Greece is one of those places that resemble paradise on the beach. Turquoise water, impressive culture, and food to die for are enough reasons to visit Greece at least once in a lifetime. Choose the best time to travel to Greece and start planning a trip with your loved ones. Greece is one of the ultimate family destinations in Europe, and if you haven’t been here yet, now is the time for you to experience this natural beauty.
Best Time to Travel to Greece
If you are thinking of taking your family to Greece you are probably asking yourself when is the best time to travel to Greece? Spring and Autumn are ideal if you want to avoid crowds and hot weather, but summer if you want to spend time on the beach.
The official season starts in late April and lasts until early November. That is when most of the agencies will sell their arrangements. Let’s dive into more detail about what it is like in every season in Greece.
Summer is the best time of year to travel to Greece for swimming, sailing, and other water activities. The downside is that beaches are crowded, accommodation is more expensive, and tours are fully booked.
For those seeking good nightlife, summer in Mykonos is a must. Islands like Mykonos off-season get a lot of wind, so these places are definitely at their best in the summertime. A lot of crowds are coming not just to hotels and local accommodations but also with cruise ships.
Summer is also ideal for visiting continental Greece. Although the temperatures are high, there are fewer people in Athens, Meteora, or Olymp, than there are in spring and fall. The tourists in Greece in summer are usually seeking beach vacations, and archeological museums and locations are not as busy as they might get at different times of the year.
For history buffs that are fascinated with Greek ancient history winter is the best time to visit. Queues are shorter, cities are not as busy, and beaches are deserted. Those not looking for swimming will find in Greece so much more than summer fun on the beach.
Although it snows only in the mountains, winter is pretty cold in Greece as this is their rainy season. It rains often and a lot, so don’t forget your umbrellas, raincoats, and rain boots. January and February are the coldest months, but compared to other European destinations in winter, Greece is warm.
In winter you can visit museums in Athens and on the islands. Every island has its own incredible story you can discover. Other activities can be skiing, hiking in the mountains, or visiting the thermal lakes. This is the perfect time to try Greek cuisine, especially during the holiday season.
Many experts say that spring is the ideal time to visit Greece for many reasons. It is warm but not too hot, the beaches are not crowded yet, the sea is gorgeous, and the prices are lower since it is pre-season.
April to early June is a great time to visit Greece with a family. Especially if your kiddos are small and you want to avoid too busy beaches. This is a perfect time to go island hopping or do yours like snorkeling, sea kayaking, sailing, etc.
The warmest islands at this time are Cyprus, Santorini, and Crete. Swimming season officially starts in May, but you can also enjoy hiking, walking in blossoming nature, and trying out restaurants without having to wait in line.
The second best time to visit Greece, according to experts, is right after spring. In the fall you get all the benefits of the summer vacation, with the sea still warm, but with fewer crowds on the beach and at tourist locations.
The weather is more than perfect at this time of the year. Enjoy road trips around islands, or island hopping with a sailboat. Don’t miss out on sunsets and gorgeous nature with foliage.
Mild temperature allows you to comfortably go hiking and visit places like Meteora. You can also join celebrations for the Grape Harvest and the Olive Harvest. Visiting Greece in the fall will give you a better perspective of what life is like for locals.
Where to Stay in Greece with Kids
With so many options and stunning landscapes, it is hard to narrow down the list of places you should visit with your family in Greece. Except for Athens which is on the mainland and has some of the best archeological sites in Europe, the islands are an excellent choice for a family holiday.
The island with the longest summer in Europe is an impeccable choice for a family vacation. It is also the biggest island in Greece, which gives you great options when choosing the resort that fits everyone’s needs.
When visiting islands it is best if you rent a car so you can drive around and see different beaches every day. Some of the best-rated beaches on Crete are Matala, Agia Pelagia, and Makrigialos. Also, activities you can do as a family are sea kayaking, glass-bottom boat, or visiting the Dinosaur Park.
Sandy beaches, impressive natural beauty, and picturesque villages are the main reasons why you should pick Corfu for your next vacation. They call this beautiful island ‘Emerald Isle’ for a reason.
The island has 57 sandy beaches, and most of them are kids friendly. There are numerous activities available, like kayaking, waterskiing, and wakeboarding. If your kiddos are small, then making a sandcastle is a perfect thing to do.
Crystal clear water and gorgeous architecture look very welcoming when you first arrive on the island. There are miles of sandy beaches available, with shallow water where you can relax and let your kids play without worry.
In the Old Town, you will witness one of the best-preserved medieval settlements in Europe. Don’t miss out on learning about the rich history and visiting local museums. The next best thing to do is try tasty food in local restaurants.
Charming Santorini villages with unique architecture and sunset over the Aegean Sea are a dream come true for many travelers. Stay in the village of Oia, located on the cliffs of Santorini’s volcanic caldera, or choose one of the family-friendly resorts closer to the beach. Both choices are great for families, but it also depends on what you are looking for.
If you prefer visiting restaurants, wineries, and engaging in local life, then staying in the village in one of the holiday homes is a splendid idea. For families seeking beach fun the south side where the sandy beaches are is an excellent choice.
Is one of the biggest islands in Greece, located near Turkey, with plenty of sun year-round. If you are looking for a child-friendly place to stay on Kos island, then the city of Kefalos is an ideal choice. Long sandy beaches that kids love are located on the south side of the island, and the most popular beach, Paradise Beach, is nestled between Kardamena and Kefalos.
There is so much to do with a family on this island. From exploring the archeological museum and a fortress in the old town to visiting aquatic parks, your kids will have the time of their lives. The sandy beaches are perfect for small children since the water is shallow and they can play and have fun.
The party island is also a great family getaway. This is one of the most beautiful and authentic Greek islands, with gorgeous landscapes and picturesque villages. Some of the more family-friendly beaches in this island of over 30 beaches are Ornos Beach, Platis Gialos, and Agios Stefanos.
Take advantage of small boutique hotels at affordable prices, and enjoy great views from your bedroom. This is a perfect honeymoon destination as well, and also a popular wedding location for many couples from around the world.
Some are calling Naxos the ultimate family island. It is quiet and relaxing, with amazing natural beauty and long white sand beaches. St George beach is very popular, especially because of its location only a 10-minute walk from Naxos town.
If you come here in summertime the island will appear more touristy, but in spring and fall, the island is quieter and more enjoyable for groups with kids.
How to Get Around Greece with Kids
More than anything, Greece is a safe country. Renting a car or a motorcycle on any island is easy and affordable. You don’t have to worry about “crazy local drivers” although being careful is important especially if you are driving your family members in a new country.
Taxis are another option, but on the mainland, they sometimes give you a higher rate because you are a tourist. Make sure to ask for a taxi meter to run and ask how much the ride is going to cost before you enter the vehicle.
Coming to Greece by air is the most common, except for the Europeans who often drive down to Greece from other nearby countries. It often happens that highways are busy and that it takes hours to cross the border.
Once you fly into Greece you can go to the islands by ferry. Or you can fly between the islands, too. The ferry is an inexpensive way of transport, and for kids under 4 it is free to ride a ferry or a bus. For kiddos under age 10 on ferries or 12 on buses and trains, the fare is half.
Even when you fly you can get perks for kids. On a domestic flight, you’ll pay 10% of the adult fare for a child under two sitting on your lap. Kids older than 2, up to 12 years old pay half-fare. As you can see Greece is a very kid-friendly country.
How Much Time to Stay in Greece with Kids
Once you decide what is the best time to travel to Greece for your family, you have to decide how long you will stay there. If we are talking about the ideal vacation it would be at least two months, with spending days on each island.
But since we have to work, and kids have to go to school, realistically two to three weeks is the best. You can choose a few different places to stay, and the rest you can see by boat if you go on an island-hopping excursion.
Use the opportunity to visit the continental part of Greece on your arrival, before you fly from Athens to one of the islands. You can spend a few days in Athens, and go on excursions to nearby mountains or one of the coastal cities.
When it comes to islands however long you stay won’t be enough. It feels like that as soon as you get used to waking up to the sound of waves and the smell of local flowers it is already a time to go home. Stay 5 to 7 days on each island so that you have the opportunity to see as much of it as possible.
Things To Do in Greece With Kids
If you need only one reason to visit Greece, then it can be the activities you can do there. From visiting historical sites to diving and sailing, there is something for everyone here. Plan the itinerary ahead of time so you can secure a place in more popular tours.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are some of those activities that anyone can enjoy, even smaller kids that are not experienced swimmers can enjoy this activity thanks to mandatory life vests. The best places for snorkeling in Greece are Zante, Crete, Santorini, Naxos, and Kefalonia.
The sailing season starts in May and in every major city you can book a sailing tour of the Aegean sea. Hundreds of boats and yachts are offering tours that include sailing around Greek islands, fishing, diving, and windsurfing.
Visiting ancient Greece sites like Acropolis is one of those unique experiences you can do with your kids only in Greece. The Acropolis is the most famous historic landmark in Greece, constructed in the 5th century BC. Other locations worth visiting are Delphi, Meteora, Corinth Canal, Mycenae, Olympia, and others.
Athens is a good destination for a family getaway in Greece. Aside from the historic sites and museums, in Athens, you can also visit beaches, colorful neighborhoods, and amazing local restaurants.
Wherever you go in Greece look for a local archeological museum, you will be surprised how many hidden gems you might find. Some of the more famous archeological museums in Greece are the Museum of the Royal Tombs at Aigai, the National Archaeological Museum, the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, and many more.
Things to Eat in Greece
Every bigger city in the world has a Greek-style restaurant. If you haven’t tried greek specialties, a trip to Greece can be the best time to expand your taste. Among so many dishes prepared in different parts of Greece, we’ve chosen a few that are must-try for first-time travelers:
Souvlaki is popular street food in Greece. It consists of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer.
Saganaki is the name for the type of dish made in a frying pan, but mostly it is fried cheese. Commonly they use graviera, kefalograviera, halloumi, kasseri, kefalotyri, or sheep’s milk feta cheese for this dish.
Baklava is the favorite dessert in several countries, but it is mostly associated with Greece. The basic ingredients are filo dough, walnuts, and honey syrup. But it varies in different countries and regions.
Horiatiki is an authentic Greek salad made out of veggies and cheese. The main ingredients are cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, olives, capers, and feta cheese. The dressing consists of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, and spices like oregano.
Moussaka is made out of eggplant or potatoes. It often includes ground meat, and it is baked in the oven. Mostly it is served in winter rather than in summer.
Loukoumades are another traditional Greek dessert. They are little bite-sized fluffy sweet honey deep-fried balls. Often it is served sprinkled with cinnamon or chopped walnuts.
Taramasalata is a creamy appetizer specific to Greece and Turkey. It is a mixture made of fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, onion, and bread.
Now that you have learned enough about the destination, you can decide on the best time to travel to Greece. It all depends on the activities and places you want to visit. Keep in mind the seasons and enjoy your packing.