Travelling with children sometimes needs some extra planning to ensure activities and amenities suitable for a family vacation. Looking for sandy beaches, organized activities and safe amenities while allowing parents to also relax and enjoy themselves sometimes is a complex task. We have selected three Greek islands, which combine the best of all words, allowing a relaxing family escape.
Crete is the largest Greek island, cited at the south Aegean and enjoying warm weather and a diversity of landscape. In addition it offers a plethora of cultural (poetry and music) and historical sites while some locations are associated with tales and mythology often familiar to children of all ages. Once the center of the Minoan civilization while according to mythology the God Zeus was born in Psycho cave at Mount Dikti. The island offers a diversity of landscape such as mountains, rivers and lakes while the long sandy beaches and the nearby islets allow daily escapes. Most beaches are organized with sunbathing chairs, umbrellas, restaurants and activities for children such as water sports while a lifeguard is on duty around the clock. The island is also known for art, and a few art schools and camps can be found. Gastronomy and winery is also an important part of the culture and recently we have seen the rising of agro farms and mountain developments. In most of these there are activities for all members of the family from cooking classes to pottery and Yoga for kids.
Skiathos is part of the Sporades island complex facing the area of Magnesia and Volos. The island offers rich greenery landscape and more than 60 beaches with turquoise waters while there are a few family resorts on the sandy beach with a dedicated kids club. In the latter there are also activities for the parents such as Yoga classes, water sports, snorkeling, scuba diving, and cooking lessons. Skiathos also offers seafront villages with elevated Greek cuisine with emphasis on seafood but also inner villages with the typical architecture and lifestyle around a central square and of course food. Most families also enjoy island hoping in the nearby islands of Allonisos and Skopelos, where the landscape and the beaches are of equal beauty and tranquility. The summer open-air cinema is an experience often preferred by families in the town of Skiathos. A visit in the old house of Papadiamantis is also inspiring.
Paros is part of the Cyclades complex of the Aegean Sea and offers a bit of everything addressing all ages and tastes. It offers a cosmopolitan aura while still preserving its status as the ideal family destination due to the sandy beaches and activities. Famous for the surfing camps, kite surfing schools, sailing club, water ski and lately boot camps and running paths. The area of Chrisi Akti and Santa Maria is the ideal family locations where children never get bored while parents enjoy the beach, the restaurants and beach bars and cafes. The island also features nightlife for all, with a selection of A list restaurants, bars and clubs in Naousa and Parikia. While in Paros you can also take day trips to Antiparos and nearby islets and caves.
Maria Nikolakaki is Managing Partner at Beyond Spaces Villas.