on the border – and has a stunning coast! – after all), Corfu is a fabulous pick for one of the best Greek islands for families. Situated off the western coast of Greece, Corfu is far away from the busy island-hopping routes in the Cyclades, making for a relaxed family holiday.

One of the best ways to explore Corfu is by hiring a car and going on a road trip. Start off in the island’s capital, Corfu Town – full of Venetian architecture and cultural attractions such as Achilleion Palace, Old Fortress of Corfu, Liston Street and St Spyridon Church. Then, it’s beach time! Take a drive westward towards Saint Gordios Beach, which offers sandy beaches perfect for kids to enjoy hours of fun building sandcastles.

Next on your list should be a stop at Paleokastritsa Beach – one of Greece’s most popular destinations. This beach is surrounded by lush green hills and crystal-clear waters, making it a go-to spot for relaxation! The area also boasts plenty of activities like scuba diving, boat tours, and hiking, so it’s easy to keep your whole clan entertained here.

Your family can also enjoy some adventurous days out in Corfu’s great outdoors. The best way to do this is by hiking up Mount Pantokrator, Corfu’s highest peak, for spectacular views across the Ionian Sea!

If your kids aren’t in the mood for too much culture, break up your Corfu trip with a day at Aqualand waterpark, an aquatic paradise with exciting slides, pools, and rides that the entire family will love. If you’re feeling brave, challenge each other to a race down the infamous Black Hole slide. Who will win?

Rhodes

Set in the Aegean Sea, the gorgeous island of Rhodes is unmissable if you want to immerse yourself in ancient Greek history. One of the island’s top attractions is the Grand Master Palace, built by the Knights of Saint John during their rule over the island. 

You really can’t leave Rhodes before you’ve visited the Acropolis of Lindos, where you can marvel at 3rd-century BC fortifications and the awe-inspiring views stretching out over St Paul’s Bay. It’s so cool that it could even rival some of Athens’ ancient sites!

For a peaceful family day out in Rhodes, take a stroll through Valley of the Butterflies; a tranquil paradise filled with streams and thousands of colorful butterflies fluttering around! If the weather isn’t on your side, or you just want to escape the sun, head to the Rhodes Aquarium, full of exotic marine life. These fun activities make Rhodes the best Greek island for toddlers!

Fancy some beach time? Start with a visit to Elli Beach for some fun in the sun. Your children will love playing in the shallow waters and splashing around with each other. There’s only so long you can spend at the beach though, so the good news is there’s another fun way to enjoy the water in Rhodes – the Faliraki Water Park! With exciting rides and slides suitable for all ages, your family will have a blast here – rain or shine.

Crete

Crete is an island paradise for families looking for a classic Greek getaway. Not only does this island gem offer plenty of sun, sand, and sea but it also has loads of historical sites, stunning mountain trails, and buzzing fishing villages! Here’s why you should put Crete at the top of your family’s holiday list.

Let’s start with the beaches – they don’t call Crete ‘the pearl of the Mediterranean‘ for nothing! With over 100 miles of coastline to explore, there are more than enough gorgeous golden sand beaches to find your family’s perfect spot. 

Elafonissi Beach is one of the most popular, and unique. That’s because it has pink sand! Your kids will love playing in this pink paradise as you sunbathe or read a book. It’s easy to see why this beach is one of Greece’s most photographed spots!

If your family enjoys exploring ancient places then a visit to the Palace of Knossos should be on the cards. Located near Heraklion, this unique archaeological site was once an important Minoan City; home to King Minos and his legendary Labyrinth. Visiting this site will give your kids a fascinating insight into Greek history whilst keeping them out of mischief.

You can’t visit Crete without seeing the atmospheric Old Town of Chania. With colorful buildings, charming cobbled streets, and captivating architecture, it’s easy to see why this old Venetian port is one of Greece’s top attractions. The kids will enjoy it too, thanks to the countless swathes of pretty pink bougainvillea that make the whole town feel like a fairytale. Because of the number of cultural attractions here, Crete is the best Greek island for teenage families.

Sifnos

If you’ve already been on a family trip to the Greek Islands, you may be looking for an island that feels slightly more authentic. For a Greek island that’s a little off the beaten track but still has plenty to offer for families, then look no further than Sifnos. 

This laid-back island is perfect for families wanting to chill out and enjoy the simple things in life – mouth-watering Greek food, jaw-dropping beaches, and world-class views without the crowds.

One of the best things about Sifnos is its many beaches, which are great for families with kids and often have plenty of space to sprawl out on. Vathi is one of the very best beaches on the island with shallow waters and soft sand – perfect for building sandcastles or taking an afternoon dip! Kamares is another top pick, with calm waters and umbrellas to hire to protect your little ones from the sun.

On Sifnos, it’s easy to balance relaxation with adventure. For a totally unique experience on Sifnos, take the kids to visit the old abandoned mines in the village of Agios Sostis. Here, they’ll learn all about the island’s rich mining heritage and be able to hike around, checking out the old tunnels and machinery that was used.

For that perfect, travel-brochure experience of wandering around gorgeous Greek old towns, head to the charming villages of Kastro and Artemonas. With traditional Cycladic architecture, blooms of pink bougainvillea, and whitewashed houses, you’ll want to take photos every few steps.

Kos

Welcome to Kos, the perfect blend of ancient history, beautiful beaches, and family-friendly activities that make it perfect for a kid-friendly Greek islands trip. It is, in our opinion, the best Greek island for young families.

When it comes to Kos beaches, Tigaki is a clear winner. This long, 10km stretch of sandy paradise has shallow waters, perfect for little ones to splash around in, and plenty of ice cream vendors and cafes nearby for when you need a break from the sun.

There are plenty of things to do in Kos for families that don’t just involve lying on the beach, though! The Asklepion is a must-visit – it’s an ancient complex dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. Here, visitors can learn about the history of medicine and see ruins of bathhouses, clinics, and temples. 

If your family would prefer something slightly less “museum-like”, the Plaka forest is home to Peacock Village, where peacocks, geese, and other animals roam freely. It’s not uncommon to find them walking right up to you to say hello!

For a different kind of thrill, head to the Lido Waterpark, where you’ll find a variety of slides and pools to keep the whole family entertained. Greek summers are hot, so the whole family will be grateful to splash around and cool off in the water.

It’s not just the activities that make Kos a great family destination – it’s also the friendly locals.

Eating out is child-friendly, with many restaurants and tavernas serving up traditional Greek food that kids are sure to love. After all, gyros is pretty much just pita bread, meat, and fries. There’s nothing to dislike!

Kos is the perfect combination of relaxation, history, and adventure – making it one of the best Greek islands for families who want to experience the best of what Greece has to offer.

To sum up, Greece’s islands offer a plethora of options for the ultimate family vacation. There are over 220 islands to choose from, which can make deciding where to go a challenge. However, we have put together a list of the top Greek islands that are perfect for families.

These islands boast sandy beaches, engaging activities, breathtaking coastal views, and a laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for a relaxing family vacation. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and prepare to make unforgettable memories with your family on the beautiful Greek islands!

Ella Moore runs Many More Maps.

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