Planning a trip to Greece with kids? You will find a comprehensive 10-day Greece itinerary for a family trip here, covering Athens and two beautiful islands, Santorini and Mykonos. This itinerary offers a perfect combination of history, culture, and beach fun.
Starting in Athens, families can explore iconic landmarks like the Acropolis and the Parthenon, while also enjoying interactive museums and delicious Greek cuisine. The itinerary then takes families to the picturesque island of Santorini, where they can relax on the stunning beaches, visit the charming villages, and witness breathtaking sunsets. Finally, the itinerary concludes in vibrant Mykonos, known for its lively atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife. This 10-day itinerary ensures that families can create unforgettable memories while exploring the best of Greece with their kids.
“With an olive tree, a vineyard and a boat, you can rebuild Greece.” – Odysseas Elytis, Greek poet and Nobel Laureate
Whitewashed islands, sailing boats, fishing villages, ancient ruins, olives and feta cheese, enduring myths, awe-inspiring sunsets, the strum of the mandolin, sun-kissed figures – these are the images that Greece evokes. Romance. Luxury.
Not the ideal destination for antsy, precocious kids. But we scoured through some sound advice from the Internet and put together a 10-day kid-friendly Greece Itinerary. We limited our Greece with kids itinerary to the city of Athens and the two most visited islands in the Cyclades – Santorini and Mykonos. If you are looking to consider other Greek islands for a family holiday, check this post.
To pique interest for this trip to Greece with kids, we got them a set of Leslie Patricelli’s Mini Myths including ‘Be Patient, Pandora’, ‘Play Nice, Hercules’ and ‘Make a Wish, Midas’.
Greece is good any time of the year – winters do get cold though (it even snows!). If sun and sea are what you seek, anytime between March and October is a great time to travel. Then again, off-peak months like April and September provide sunshine without the party crowds. Here is a complete packing list on what to take!
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Olive Tree: Athens
Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, is said to have won the contest for the patron deity of the city by gifting Athens an olive tree.
And olive trees are what greeted us we drove from the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport to the Royal Olympic Hotel near Plaka. The hotel boasts of panoramic views of the Parthenon and the Temple of Zeus. It was perfect for the first leg of our Greece family vacation itinerary.
Plaka is a quaint neighborhood of traditional houses and cobbled streets strewn with cafes, shops, and ancient ruins. Syntagma Square with the Greek Parliament and Monastiraki are a short walk away. Both are amongst the best free things to do in Athens.
Athens sleeps in the afternoon but is open till late especially in summer. I would highly recommend a long stroll in the night.
What to see in Athens with kids
Athens is a city full of historic monuments and sites. But you need to figure what to see and what to leave out on a family trip to Greece itinerary. Acropolis is a must-do for any visitor to the city. The Parthenon atop the Acropolis is a temple dedicated to Athena. Our guide, an erudite Greek lady, explained the significance of the various ancient structures. It would be a good idea to book a Combo Ticket to Acropolis and 6 Archeological Sites in Athens to avoid the ticket booth lines.
Make sure you hike to the top of the Acropolis site. The sweeping views of the city right up to the Piraeus port are definitely worth it. Don’t miss Mount Lycabettus and the Monument of Philopappos. This two-hour trek involves some bit of climbing, so make sure to carry water and caps to fight the sun.
The Theatre of Dionysus was the first theatre ever built. This is at the foot of Acropolis. It was supposedly the birthplace of Greek tragedy. The theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people with excellent acoustics.
You can check out the Athens City Pass to unlock 30 attractions and a Hop-on Hop-off ticket.
Museums on a family trip to Greece
The British Museum in London now houses parts of the sculptures that adorned the Parthenon (a contentious issue between the two countries), though the Acropolis Museum has replicas. Located at the foot of the Acropolis, the museum also offers family backpacks and trails to pique the young children’s interest. The café on the terrace offers a welcome respite after a hectic day.
The Hellenic Children’s Museum focused on experiential learning is free of cost. This Museum would delight every kid from 4-10 years. In the Playground, they play with building materials to create different constructions. At the Marketplace, they are taught about the concept of supply and demand. In the Kitchen area, the kids experiment with food ingredients and recipes and have the opportunity to try their hand at cooking.
Check out Athens Museum Guide for more information when planning for a Greece vacation with kids.
Unfortunately, we had only 2 days in Athens and missed out on some of the other fascinating sites like the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, the Piraeus Port, the funicular rail car to the Lycabettus Hill. A day trip to Delphi also sounds like a wonderful addition.
Here are some online Entry Ticket options for these museums:
Santorini features on many lists of island destinations and is a favorite with the honeymoon and cruise crowds: it definitely lives up to the hype and more!
Often named as one of the best places to honeymoon in Europe, Santorini is a true Greek gem. It can also be fun on a Greece family itinerary with kids.
Santorini has unique geology. The caldera and the minor islands were formed through volcanic eruptions hundreds of thousands of years ago, submerging parts of the land in the azure sea.
The island has stunning beaches. Think red and black sand with the azure blue sea. It also produces one of the finest Greek wines, the Assyrtiko.
We took an early morning flight to Santorini. A ferry from Athens to Santorini is an alternative economical option but it takes almost 5 hours. Do read the fine print if booking with a low-cost airline like Ryanair or Easyjet for baggage allowances, check-ins and boarding passes. There is a reasonable bus network on the island. But we opted for a self-drive car with an international license, though no one checked us.
As we reached the Atlantida Villas at the edge of Oia on the northern tip of the island, we were mesmerized by the breathtaking views of clear cobalt blue sea. Oia town gets crowded in the evenings and when the cruise ships arrive. It is nevertheless pretty as a picture.
Check out other properties in Oia:
The beaches on the island – the Red beach, Kamari, and Perissa – are unique and stunning. We spent half a day frolicking at the beach shacks in Perissa.
Amoudi Bay on the northern tip has glorious views of the caldera as well as blue and green waters. We walked up the steep steps from the bay to the old church in Oia through narrow streets and whitewashed houses with donkeys to give us company.
The boat ride in the caldera at sunset was ethereal. Our captain let us swim in the sea just off the coast of Thirasia and near Nea Kameni, where the hot currents and sulfur reminded us of the proximity of the volcano. What a beautiful evening to remember from our Greece with kids vacation.
Browse through these water activity tours in Santorini:
Mykonos is a 20th-century addition to the travel map, epitomising the island life.
Till the middle of the 20th century, Mykonos lived in the shadow of the ancient island of Delos. The island was occupied by the Venetians for more than three centuries.
The two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from the Thira port to Mykonos took us through the islands of Ios and Naxos. The luggage and cars went into the belly while all of us traveled comfortably in the indoor cabin.
Mykonos beaches are idyllic; we visited Psarou in the south. We spent our evenings strolling through Mykonos Town with white buildings and bright blue doors. We didn’t find the famously irascible pelican but met numerous cats lazing around while stopping for pictures in Little Venice and near the windmills.
A last-minute change in plan brought George, the owner of Paradise Beach Resort, to pick us up at the Mykonos port. This hotel, where we stayed for just one night, was walking distance from the beautiful party beach. Paradise Resort (no points for originality here!) was good value for money. George and his staff were attentive and friendly. Click here for more suggestions on where to stay in Mykonos.
We moved the next day to Ilio Maris, which is closer to town and walking distance from the windmills and Little Venice. If you are planning to spend 2 weeks in Greece with family, you could include another island perhaps. But we were happy with exploring Santorini and Mykonos.
Browse through these tours from Mykonos:
Looking for more Greek island options? Check out why Ios beaches and sights are loved by Travellers.
Shopping in Greece
Apart from the fridge magnets and other knick-knacks, do shop for Greek cotton and linen clothes, pottery and handmade jewelry. The islands have boutiques targeted at the honeymooners and cruise crowd, but you are better off shopping in Athens for better pricing.
Olives, olive oil and olive oil soaps are must buy, as are the Grecian leather sandals.
Food & Drink options
Greek food is both delicious and healthy.
We pigged out on the creamy yogurts, olives, feta salads, seafood, tomato fritters (keftedes), stuffed vine leaves (dolmathes) and baklavas.
Greece produces amazing wines as well, which surprisingly aren’t exported. But who would want to share such treasures! Assyrtiko white wine is made in wineries in Santorini from a locally grown grape and is light with citrus and fruity notes. We enjoyed a bottle of Domaine Sigalas, Assyrtiko watching the sunset in Mykonos while the kids frolicked in the pool. Another delicious white wine is the Moscofilero.
Here are some food tours in Athens that you could consider:
We loved the seafood at Terina and the Indian food at Indian Chef in Athens. Skiza Café in Oia, Santorini had great service and decent food. Melenio in Oia had a cheeky one-liner for those seeking free WiFi – ‘Don’t ask for the WiFi password, talk to each other!’ and with great coffee, pancakes and a breathtaking view, who would argue with that!
We had an unforgettable family vacation as we traveled to Greece with our kids, exploring the bustling city of Athens and the beautiful islands of Santorini and Mykonos.
Check out the website Kids Love Greece for more ideas on a family trip to Greece.
Travel Tips for family trip to Greece
When to visit Greece: Note that summer months are amazing for family fun, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. But summer is also the most expensive, and you need to book much in advance to get the best possible availability and prices. Crowds are insane on popular Greek islands in July and August.
Shoulder season (both spring and autumn) are a great time to visit if you are not keen on warm waters. Prices are lower and availability is better, the best spots in Greece are not overcrowded during this time.
Account for heat in summers: If you are visiting Greece in summer months, be aware of the strong sun. Wear light colored, airy, cotton or linen clothes to keep yourself comfortable. Wear a wide brim hat and use sunblock. Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Try and avoid ancient sites early in the morning and not during mid-day.
Understand the ferry system: Ferries are a cost-effective and efficient way of reaching islands in Greece. Major cities such as Athens, Thessaloniki, and Patras are connected with many of the islands. Additionally, there are routes connecting the islands within an island group (Ionian, Cyclades, Dodecanese etc.)
There are several ferry companies operating ferry routes in Greece: Ferryhopper being one of the most popular. It’s important to check the timetable of the specific route you’re taking as ferry times can change depending on the destination and the time of year. In summer months, popular ferry routes (such as from and to Santorini and Mykonos) do sell out. So you should pre-book.
Spend time on mainland: Greece is not just about island hopping. While there are stunning islands to be explored, the mainland offers several attractions. Meteora is heaven for thrill seekers, hikers and rock climbers. There are golden beaches in Peloponnese. The historic city of Athens is great for archeological sites, incredible food and meandering around neighborhoods.
Eat like a local: There are amazing Greek dishes that you need to try on your trip. From moth-watering pastries to hearty breakfast dishes to flavorful dinner-time food dishes, you will have fun eating out in Greece. Greek island is simple yet delicious. Ask for local wine and don’t shy away from regular tap water.
Be mindful of local culture and customs: The older generation in Greece is conservative. So don’t go around wearing skimpy outfits in local neighborhoods. Also, nudity is not ok on beaches. Dress modestly while visiting churches and other religious sites.
Most importantly, embrace Greek time and have fun on your holiday. Don’t expect punctuality and you shall be fine.
This is a guest post by Shweta Markandeya. After 10 years of climbing the corporate ladder, Shweta decided to call it quits and just “chill” with her daughter. When not wandering on foot, she wanders in her mind by reading, writing and planning yet another trip! She lists Greece, Northern California and Prague as her favorite destinations – she’d be happy to run a book-and-coffee shop in Oia.
[This post was originally published in 2018, and later updated in 2023.]
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Have you visited any of the Greek islands? If yes, which is your favorite one? Share with us in the comments below.
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