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Blessed with hundreds of picturesque islands, Greece offers experiences for every type of traveller including history buffs, beach beach bums, adventure-seekers and foodies and thanks to the country’s famously welcoming hospitality, many Greek Islands are perfect for family holidays. With easy ferry connections, you can pick an island grouping (such as the Cyclades or Dodecanese) and hop between them. Wherever you choose, expect atmospheric towns, family-friendly tavernas, great weather (month-dependent) and stunning beaches. Here’s our pick of the best Greek Islands for kids, based on first-hand recommendations from Mumsnetters.
What are the best Greek Islands for a family holiday?
Best for kids of all ages: Crete
Best for beaches: Naxos
Best for history: Rhodes
Best for foodies: Sifnos
Best for active families: Corfu
“Crete has nice beaches and an amazing mountainous interior with several beautiful gorges you can walk along. The south coast is spectacular and it’s Europe’s southernmost point. Great food and really welcoming, relaxed people” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ohyesiam
Families won’t be short of things to do in Crete, Greece’s biggest island. Fly into Chania or Heraklion and explore Venetian harbour towns with boutiques, museums and tavernas at every turn. Expect a family-friendly atmosphere thanks to the famous Cretan hospitality. Hire a car or hop on air-conditioned local buses to seaside destinations like pretty Rethymnon. Relish family beach days across the island - other-worldly Elafonisi, with its pink-sand beach is a particular highlight - and give the kids a history lesson at impressive sites like Knossos Palace, considered Europe’s oldest city.
Where to stay in Crete
For a Chania beach break, consider the Eden Beach hotel which features a pool and apartments with kitchenettes. It sits six miles from Chania on the Blue Flag-awarded Agia Marina Beach, where the seashore is shallow for kids.
“I go to Rhodes about three times a year. I always find loads to do there. Old Town, Lindos, boat trips to Symi and Halki, coves and swimming stop trips, wine country and the Valley of the Butterflies, bee museum - I could go on. Sea is warm, July is perfect weather. Honestly, can’t go wrong” - recommended by Mumsnet user, DazedandConcerned
Rhodes’ old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will captivate young and old. Soak up well-preserved history in the maze of medieval alleys, and explore the Venetian Castle and Palace of the Grand Masters. Do a spot of shopping and enjoy family dinners in the many restaurants, which range from simple tavernas to contemporary spots. Bear in mind that some bars can get loud and crowded late at night. Rhodes is full of family-friendly seaside villages to discover including Pefkos and the Acropolis-topped Lindos. And there are adventurous excursions available to the Valley of the Butterflies or nearby islands like colourful Symi. Kids will love Faliraki Water Park.
Where to stay in Rhodes
Fancy seaside Pefkos? Island Blue Hotel has two pools with separate children's pools, a games room, a playground, a restaurant and more. Plus, it’s three minutes’ from sandcastle time on Pefkos beach.
“Have a look at Island Blue hotel in Pefkos, Rhodes… Their family rooms have a main room with en-suite shower room and a kitchenette, and a separate twin bedded room with its own en-suite shower room. Those rooms have a big balcony with table and chairs as well.” girlywhirly
“One of my very favourites, after over 20 visits to Greece, is Naxos. Naxos town is big enough to have tons of restaurants and bars but has a proper old town and some archaeological sites. There’s lots of lovely beaches and it’s worth having a car for a few days to venture into the mountainous interior. We had a lovely boat trip to some of the smaller islands and towns roundabout. I bloody love it” - recommended by Mumsnet user, HollaHolla
Catch a ferry (from Athens, Santorini or Mykonos - all spectacular but often busy) to beach-lined, history-packed Naxos. You’ll find traditional Cycladic architecture in the Old Town - think whitewashed, cubic houses and paved streets and a 13th-century Venetian castle. Dish out a history lesson with a great town view at the historic arch of Portara, the remaining part of the unfinished Temple of Apollo. Clear, calm, child-friendly waters bless some of the beaches here. Hire a car and have fun beach-hopping along the 62-mile coastline. Agios Georgios is a family fave with shallow shores while Plaka, the longest sandy beach, is known for windsurfing and glorious sunsets.
Where to stay in Naxos
Less than 20 metres from family-friendly Agia Anna beach, Stella Naxos Island offers apartments sleeping up to four; some with sea views. Continue the alfresco family fun using the gardens' barbecue facilities and playground.
“There are some very touristy bits on the island but Zante Town itself is lovely (full of locals and a magnificent church) and the north of the island is breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. There are some glorious deserted coves in the north (even in high season), lots of churches/old buildings to visit, fabulous hikes and accommodation to suit all budgets. We love it and go every year” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Buildingthefuture
Picture-perfect beaches will provide the backdrop to memorable days on Zakynthos, also known as Zante. East side beaches are great for families, particularly Tsilivi. Catch boats to Navagio beach, with its famous shipwreck and towering cliffs, and the iconic Blue Caves (best suited to older kids). Rare Caretta-Caretta turtles can be found on Zakynthos: spot them on a sea tour. Laganas tends to have a young, party crowd with many lively clubs but Zakynthos Town is family friendly. Wander the atmospheric squares and check out the Venetian Castle and museum.
Where to stay in Zakynthos
Al Mare Beach Hotel features a pool with a separate kids' area plus a restaurant, bar, sun terrace and family rooms sleeping up to five. It's in the resort of Tsilivi, minutes from the beach, with loads of activities on offer nearby, including horse riding, tennis, a water park and children's play areas.
“I’ve been to lots of places in Greece. My absolute, hands down favourite place is Corfu. It’s absolutely gorgeous and we return again and again. If you can afford to stay in Agios Stefanos, do. It’s very authentic and the “posh” side. The Sidari side is lively and tacky but still fun” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Fanniesyeraunt
As an island of diverse treasures, Corfu should please every family member. Expect cobbled alleys, fascinating museums and gaze-worthy mansions and squares in UNESCO-listed Corfu Town. Bear in mind that Kavos is a party town. The island is renowned for its greenery including lush forest and mountains. Get to know impressive sites like Pontikonisi islet, Vlacherna Monastery, and the Achillion Palace, where Princess Sissi of Austria stayed.
Where to stay in Corfu
Kids won’t get bored at Sidari Waterpark Hotel with its six waterslides and three large pools plus two for children. Evening family entertainment includes Greek nights, quizzes, karaoke and acrobatic shows. Book a family room or suite at this hotel that’s less than a mile from Sidari town and the beach. The town does have a vibrant nightlife scene but there’s lots to see and do in the daytime with kids.
“We've been to Paxos two years in a row and we love it! As a family, what we look for in a great holiday is beautiful beaches, few tourists, great food (especially fish) and friendly, welcoming locals. You get all of that in Paxos! If you go, include a day trip to Antipaxos. It's amazing with the most gorgeous restaurant right on the beach!” - recommended by Mumsnet user, user1488826574
Settle into a slower pace of life on Ionian island Paxos. Ramble the hills with older children (if it isn’t too hot) and enjoy spectacular views. Take boat trips to coves and pebble beaches or the water taxi to nearby Antipaxos with its famously blue waters. Mumsnetters say Paxos locals are friendly and hospitalitable, which is great for families, and that the food will impress. Be aware that Paxos can be a little more expensive than other islands. Time it right to experience cultural festivals.
Where to stay in Paxos
Choose Villa Avgerini as your Paxos home-from-home to enjoy the luxurious pool and sea views from the sun terrace. Apartments sleep five (on request) and include kitchen appliances and some baby equipment (on request). You’ll be beside the beach and near the harbour town of Gaios.
“Skiathos. I've been visiting the island since 2002. It gets better every visit. The harbour in the town is beautiful with many lovely restaurants and bars. The beaches are out of this world. There is a bus that stops all along the island and almost each stop has a beach to explore. Stay in Skiathos town - you won't regret it!” - recommended by Mumsnet user, norainnoflowers1
Experience authentic Greece in Skiathos, alongside modern facilities to keep little ones happy on hols. Explore the town’s narrow alleys amid the traditional white houses and stop for taverna lunches at the pretty harbour. You’ll be mesmerised by the blue waters and green pine forests. Pick from 60 beaches: families will enjoy Koukounaries but should avoid Banana Beach, known for its parties. Skiathos’ lively nightlife scene (largely in town and around the Old Harbour), starts late at night so you can mostly avoid it with early-ish meals and strolls. Make memories on boat trips to nearby islands like the Mama Mia filming location of Skopelos or Alonnisos, where you’ll spot wildlife in Europe’s largest marine park.
Where to stay in Skiathos
Indulge in a luxurious stay at Skiathos Avaton Hotel, Philian Hotels & Resorts by booking a family-sized suite with a private outdoor hot tub. There’s a pool, a bar, a terrace and lounge for further relaxation but you’re in Skiathos Town and steps from Megali Ammos beach so there’s plenty for all on your doorstep. It's a luxury property with stylish rooms and poolside cabanas so it's probably better suited to teens than toddlers.
“I really love Paros for history, hiking, swimming etc. Get the ferry to Antiparos where you can hire a bike and cycle to beaches. Both islands are very beautiful and quintessentially Greek. It’s near Mykonos but smaller, less trendy and less expensive” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Polly99
Paros, in the Cyclades, is like a Greek postcard: white cubic houses, blue domes and winding, paved alleys. Naoussa - the old fishing town - is packed with lively bars and restaurants, including waterfront tavernas with sea views. Most welcome kids but if you want something quieter, visit traditional villages like Lefkas and Marpissa. Build sandcastles (and sunbathe with a cocktail) on the picture-perfect beaches along the 75-mile-long coastline; some are renowned for wind- and kite-surfing. Ferry hop to tranquil Antiparos or iconic (but often crowded) Santorini.
Where to stay in Paros
Hotel Eleftheria is simple but authentic and should fulfil all your family’s basic needs with its triple or quadruple rooms. Located in Paros’ capital, Parikia Town, you can walk to explore tavernas, bars and shops. Livadia Beach is less than 45 metres away.
“Hotel Eleftheria in Paros, I've stayed there many times. It’s family-owned and run. Lovely. The owner will collect you from the port” Effendi
“Sifnos is amazing. We flew to Athens and took a ferry there. We stayed in Apollonia and got the bus or a taxi to beaches in the daytime. Apollonia is really lively at night, in a good way - lots of families and people out eating on rooftop restaurants” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Cooloncraze
Sifnos is another quiet, Cycladic gem. Get lost in the winding streets of capital, Apollonia and check out ceramic pottery workshops for fun with the kids. Be sure to try the family-friendly tavernas as Sifnos is known as a foodie island with local specialities like lamb stew and honey pies. Child-friendly beaches are easy to find, including Platys Gialos which has restaurants, sunbeds and watersports. Older children might enjoy the panoramic hiking trails (beware of heat and steep hills!) and ancient hilltop acropolis ruins.
Where to stay in Sifnos
Built to look like a Cycladic village, Alexandros Hotel has a family-friendly atmosphere. Chill out by the pool (which boasts a snack bar), in the gardens or at the nearest beach, just 150 metres away. The family-run hotel offers good-sized rooms or suites, both with balconies. Kids and adults will enjoy the terrace-side breakfast buffet overlooking pretty Platis Gialos. Note: There are lots of steps to navigate so it might not be best suited to very young kids or if you’re travelling with a pram.
Is Greece good for families?
Generally, yes! Especially the Greek Islands where locals are usually very welcoming. Greece offers a great mixture of child-friendly beaches, picturesque towns, historic sites and family-friendly tavernas across its islands. Our roundup showcases what we think are the best. If you fancy a resort holiday, check out our pick of the best places to stay.
Where’s the best Greek Island for a family holiday?
It depends what you’re looking for. History? Rhodes. Beaches? Naxos. Quiet tranquillity? Paxos. All of the above? The biggest island, Crete! There’s somewhere for every taste. If you're travelling with babies or toddlers, you might enjoy our handy guide.
Which Greek Island has the best beaches for families?
Zakynthos has famous beaches like its shipwreck cove; Naxos has 62 miles of beaches, many with child-friendly waters, and Skiathos has mesmerisingly blue waters with soft sands.
Which Greek Island is the best for families with teens?
It’s near impossible to get bored on Crete with its beautiful beaches, bucket-list hiking trails like Samaria Gorge, exciting towns and historic sites. Here are our tips for holidaying with teens.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which Greek Islands were being recommended. We then did some online research, looking at which islands and family hotels had won accolades or been featured in ‘best’ lists across trusted travel publications as well as user reviews. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best islands and family hotels on Greek islands at the moment.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.