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Santorini with kids – Traveling tips for family-friendly holidays

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Family holidays in Santorini (or any other place for that matter!) can be a challenge: the planning, the carrying, and the constant need for snacking will put your patience to the test – if you’re not prepared.

Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place.

This comprehensive guide is specifically designed for all families planning their holidays to Santorini with kids.

Whether you’re travelling with a baby, a toddler, or a teen, you will get all the necessary information to make your trip a rewarding and memorable experience.

So, buckle up and keep reading. After finishing you’ll know:

  • Whether or not Santorini is family-friendly
  • What are the best beaches for kids
  • Where to stay in Santorini with children
  • What are the best things and activities you can do on the island
  • When is the best time to visit Santorini with family and more

Are you ready to organize the most fun trip?

First things first: is Santorini family-friendly?

Yes, Santorini is indeed family-friendly.

While it may have a reputation as a romantic destination, it also offers a range of activities and amenities that cater to families with children. From beautiful beaches to kid-friendly attractions, Santorini has something for everyone and it would be a pity to miss out on them just because of what you’ve heard.

So, don’t hesitate to bring your little adventurers along for an unforgettable experience – Santorini is a great choice for the whole family!

is Santorini family friendly?

What is the best place to stay in Santorini with kids?

As you may have already guessed, there is no single place where all the families gather to stay separated from the rest of the crowd!

However, there are places that work better than others, be it in terms of available parking, absence of coble streets that really don’t work well with strollers, proximity to the beaches and more.

Here are some of the best places to stay in Santorini with kids:

 

  1. Kamari

This beachside village on the eastern side of the island offers a relaxed atmosphere, a family-friendly beach, and a variety of accommodations and restaurants. Although a little less scenic than the Caldera part of the island, Kamari has more hotels, larger pools, and easier access to the beach.

Most importantly, prices are relatively lower in this part of the island, so it will be easier to stay on a budget.

 

  1. Perissa

Located near Kamari, Perissa boasts a long, black-sand beach and a range of family-oriented activities, making it a popular choice for families.

Sharing some of the advantages we already saw in Kamari, it’s also a great choice because your kids will be able to find other kids to play with, too!

 

  1. Fira

Santorini’s capital, Fira, is a bustling town with various shops, restaurants, and attractions that can work well with children of all ages.

Fira can be a great base for exploring the island, but it can get pretty crowded during the high summer months – plan accordingly!

 

  1. Oia

Similarly, Oia is known for its stunning sunsets and iconic blue-domed churches. While it’s a bit quieter than Fira, it’s still a lovely place to stay with your family – everyone will absolutely love the views.

If you choose this part of the island, make sure to book everything well in advance, because availability is limited!

 

Further reading: Where to stay in Santorini – Every part of the island, explained!

 

Besides choosing the right area, choosing the right accommodation is also crucial for a family trip. Consider these options:

  • Family-Friendly Resorts: Santorini has numerous all-inclusive, family-friendly resorts that offer spacious rooms, pools, and kids’ clubs. If you need some alone time while here, this is your best bet.
  • Hotels with Family Rooms: Many hotels in Santorini offer family rooms with extra beds or connecting rooms. This is great for families travelling with teenagers, who require a little bit of privacy.
  • Vacation Rentals: Renting a villa or apartment can be a great option for families, as it provides more space and privacy. Adding to the list of advantages, Airbnbs are not only less expensive than a hotel, but they also feature a kitchen – preparing meals and BBQs to stay on a budget or to feed your favorite picky-eater just got a lot easier!

Pro tip: Rural areas in Greece may not have an exact address, with a number and everything – in this case, it’s best to book an airport private transfer – the driver will not only provide you with a car seat, but they will also know exactly where to drop you off so you won’t have to worry about driving with jet lag, navigating the narrow streets of Santorini, or finding parking nearby!

 

When is the best time to book a family holiday to Santorini?

The “where” is not the only thing that matters.

The “when” also plays a crucial role, especially when it comes to tourism and seasonality.

The best time to visit Santorini with kids is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). The weather is pleasant, and the crowds are thinner, making it easier to enjoy the island with your family.

Travelling to Santorini with kids during July and August will be more of a challenge, taking into account the crowded places, the traffic, and the higher prices.

 

Read more: What’s the best time to visit Santorini? Expert advice to plan the perfect trip

 

Now that we’ve covered the “when” and the “where”, it’s time for the “what”!

Here comes a list with the best things to do in Santorini with children – from swimming and strolling, to learning about the Minoan civilization and trying all sorts of sports and outdoor activities, there is a thing for everyone!

Things to do in Santorini with kids

Let’s dive into the exciting activities you can enjoy as a family in Santorini!

  1. Explore the Beaches

Starting off easy, you can’t make a list for family-friendly holidays in Santorini and not include beaches! Here are some of the best beaches for kids on the island:

  • Kamari Beach: A long, sandy beach with shallow waters, perfect for kids.
  • Perissa Beach: Features a wide range of water sports and beachfront restaurants.
  • Red Beach: Known for its unique red volcanic sand, it’s an adventure just getting there.
  • Monolithos Beach: Features calm waters and a playground for kids.
  • Ammoudi Bay: A picturesque spot for swimming with crystal-clear waters.

 

  1. Visit the Santorini Water Park

Located near Perissa Beach, the Santorini Water Park is a fantastic place for some family fun. It offers slides, pools, and water games suitable for all ages, with a lifeguard present at all times.

 

  1. Walk from Fira to Oia 

This is not an easy task! The two towns are six miles apart (10km), so walking this distance with kids will take at least 3 hours. It’s a dirt path, too, meaning not suitable for strollers. However, if you and the fam are athletic and used to trekking, you’ll love the views. On your way you’ll also pass the Skaros Rock, the most famous of Santorini’s fortresses, which offered protection from pirates back in medieval times!

Please note that summer in Greece is no joke – refrain from walking during midday, when temperatures are high.

 

  1. Watch the Sunset in Oia 

Speaking of Oia, no matter who you travel with, you need to watch the sunset here! While the iconic Oia sunset might be famous for romance, it’s still a must-see for families. Find a cozy spot to watch the sunset together with toddlers and teens – it’s an unforgettable experience.

 

  1. Go to a Movie at the Kamari Open Air Cinema 

You need to check the schedule in advance, since not all movies are kid-friendly, but they’re usually popular movies in English, with Greek subtitles. Mamma-Mia is a regular, though!

 

  1. Take a Boat Tour

Embark on a family-friendly boat tour that takes you to the volcanic islands. Kids will love the adventure of exploring the unique landscape.

the cable car in Santorini, Greece

 

  1. Take the Cable Car

The Santorini Cable Car was built to provide a safe transport from the old port to the capital of Santorini, Fira, but today it’s mostly used to admire the amazing view. Book a ride to admire the stunning caldera, the sea, and the volcano from a 220 meters altitude and you’ll amazed!

 

  1. Discover Ancient Akrotiri 

Explore the fascinating archaeological site of Akrotiri, often referred to as the “Minoan Pompeii.” It’s an excellent opportunity for older kids to learn about ancient civilizations. After visiting Akrotiri you can try the Archaeological Museum of Fira, which is home to artifacts from the island dating back to the 3rd millennium BC!

the Akrotiri archaeological site in Santorini, Greece

 

  1. Visit the Lost Atlantis Museum

If you and your kids enjoy learning new things, then the Lost Atlantis Museum is a must! Augmented reality, interactive videos, and a gull 9D experience will leave you speechless – this is definitely worth your while if you’re visiting Santorini with kids!

 

  1. Enjoy a Picnic Al Fresco 

A picnic is the perfect activity for families who enjoy slow living – trust a professional team to take care of the details and treat yourselves to a unique evening, away from the crowds.

 

  1. Try Some Island-Hopping 

Although this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, you could try visiting other nearby islands while you stay in Santorini! Depending on your children’s ages and how many days you stay on the island, you can explore other popular islands to make the most of your trip!

 

Learn more: How many days do you need in Santorini? Here’s the ideal trip duration!

 

  1. Pay a Visit to the Atlantis Bookshop 

A lovely little gem in Oia, with a beautiful selection of books and a truly unique atmosphere. If your kids enjoy reading, you’ll be pleased to find a great assortment of genres here, including some rare antique options!

 

There are so many things to do in Santorini with kids that planning is essential.

To make the most of your time, consider booking a Santorini full-day tour. This way you won’t have to worry about driving, but you can trust a professional to drive you around while you enjoy the A/C from the backseat of the car, relaxed and hydrated!

 

Tips for navigating Santorini with a toddler

Traveling with a toddler? Here are some tips to make your trip to Santorini with a toddler smoother:

  • Stroller-Friendly: Many areas in Santorini are stroller-friendly, but be prepared for some steps and uneven terrain. Consider a lightweight, all-terrain stroller.
  • Nap Time: Plan your activities around your toddler’s nap schedule. Many restaurants and accommodations have cribs or can provide one upon request.
  • Sun Protection: Bring plenty of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect your toddler from the strong Mediterranean sun.

Tips for exploring Santorini with teens

Traveling with teens? Santorini offers a mix of activities to keep them entertained:

  • Water Sports: Teens can try their hand at water sports like snorkeling, jet skiing, or paddleboarding at the beaches. What about a catamaran trip, too?
  • Exploration: Explore ancient ruins, such as Akrotiri, to add an educational element to your trip.
  • Shopping: Fira and Oia have numerous shops where your teens can pick up unique souvenirs or jewelry.

 

Further reading: What to do in Santorini – The ultimate bucket list crafted by locals

family walking through the streets of Santorini in Greece

How to get around Santorini with kids

Getting around Santorini with kids is relatively easy. Renting a car or relying on public transportation are pretty standard, but they do come with some drawbacks.

Alternatively, booking a private transfer might be the most relaxed way to enjoy the island.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Rent a Car: Renting a car gives you flexibility and convenience, especially if you have young children. Prebook everything in advance to make sure you get the best rates.
  • Public Transportation: Santorini has a reliable bus system that can take you to major attractions and towns. However, if you want to explore the island off the beaten path, you can’t rely solely on public transportation unfortunately.
  • Private transfers: This is a great choice for families – no hassle, no worrying, no drawbacks. Get in touch with a reliable company and enjoy taxi services in Santorini from/to anywhere!

 

Pros of going to Santorini with kids

  1. Breathtaking Scenery: Santorini’s stunning caldera views, picturesque villages, and beautiful beaches provide a captivating backdrop for family photos and create lasting memories for your kids.
  2. Educational Opportunities: Santorini offers unique educational experiences, such as exploring ancient ruins like Akrotiri, which can be both fun and informative for children.
  3. Family Bonding: Traveling as a family to a beautiful destination like Santorini allows for quality bonding time and shared experiences that can strengthen family connections.
  4. Kid-Friendly Beaches: The island boasts several kid-friendly beaches with calm waters and shallow areas, making it safe and enjoyable for children to swim and play.
  5. Adventure: Santorini’s boat tours, donkey rides, and water sports provide exciting adventures that can be thrilling for kids of all ages and create unforgettable memories.
  6. Exposure to Greek Culture: Kids can experience Greek culture through its delicious cuisine, traditional dances, and warm hospitality, broadening their horizons.
  7. Satisfying Weather: The Mediterranean climate ensures pleasant weather during the spring and fall, making it comfortable for kids to explore and enjoy outdoor activities.
  8. Welcoming Locals: Greeks are known for their warmth and friendliness, and many locals are welcoming and accommodating to families with children.
  9. Family-Friendly Accommodations: Santorini offers a range of family-friendly accommodations, including resorts with pools and kids’ clubs, ensuring a comfortable stay for families.
  10. Easy Accessibility: Santorini has an airport and a well-connected ferry port, making it relatively easy to reach with kids, and public transportation options are available.

 

Learn more: How to get around Santorini – Best ways to move around effortlessly

Cons of going to Santorini with kids

  1. Crowds in Peak Season: During the summer months, Santorini can become crowded with tourists, which may lead to longer wait times and less tranquil experiences.
  2. Limited Direct Flights: Depending on your location, you may need to take connecting flights to reach Santorini, which can be tiring for young children.
  3. High Costs: Santorini can be expensive, and family expenses for accommodations, dining, and activities can add up quickly – opt for low-traffic months, such as May or October.
  4. Uneven Terrain: Some areas of Santorini have uneven terrain with steep steps and hills, making it challenging to navigate with strollers or young children.
  5. Hot Summers: The Mediterranean sun can be scorching during the summer months, so sun protection and hydration are essential for children.
  6. Limited Accessibility to Medical Facilities: Santorini’s medical facilities may be limited, so it’s crucial to have travel insurance and be prepared for minor medical issues.
  7. Late Dinners: Greek dining culture often involves late dinners, which may not align with your children’s mealtime routine. Many restaurants open for dinner around 8 or 9 PM.

Travel Tips for Families Traveling to Santorini

Here are some additional tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable family vacation in Santorini:

  • Pack Essentials: Bring sunscreen, hats, swimwear, and any medications your child may need.
  • Stay Hydrated: The Mediterranean sun can be intense, so keep your family well-hydrated.
  • Local Cuisine: Encourage your kids to try Greek dishes like souvlaki, moussaka, and baklava.
  • Emergency Numbers: Know the local emergency numbers, including healthcare and police.
  • Respect Local Customs: Teach your children to respect local customs and cultural norms.
  • Tackle the Jetlag: If you’re going to stay in Santorini with kids after a long flight, try to adapt immediately to the new schedule – there’s no point in trying to keep the same schedule you followed back home!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Santorini family-friendly? 

Yes, Santorini can be a great destination for children, offering beautiful views, kid-friendly activities, and a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere.

 

Should we choose to go to Santorini in October? 

Yes, October can be a good time for Santorini family holidays. The weather is still pleasant, and the crowds are smaller compared to the peak summer months.

 

Is a family holiday to Santorini suitable if we have a stroller? 

Santorini’s terrain can be hilly and involve steps, but many areas are stroller-friendly. If you’re travelling with a baby or toddler, it’s best to choose activities with stroller accessibility in mind.

Your Santorini family vacation awaits

Embarking on a family adventure to Santorini with your little ones can be a remarkable journey filled with wonder, exploration, and treasured moments. This Greek paradise offers a plethora of captivating experiences for families, from its awe-inspiring natural beauty to its educational and adventurous activities.

Santorini’s stunning caldera views, picturesque villages, and beautiful beaches create a breathtaking backdrop for your family’s escapade. The island’s unique educational opportunities, like exploring the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, add an enriching dimension to your children’s travel experiences.

Moreover, Santorini allows for meaningful family bonding amidst its captivating scenery. Whether you’re watching the iconic sunset in Oia or enjoying a leisurely day at one of its kid-friendly beaches, the island provides the ideal canvas for making lasting memories together.

However, it’s crucial to approach your Santorini family adventure with careful consideration. The island’s popularity, especially during peak summer months, can lead to crowded conditions that may require patience and planning. Additionally, the cost of accommodations, dining, and activities can be higher than in some other destinations.

Despite any considerations, with meticulous planning and a focus on kid-friendly activities and accommodations, Santorini can deliver an unforgettable and cherished family vacation.

So, seize the opportunity to explore Santorini with your family!

With the right preparations and a sense of adventure, Santorini awaits as a truly incredible destination for families with children, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, learning, and unforgettable moments.

Happy travels!

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