The Greek Islands are among the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. There are 227 habited islands and they all have ‘something for everyone’ including, gorgeous beaches, turquoise waters, tasty food, and interesting places to visit. There is always an extra warm welcome for families, as the Greeks adore children! And of course, some of the Greek Islands are more suited to families than others… So read on to discover which are the best Greek Islands for families!
The Best Greek Islands for Families
- Greece holidays for kids
- Naxos Island
- Mykonos… Not just a party island
- Corfu, a really good Greek island for familes… and solo parents too!
- Crete, my favorite place for the best family holidays in Greece
- Rhodes, fun for all ages!
- Skiathos, venture off the beaten track with kids!
- Santorini, not just a romantic island
- Milos, a different Greece vacation with kids!
- Zakynthos Island (also known as Zante)
- Kos, one of the best Greek resorts for families
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Greece holidays for kids
Greece is one of the most amazing spots in Europe for a holiday filled with lots of sunshine, hours of lazy swimming in crystal clear seas, and tons of sandcastles. For this reason, I’ve come up with this list including the top family friendly Greek islands for you to choose where to go next to spend a memorable summer holiday.
Here we bring you our suggestions of the best Greek Islands for a family holiday with children:
Naxos is the largest island in the group of the Cyclades and it has some of the best beaches in Greece for kids. And despite all that, it is yet somehow relatively underdeveloped as a holiday destination, which can work at our advantage.
On the island, kids will find plenty to do, they will love to spend time on some amazing (and safe) sandy beaches including Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, and Agia Anna. In fact, all of them boast shallow, crystal clear waters and enough organization for you not to pack the kitchen sink when heading to the beach.
If you have older children or teens, Plaka Beach is ideal since it offers windsurfing and lessons are available in different water sports centers.
And when it’s time to go out and have some fun, the main town of Chora has white-washed Cycladic style houses and old Venetian mansions and is overlooked by its 13th century castle – Kastro – that perches on the hilltop. All the small alleys in Chora are pedestrian, which makes it one of the best Greek islands for toddlers. Those who are just learning to walk will give mommie some peace of mind!
If you head inland, instead, older kids and teens will be able to enjoy the many good hiking trails or tour the mountain villages for fun.
Whant more? Naxos is also known for its excellent food that proves popular with children!
Top family friendly tours in Naxos
- Naxos Castle Walking Tour and Sunset at the Portara: Visit the town’s most iconic sights on a relaxed, low cost, evening walking tour. Learn about the past and present of Naxos from an experienced guide who is passionate about the island. >>> Check this tour here.
- Greek Cooking Class & Dinner at a Village House: Enjoy a 4-hours hands-on private culinary experience in a traditional house in Kaloxylos, a village in the heart of Naxos. Kids love cooking and eating a typical Naxian menu together with local Greeks. >>> Check the tour here.
Mykonos… Not just a party island
Although Mykonos is well-known as a party island, it is still a really fun family destination with the northern part of the island being very family-oriented. And in case you were wondering? I myself chose Mykonos for a family holidays when my little kid was only 2 and the older 6… and they had a blast!
The island’s capital town, often known as Mykonos Town or Chora, is one of the prettiest in Greece and is great fun to explore on foot. There is the iconic row of old windmills on the hillside by the sea facing the picuresque seaside row of whitewashed houses known as ‘Little Venice’. In town, winding streets with tavernas and the local character, Petros the pelican will attract adults and children alike.
GOOD TO KNOW: If we had to compare the Chora of Mykonos with many other main towns on the Greek islands, it is quite safe to say that Mykonos is flat, therefore the most pushchair friendly of all. Keep this in mind if you’re traveling with babies and toddlers!
Mykonos has plenty of beaches and those on the south side of the island are perfect for children because they are protected from the island’s winds.
If you have older children, teens or even young adults, the winds of course mean good kite surfing and wind surfing opportunities – not to mention dozens of entertainment opportunities for for those young adults interested in dancing the night away, something that puts Mykonos among he best Greek islands for teenage families.
Mykonos is popular with divers too as there are several wrecks off its coast. It is fun to take the short boat trip to the small nearby island of Delos (the mythological birthplace of Apollo) to see the archaeological site and learn about mythical gods and heroes!
Where to stay in Mykonos with kids
- # Villa Phaos (Agios Ioannis): Check this amazing family friendly villa with aarge Pool with built-in steps, ideal for children. The property is in the relaxing village of Agios Ioannis. >>> Read more here.
- # Esperides (Platis Gialos): A beautiful family friendly property located on the magnificent Platis Gialos Beach >>> Book a stay.
Corfu, a really good Greek island for familes… and solo parents too!
I’ve visited Corfu as a solo mom of a 4 and an 8 year old and it was truly safe, keep this in mind if you’re a solo parent traveling in Greece with kids!
The beautiful island of Corfu has hillsides, pretty villages, and plenty of lush green vegetation mking the landscape varied and quite different from the rest of the Greek islands.
Besides, families in Corfu will find numerous things to do, as well as dozens of lovely beaches to enjoy. On the west side of the island, Glyfada and Agios Gordios are huge sandy beaches with all the facilities a family would need for a perfect day at the beach. The north coast is perfect for swimming and Canal d’Amour in Sidari is fun and such a gorgeous spot for a family snapshot! Canal d’Amour is a long creek where the sea has weathered the rock and you can swim through the tunnel!
My favorite, though, have always been the beaches in the village of Paleokastritsa. Here, you will find more than 5 different beaches all of them truly family friendly and perfect for young children as the water could not be calmer or clearer (yes, the water is colder than on other beaches in Corfu, but my kids had so much fun playing on the shore that they really didn’t notice!). Issos Beach on the south coast has reliable winds and attracts wind surfing enthusiasts too.
The island’s capital, Corfu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site with numerous kantounias (winding alleys) and Venetian architecture. There are churches and monasteries to explore, including Vlacherna Monastery on an islet at the end of a jetty on the Kanoni Peninsula as well as the Byzantine monastery on Pontikonisi (‘Mouse Island’) that is reached by boat.
Corfu kid-friendly tours
- # Corfu Town: Guided Walking Tour and Local Food Tastings: Get to know Corfu Town on a walking tour with an English-speaking guide. Stroll the charming alleyways and interact with the locals as you stop to taste their food. >>> Check it here.
- # Paxos and Antipaxos Full-Day Island Hopping Tour: Explore the islands of Paxos, and Antipaxos on an island hopping tour where you can snorkel and swim in the crystal clear Ionian waters. Pickup service from Corfu is available. >>> More details here.
Crete, my favorite place for the best family holidays in Greece
Not only Crete is the best Greek island to visit, but it is also the perfect destination if you’re visiting Greece with kids… You might say I’m biased, and I might… but trust me, I know what I’m talking about, so much so, that we moved to Crete over 5 years ago and we just love it!
The island is huge and offers so much to explore and discover! In fact, Crete is the largest Greek island and it features a wonderful mixture of beaches, mountains, and archaeology. Knossos, situated near Heraklion, is one of the largest archaeological sites in Greece and once a royal Minoan palace in Europe’s oldest civilization. The ruins bring history alive for children, as do the many museums in Heraklion (Iraklio).
Chania on the east coast is a region with stunning three sandy beaches, while the old town boasts a pretty Venetian harbour. Elafonisi Beach on the south west coast is definitely one of the island’s best beaches. There is a series of lagoons and when the tide is low, it is possible to wade out to the island which is a nature reserve.
For older children and teenagers, there are plenty of water sports and hiking the Samaria Gorge (14 km) from its northern entrance (1,250 metres) down to the coastal hamlet of Agia Roumeli is a memorable experience.
Top tours in Crete for families
- # Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour: Discover the most stunning archaeological site on the island visiting the magnificent Knossos Palace and learn everything about the amazing Minoan civilization. >>> Check this skip-the-line tour.
- # Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa: Probably the most popular boat tour on the island, check one of the most stunning Cretan Beaches with this full day boat tour. >>> Read more here.
Rhodes, fun for all ages!
Rhodes is among the most popular family friendly Greek islands. There are many beautiful beaches – especially along its eastern coast, that make Rhodes just perfect for the whole family. Faliraki is one of beaches that families love the most and not just because of the sandy beach and shallow waters, but also because there is a fun water park too for children to spend a really fun time.
Strolling along the cobbled and car-free streets of its medieval capital, Rhodes Town, is amazing as it is dominated by the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes which was once the Commanderie (Headquarters) of the Crusader Knights of the Order of St John. Trust me, kids adore this magnificent Medieval castle!
Within walking distance of the main town is the harbour of Mandraki filled with luxury yachts, while further on lies the Rhodes Aquarium which reveals the area’s rich marine life. Inland there is plenty to see too including Petaloudes – the Valley of the Butterflies and several hiking trails to follow, perfect for those kids who love outdoor adventures.
On the island’s east coast stands the village of Lindos with its clifftop acropolis. It takes about 20 minutes to walk up, but the view from the top is a great reward.
Best Rhodes tours for the whole family
- # Rhodes Off Road Adventure: Go on a fun off-roading experience on beautiful hidden tracks throughout the island. Experience the amazing viewpoints on the island, taste local honey and other treats, all while driving in the ultimate off-road vehicle. >>> Check it here.
- # Bus Trip to Lindos Village & Seven Springs: On this day trip you will visit 2 places in Rhodes, first, you visit 7 different springs and then spend about 3 hours discovering Lindos. >>> Read more about this tour.
Skiathos, venture off the beaten track with kids!
This small green island is a lovely family destination, perfect for those families that enjoy spending long hours at the beach. In fact, there are 60 beaches with fine, powdery sand and shallow waters which are ideal for young children.
Koukounaries is the island’s most famous beach and has been voted the 7th best beach in the world. Other favourites include Troulos, Kolios, Agia Eleni and Maratha. And it’s really fun to spend the days ‘beach hopping’ using the local water taxis. There are scuba lessons for children aged eight years upwards as both scuba diving and snorkelling in Skiathos are brilliant.
If you prefer some outdoor exploration, there are numerous hiking routes to discover villages and monasteries, you can even walk to Bourtzi, a peninsula with a intriguing medieval fortress for kids to discover.
Family sailing trips are fun too in Skiathos, and for older children, a holiday is Skiathos is just super cool as it was the setting for the hit musical Mamma Mia!
Santorini, not just a romantic island
Children love the dramatic and stunningly beautiful island of Santorini as it was created by a volcanic eruption and the Caldera. The really marvel to take a look at this water-filled crater and volcano, or even to explore the ruins in Akrotiri, preserved for centuries by the thick layer of ashes coming from the eruption. Trust me, kids will enjoy Santorini more that you could even imagine because not everything on the island is only for couples… at all!
The island’s main town is called Fira (Thira) and it is perched high on the crater cliffs. The harbor is is situated at sea level and reached by a long path with numerous shallow steps. As an alternative, you can hop in the cable car, an exciting expeience for children. On the island, you can choose one of the various boat trips that explore the Caldera and other small islands including Nea Kameni with its still active volcano where you can walk up to the rim of the crater!
We admit Santorini might not be the best Greek island for toddlers, but teens will certainly love this whitewashed paradise!
Many of the beaches on Santorini are quite different from the heavenly sandy beach you picture when thinking of the Greek islands. In fact, they are made from red, black, and white coloured lava stones – which do get hot underfoot in the afternoon, making beach shoes essential. The waters are crystal clear and there are water sports to enjoy including kayaking, waterskiing, and snorkelling too.
Tour Santorini with kids
- # Santorini Volcano and Thirassia Islands Tour: Don’t miss this unique islands tour – visit two lava islands, one with a still active volcano and the other with hot springs! Then, visit Thirassia for typical beach activities before cruising back to the port. >>> Check the tour here.
- # Santorini Horseback Riding at Sunset: Discover a different thing to do in Santorini with kids with a horseback riding tour along traditional villages and the island’s caldera. >>> Check it here.
Milos, a different Greece vacation with kids!
Are you visiting Greece with kids but you want to avoid overcrowded islands? Then give Milos a chance! Milos is a beloved family holiday destination for Greek families, so it will probably be the same for you.
What you probably don’t know is that, just as Santorini, Milos is another volcanic island and it has caves and dramatic rock formations that will fascinate those little explorers in tow. The island has 70 beaches and among these, Paliohori is the most popular. In some places you can swim by some dramatic rocks and for older children this offers them the chance to try cliff jumping.
One particularly popular place is Kleftiko which used to be a refuge for pirates and today is excellent for snorkelling. For fun moments away from the beach, Milos has catacombs in Plaka, a Roman amphitheatre, and pretty hill side towns like Trypiti and Klima to explore.
Family friendly places to stay in Milos
- # Traditional House by the Sea (Mandrakia): A beautiful, child-friendly property in Milos, on the north side of the side of the island and a short distance fromthe famous beach of Sarakiniko. Cots are available upon request. >>> Check more details here.
- # Aegean Blue Houses (Mandrakia): Another nice place to stay with the family in Mandrakia, the property facilitates the free use of bicycles, while the area is good for diving fishing, canoeing, and hiking. >>> Check more details here.
Zakynthos Island (also known as Zante)
Zakynthos is a beautiful island with many places to explore. Its main town is car-free (making it a great Greek island for toddlers) with rich Venetian architecture, pretty shops, and great tavernas for meals. If you want a great view of the main town, a brisk walk up to the Venetian Kastro is required. There are numerous mountain villages to explore and many of them are ideal for watching the sunset.
There are some amazing beaches on the island, with the best family beaches being on the eastern coast. Tsivili is a popular beach for water sports, while the Blue Caves on the north coast simply offer an mazing opportunity both for swimming and snorkelling.
Some of the hidden bays are only accessible by boat and these include the iconic Navagio Beach (or the Smugglers Cove) with its shipwreck. Zakynthos is a breeding site for the Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) and Daphni Nesting Beach in Zakynthos Town is where the turtle conservation programme is located and also on the island of Marathonisi – well worth visiting as there are also plenty of dolphins to see… Is there anything that children won’t love?
Best tours in Zakynthos for the whole family
- # Day Tour of Shipwreck Beach & the Blue Caves: With this tour you can take a trip by boat & minibus to Navagio Beach as well as the Blue Caves, driving north on a scenic route to Skinari Cape & Xygia Beach. >>> Read more details about this tour here.
- # Turtle Spotting Cruise on a Glass-Bottom Boat: Eager to take a snapshot of turtles at a close distance? Well, sail through the crystal clear waters off the coast of Zakynthos on a glass-bottomed boat, discover the turtles, explore the amazing Keri caves, and cross the famous Arches from underneath. >>> More details about this tour that kids simply adore!
Kos, one of the best Greek resorts for families
Kos is a really great island for children. There are some lovely sandy beaches, including some with black volcanic sands while, more suitable for toddlers, the beaches along the south coast have fine golden sand. One of the most popular beaches is Paradise Beach which is large and sandy with warm shallow waters, and plenty of opportunity for water skiing.
The pebble beach at Agios Fokas is just a short distance from the warm waters of the thermal springs at Bros Therma. In the area, there are some beautiful coves with crystal clear waters for snorkelling too.
There is much to do on Kos and this includes boat trips around the island or to Plati, a deserted islet off the coast at Pserimos. There is the history of the Asklepieion to learn too, since Kos is considered the the birthplace of medicine, and named after the god of healing.
The last working windmill at Antimachia is worth seeing too, while Zia Natural Park is a fun place to learn about the beauty of the island and perfect for children to enjoy feeding the animals.
Top Kos resorts for families
- # Mitsis Family Village Beach Hotel (Kardamena): This is an all-inclusive 4-star hotel just 200 m from the pebbled beach of Kardamena with 2 outdoor pools and on the beach. Babysitting can be arranged through the online Concierge platform. >>> Check the property and book your family stay here.
- # Mastichari Bay Hotel (Mastichari): Just a minute from the beach, the 4-star Mastichari Bay Hotel is a perfect place for children. It offers a wide range of sports and entertainment facilities, Mastichari Bay Hotel has a floodlight tennis court and a beach volley court, while a dedicated entertainment program is offered for young guests. >>> Read more about the hotel here.
As you can see, there are plenty of great Greek islands for families, so all you have to do now is discover which of them will offer the best family vacation that better suits your family needs!
Read more to plan the perfect Greek island holiday for the whole family:
- Best backpacks for teens
- Things to do in Santorini with kids
- Things to do in Corfu with kids
- Best places to see in Greece with children
These are my recommendations to travel to Greece with kids in full peace of Mind!
MORE ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is the site I rely on when it comes to checking reviews and finding genius deals for family friendly hotels and holiday homes all over Greece.
Start searching for Athens accommodation here.
CAR RENTAL: Discover Cars offer the best car rental search engine to find affordable car rental in Greece with available extras for families, including baby seats, child seats and booster seats.
Compare car rental fees here.
FERRY TRAVEL: Ferryhopper is the best place to find affordable ferry tickets to discover the Greek islands with your children.
Check ferry ticket fares in Greece.
TOURS, ACTIVITIES & EXPERIENCES: GetYourGuide is my go-to-platform to find the best child-friendly tours in Greece.
Check the best Athens tours here.
Pin this guide to the best Greek islands for families for your next vacation in Greece!
About the author:
Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. Here, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in the summer, translating, and writing for Momma Loves Greece as well as her Crete blog, The Tiny Book, and her food website, My Cretan Recipe.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, The Culture Trip, and Business Insider, published three travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.