The island of Naxos is one of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, close to its neighbouring islands of Santorini and Mykonos. You can’t miss Mount Zeus, the focal point of the island and the highest peak in the Cyclades. With some 40 km of coastline, including the beatiful Plaka Beach, it’s the perfect playground for families to explore with a focus on water sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, plus boat trips and swimming. You can easily venture to nearby Greek islands and enjoy days out at sea.
Naxos packs in plenty of history too, from the Paleolithic age to the Ottoman periods. There’s a good choice of museums, churches and monasteries for those interested in seeing a different side to Naxos. During the summer months from May to September, the island enjoys a few festivals celebrating food, wine and music so it’s a great time to go out and enjoy the local culture and fill up on seasonal ingredients!
Not only does Rhodes benefit from 300 days of sunshine a year, its combination of sandy beach resorts, old town charm, scenic hiking trails and authentic restaurant scene make it an all-round great holiday destination for families. The Medieval capital Rhodes Town combines a rich heritage with some worthwhile attractions including the Palace of the Grand Master and the 15th century Archaeological Museum of Rhodes.
When it comes to activities, there’s plenty. Take the kids outdoors to explore Mount Attavyros, Rhodes’ tallest mountain, to the natural butterfly reserve, to feed animals at the zoo, or simply tire them out at Faliraki’s Water Park. Some of the best accessible beaches for families in Rhodes include Lindos, Agios Pavlos and Ladiko.
Corfu for families is an exciting mix of hikes and bike rides, day trips and buzzing nightlife that will appeal to the adults and older teens in the family. There’s so much to love about Corfu, from the full-on various resort of Kavos, to the sweet smelling olive and orange groves and the rich ancient history. The beach scene is great too – brimming with water sports, coastal walks and hidden coves. There a quite a few with Blue Flag status, such as Sidari Beach in the north, so you have added peace of mind for younger kids.
A great resort for families is Aghios Ioannis, a picture-postcard village with traditional charm just a stone’s throw from Aqualand Water Park. Be sure to check out Corfu Town which is a UNESCO site and is the birthplace of the Duke of Edinburgh. As well as some having some beautiful café’s and shops, notable monuments include Spianada Square, the New Fortress, the Ionian Academy and the Palace of St. Michael and St. Georges.
As the largest Greek island in the Aegean Sea, Crete crams in more than 600 miles of coastline, vibrant towns and sleepy villages into its four main regions. There’s bags of unspoilt scenery so families wanting a holiday of outdoor adventures are in luck, and with so many myths and legends to uncover there’s something truly mesmerizing about Crete. From the Minoan Palace of Knossos in Heraklion, to the many tombs and mosques in Rethymno, there’s a wealth of history here.
Throw in pair of water parks and a few museums, your days will be jam-packed. Plus there’s the opportunity to go on day trips to nearby islands of Spinalonga and Santorini. With clear waters and secluded bays, the beaches are ideal for swimming and paddling in while being set among some breathtaking locations. Check out the pink-white sands of Elafonissi Beach near Chania, and the stunning Preveli Beach in Rethymno (pictured).
Despite being known as a party island, Zante has many draws for families – including the picturesque countryside, fun-filled attractions and choice of child-friendly beaches. Beyond the famous white sands of Shipwreck Beach, there’s Alykes, Gerakas, Agios Nikolaos, Kalamaki, Tsilivi and Spanzia. If you’re lucky, at night you’ll spot loggerhead turtles nesting. Up in the northern and western parts of the island, things are less crowded and offer a more peaceful atmosphere.
Zante Town is like many Greek towns, both charming and traditional. There’s an assortment of castles, churches and museums, plus a great choice of cocktail bars and restaurants for laidback lunches and al fresco dinners. From Zante, you can take a ferry crossing from neighbouring Killini and Kefalonia so it’s worth keeping a day aside for this or to explore the Blue Caves.