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The 20 Best Places To Visit In Greece For An Unforgettable Family Travel Experience

Discover the top family-friendly destinations in Greece! From the sun-soaked beaches of Crete to the enchanting villages of Naxos, explore the best places to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Find the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure for your family getaway in Greece.

The best places to visit in Greece

My family travels a lot. We love exploring new countries, cultures, and foods. But it’s rare that we visit the same destination twice. There are just too many places in the world that we want to visit.

But we made an exception for Greece. Not only did we visit twice. After traveling the Greek mainland, we came back just three months later to cruise the Greek islands.

What was the draw that brought us to this ancient country in the south of Europe? The truth is, it was our kids. We are passionate about family travel. One of the things that keeps our travels exciting for us and fun for the kids is having them be part of the travel planning.

The boys were right in the middle of reading an exciting book series that was inspiring their love of travel to Greece. The series by an author named Rick Riordan called Percy Jackson and the Olympians and was all about Greek Gods living in the modern world.

So when we told them about our upcoming travels to Greece, we let them choose their top places to visit. Unfortunately, there was no way that we could see all of them, but we did our best.

On our kids’ list of the places to visit in Greece were Athens, Sounion, Delphi, Olympia, Meteora, and Crete. These are all spots mentioned in their book series. But as a family, we knew we could add a few extra stops to our Greece itinerary.

Ultimately, on our family travels in Greece, we ended up visiting Athens, Sounion, Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nafplio, Mystras, Monemvasia, Delphi, Olympia, Meteora, and finally, the Hill of Kolonos. We returned during the summer for a cruise that brought us from Kusadasi in Turkiye through Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, Athens, and finally on to Thessaloniki before returning to our four weeks of travel in Turkiye.

Why Should You Travel To Greece

An interacial multi-generational travel family in Epidaurus, Greece
Family fun at the Epidaurus theater with Christina’s parents

We knew before we even left home that Greece was going to be incredible. It is after all, one of the top destination for family travel in the world. And with good reason.

Greece, as a country, can trace its history back a stunning 5,000 years. That’s a date that puts it on par with the building of the famous Step Pyramid in Egypt. Unlike many countries, the history of this incredible Mediterranean nation is recorded in detail.

The famous stories of Greek Gods on Mount Olympos can be tracked through some of the country’s most famous ruins, such as the Acropolis in Athens, the ruins of Delphi, and the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete.

Greece helped to shape the world as we know it today.

But the allure of Greece goes far beyond its history. The country’s culture and culinary scene manage to cast its spell on travelers to this day, and with a vast coastline, stunning mountains, and some of the world’s best beaches, the natural beauty of Greece alone makes it a destination worthy of family travel.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Greece?

We traveled to Greece twice within one year. Once in late March and once in early August. The difference was staggering.

High season in Greece runs from early April through to October. Peak travel season takes place during the summer months of August and July. During those two months, especially in Athens and the Greek Islands, travel within the cities might seem a bit like squeezing yourself into a sardine can.

We visited Santorini at the height of the travel season, and although there were some quiet hidden gems on the island, the main tourist attractions were suffocating.

If you’re able to visit during the shoulder season from September through October or from March to June, you’re likely to face far thinner crowds and enjoy lower costs than you will during the peak season.

Winter in Greece can get cold with some rainfall and even snow in the mountains. Some sites, especially those on the islands may be closed for the season as, in some destinations, tourists vanish completely.

Best Places To Visit On The Greece Mainland

If you’re planning your travels and are wondering where to visit on the Greek mainland, you’ve come to the right place. Below, I lay out all of the best places to visit in the country and what makes each one so special.


Rainbow over the Athena Parthenon in Athens, Greece
Rainbow over the Athena Parthenon in Athens, Greece

Let’s face it, all roads through Greece begin in Athens. This is the country’s capital and its largest city. Athen has been at the heart of Greece for millennia and it’s home to some of the countries most famous attractions, the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Athens is Europe’s oldest capital city, and it’s also home to the oldest street in Europe, Tripodon Street, in the city center. While the city’s history is its biggest draw, it is also a modern cosmopolitan hub. As you venture out from the historic center, with its narrow cobblestone streets and ancient monuments, you’ll find incredible museums and art galleries, amazing shopping, and some of the country’s best restaurants.

Central Athens is very family-friendly and easy to travel on foot. You’ll want to spend about two days exploring famous spots such as the Plaka, the Monastiraki shopping district, and the first modern Olympic stadium.


A boy in a red sweater waves from the base of the Athena Ponea Sanctuary in Delphi, Greece
Cohen waves from the base of the Athena Ponea Sanctuary in Delphi, Greece

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, Delphi is likely near the top of your top places to go in Greece. This ancient mountaintop temple was home to the Oracle of Delphi, who was believed to have delivered prophecies from the God Apollo from atop a rock.

On this temple complex on the Mountain of Parnassus, the Temple of Apollo is still standing along with the rock from which the prophecies were delivered. Along with many temples and buildings you’ll also find an ancient Olympic oval and the beautiful Athena Treasury.

We spent about three hours exploring the ruins of Delphi. Although, we could have easily spent another hour or more. The visit involves a lot of steep walks on slippery marble, so make sure you wear grippy shoes.

Delphi is located about two and a half hours from Athens and makes a popular day tour from the city. This is one of the most popular tour options from Viator.


Located on a series of narrow peninsulas jutting out into the Aegean Sea in northern Greece, not too far from the city of Thessaloniki, Halkidiki is an off-the-beaten-path Greek destination that families will love for its impossibly blue water and soft, sandy beaches.

While we didn’t get to Halkidiki on our visit to Greece, it’s high on our list of places to visit when we return.

The region is known for its crystal clear waters and exciting beach scene that draws families from across Europe and the world to high-end resorts such as Ikos Olivia.

Each of the Halkidiki peninsulas offers a unique charm that ranges from the energetic to the laid back. The region isn’t without its own history either. Nearby are the historical Mount Athos, a monastic city dating back 1,200 years.


A multigenerational travel family poses at the Lion Gate in Epidaurus
The family poses at the Lion Gate in Epidaurus

Located south of Athens in the northeast of the Peloponnese, Epidaurus is one of the most popular archaeological destinations in Greece. What makes it so famous is the incredible quality of the ruins of this ancient city that was built around 400 BCE.

While you’ll find amazing buildings throughout this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the most famous is the remarkable ancient theater, which still hosts concerts and performances to this day. Tickets to the Greek dramas, concerts, and festivals at Epidaurus sell out incredibly fast. If you have a chance to book one, I highly recommend it.

If you’re as lucky as us, maybe an inspired singer will step into the theater’s sweet spot and serenade the crowd.


The Wandering Wagars travel family poses in Meteora Greece at Sunset
Amazing views from Meteora Greece at Sunset

Wow, just wow. Meteora may be one of the most beautiful places that I have ever visited. Do not miss the sunset over this magical landscape.

Located in the region of Thessaly just outside the town of Kalabaka, right in the center of Greece, Meteora is made up of many vertical mountain tops that have been carved out by fault lines and erosion to create one of the most unique and awe-inspiring landscapes in the world, comparable to Cappadocia, Turkiye, but far more lush and green.

Located at the top of many of these mountains is a collection of beautiful hermit-like monasteries and nunneries, as well as cave churches that can be traced back to the 11th century CE.

If your love hiking and climbing, Meteora is an absolute paradise. You’ll find plenty of outdoor tours that can take you into some of the hidden areas of these mountains. This tour is the perfect introduction to rock climbing.


Towering ceilings of the Hagia Sophia church in Thessaloniki, Greece
Towering ceilings of the Hagia Sophia church in Thessaloniki, Greece

The city of Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. It was the last stop on our Aegean Cruise through the Greek Islands before heading back to Turkiye.

At first glance, you’d be hard-pressed not to mistake the streets of Thessaloniki for Paris. That’s because the architect who was charged with designing the city’s layout was Parisian, and he wanted to model the city after his home.

While we were in Thessaloniki, we took in the views from the beautiful “White Tower” along the waterfront before strolling through the town to see Hadrian’s Wall before making a stop at the Hagia Sophia. No, not THAT Hagia Sophia, which we had seen while exploring Istanbul with our kids. This Hagia Sophia is much smaller and less intricately adorned, but its history uniquely parallels that of its more famous sister in Istanbul.

Thessaloniki is known for its lively atmosphere, vibrant street life, and thriving culinary scene. The city’s waterfront promenade, stretching along the Aegean Sea, is a popular spot for leisurely strolls, offering panoramic views of the sea and the cityscape. Meanwhile, Thessaloniki’s diverse neighborhoods boast an array of trendy cafes, traditional tavernas, and chic boutiques, creating a dynamic urban experience.


Messalonghi is another of the places on my Greece bucket list for when my family returns. Located on the edge of the Kilsova Lagoon along the Ionian Sea in the west of Greece, this beautiful fishing town played a crucial role in the Greek Revolution in the early 1800s. The town’s defense against Ottoman forces is celebrated across the country every year.

This is one of the country’s hidden gems. Few tourists have had the luck of stumbling upon it yet. Those who do are welcomed with some spectacular attractions, such as the Garden of Heroes, which commemorates the fallen soldiers from the Greek Revolution and the country’s struggle for independence.

The unique lagoon that the city sits on the shores of spans over 160 kilometers and is a protected wetland renowned for its biodiversity and birdlife. It’s a fantastic spot for outdoor lovers and those who enjoy kayaking, hiking, and boating.


A mother and her kids walk past a temple in Olympia, Greece
Christina and the boys visiting Olympia, Greece

Sports have always been a big part of my family. My kids both play high-level hockey and are involved in track and field. I was a swimmer and competed in track and field in my youth. So when we had the chance to visit the place where it all got started, there was nothing that was going to stand in our way.

Olympia is one of the top places to visit in Greece for history and sports enthusiasts. After all, this former urban powerhouse was the location of the very first Olympic Games over 3,000 years ago.

While the site is mostly in ruins, you can still visit the ancient stadium as well as the very first Olympic Oval. If you look closely, you can still make out the starting lines. Olympia also has two stunning temples, the temples of Zeus and Hera.

We only had a very short time to visit, as we were coming to Olympia after visiting Delphi. But I’d recommend giving yourself at least a couple of hours to see Olympia thoroughly.


Temple of Poseidon in Sounion, Greece at sunset
Temple of Poseidon in Sounion, Greece at sunset

The town of Sounion on the southern tip of the Attica Peninsula about an hour from Athens was my family’s first stop in Greece. As I mentioned earlier, my boys’ love of the story series Percy Jackson and the Olympians fueled our desire to visit this country. And Percy Jackson himself was the son of Poseidon.

Well, Sounion is home to the Temple of Poseidon, so there was no better place to start our family travels in Greece than this historic destination.

This historic temple was built between 444 and 440 BCE and was dedicated to the famous God of the Sea. It’s perched dramatically atop a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea and there are breathtaking views from around it, especially at sunset.

The Temple of Poseidon isn’t Sounion’s only claim to fame, though. This quaint fishing town is surrounded by gorgeous landscapes and beautiful beaches. It’s a popular summer getaway known for swimming, snorkeling, and its coastal hiking trails.


Colorfully painted run-down homes in Napflio, Greece
Colorfully painted run-down homes in Napflio, Greece

As we were following in the footsteps of Poseidon through Greece, the next stop after the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion was the town founded by Poseidon’s son, Nafplios. The town of Nafplio.

The city was first founded under the name Argolis around 1600 BCE. It fell into disrepair for over a thousand years around 1000 BCE, but its rise began around 129 CE and it’s now one of the most popular places to go in Greece.

Nafplio’s Old Town is a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets and waterfront plazas. The streets are lined with historic buildings, and while many of them are in need of repair, that simply adds to the city’s authentic charm.

Don’t miss a stop at Palamidi Fortress, a historic Venetian fortress. You can either climb the 999 steps to the castle or do what we did, which was drive up and save our legs. The castle offers a tremendous overlook of the city and the unique Bourtzi Fortress, a distinctive fortress and former prison located on an island just a short distance from land.


Far south in the Peloponnese is the city of Kalamata, home to the famous olives and the ancient ruins of Messenia. This is a quiet region of Greece that doesn’t see too many tourists, even during peak season, which is a shock as it is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.

Navarino Lagoon Beach is a pristine stretch of coastline along the waters of Navarino Bay. It’s known for its idyllic horseshoe shape, soft golden sands, and crystal-clear turquoise water set amidst a backdrop of lush vegetation and rugged cliffs.


A young boy takes a selfie at the ruins of Mycenae in Greece
Dylan takes a selfie at the ruins of Mycenae in Greece

One of the coolest attractions that we visited in Greece was the ruins of Mycenae. This famous archaeological site dates back to the Bronze Age and was an important location in the epic poems of Homer and a crucial location during the Trojan Wars. It’s even believed that the famous Agamemnon was buried here in the Treasury of Atreus.

Wandering around Mycenae, you’ll find plenty of places to explore and a few places that might seem hidden. Don’t miss the gorgeous underground beehive tombs. These were traditionally used for storage, but one is the famous Treasury of Atreus.

Another notable site is the Lion Gate. This beautiful cornerstone is the sole surviving monumental piece of Mycenaean sculpture work. When the light hits the Lion Gate just right, everything within it gets a beautiful golden glow.


A church in Mystras, Greece under a stormy sky
St. Demetrios church under Stormy skies

Oh, Mystras, you are so beautiful. We had planned for at least three hours to explore this incredible historic city sitting above the remains of Ancient Sparta. Unfortunately, the weather had other things in store. After just an hour, torrential rain came down, causing the entire site to close.

Located on the slopes of Tagetos Mountain, Mystras was the capital of this region of Morea during the Byzantine Empire, around the 14th and 15th centuries. It was a destination for artists, scholars, and theologians of the highest caliber.

The remains of this city are incredible. There are historic churches, houses, schools, and shops uniquely located in a way that conforms to the steep verticals of the mountain slope.

Getting to Mystras can be a challenge, and it’s a tough place to explore for those who are not in good physical condition. But I highly recommend a visit here. It’s remarkably beautiful, and I can’t wait to get back.


A young boy with a backpack walks through the narrow streets of Monemvasia, Greece
Dylan walks through the narrow streets of Monemvasia, Greece

The tied-off island city of Monemvasia was our last stop in the Peloponnese before heading west toward Delphi and Olympia. The walled city was once a medieval fortress town and is perched dramatically on a steep rocky incline overlooking the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.

What I loved most about Monemvasia is that its ancient charm has not been washed away by modern renovations. The city’s narrow, cobblestone alleys are a labyrinthine mess. One where you may find yourself walking on roofs or balconies as you try to zig-zag your way to your hotel or restaurant. It’s beautifully authentic.

Monemvasia has been called the “Gibraltar of Greece” due to its stunning location overlooking the water. And more than any of the other places that we visited in Greece, it was here that my whole family felt like we had been transported back in time.

We spent hours wandering the town’s imposing walls, ancient churches, and quaint squares. The town is also home to some gorgeous restaurants serving up ancient family recipes. One of our most unforgettable moments came from a visit to Tsimbidi.

This shop has been attempting to recreate the family’s original wine that first brought Monevasia to fame hundreds of years ago. Ships were sent here from across Europe to pick up the island’s famous nectar and return it for the enjoyment of the elite and royalty.

Best Places To Visit On The Greek Islands

Many families who travel to Greece may forget that the country even has a mainland. That’s because the Greek Islands are the premier draw for those looking for a beautiful island getaway.

Greek island cruises and vacations are extremely popular. These islands pack as much history, natural beauty, great food, and well-being as the mainland. But the experience out on the islands is completely unique.

Here are our top places to visit within the Greek islands.


A picturesque waterside village in Klima on the island of Milos, Greece
The picturesque waterside village of Klima on the island of Milos, Greece

Until recently, Milos has sailed relatively unnoticed among the more than 6,000 islands in Greece. But in the past few years, this quiet island in the Aegean Sea has started popping up on the travel radar. And with good reason. After all, Milos was our favorite stop on our Celestyal Cruise of the Greek islands.

Milos was made famous by the discovery of the famed Venus de Milos, also known as the Aphrodite of Melos, which has been on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1821.

You can find a replica of this famous statue on a cliff overlooking an ancient Greek theater and the adorable fishing village of Klima. This tiny town is the perfect spot for a swim, and combining it with the hilltop town of Trypiti allows you to check out some of the island’s history, including the ancient Catacombs of Milos, among the oldest Christian catacombs in the world.

This laid-back island is a perfect destination for those who love to relax. And its home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, right up there with Horseshoe Beach in Bermuda and Boracay in the Philippines.

Walking along Sarakiniko Beach might feel a bit like walking on the moon. The shockingly white sandstone has been polished smooth by rain and waves, creating an otherworldly landscape that contrasts breathtakingly with the blue waters of the Aegean.

You’ll find family-friendly narrows where shallow water swimming is ideal, as well as towering rock arches where adrenaline junkies launch themselves into the waves below. It’s a must-stop for any visit. If you look carefully, you’ll also find a series of old mining tunnels that make for a perfect escape from the hot summer sun.


A woman in a red dress holds a floppy hat in front of the Mykonos windmills
Christina holds tight to her hat on the windy island of Mykonos

After Milos, the island of Mykonos was our second most cherished destination on our Greek Islands cruise. This energetic island is busy but not nearly as packed as its famous sister, Santorini. Yet despite its popularity, it was surprisingly easy to wander off the beaten track and escape the crowds.

The main stretch of Mykonos is where all of the bustling tourist crowds gather on a walk along the waterfront through the Old Port to the picturesque “Little Venice,” where whitewashed buildings stand shoulder to shoulder, overlooking the blue waters.

But as we passed this area with its wall-to-wall revelers and continued along to the island’s famous windmills, the crowds gave way, and we were welcomed into the mazelike streets of a beautiful and welcoming city. As we strolled along, we discovered a century-old bakery, an outdoor movie theater, and a beautiful view of daily life in one of Greece’s biggest tourist destinations.

The draw of Mykonos goes far beyond Mykonos Town, though. This island is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Some of the more notable beaches include Platys Gialos, Psarou, Ornos, and Elia. However, the names that caught my attention were Paradise Beach and “SUPER” Paradise Beach.

I mean, that’s a pretty bold statement. They’re known for their crystal-clear waters and lively beach bars. But they are pretty touristy, so expect some umbrella-to-umbrella crowds.

For history lovers, the island of Delos is just a short boat ride away from the main town. The Ancient ruins here are said to be the birthplace of both Apollo and Artemis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has highlights that include the Terrace of the Lions and the Temple of Apollo. You can also visit the island’s Archaeological Museum, which has loads of artifacts from the site.


The Island of Sifnos is a tiny island just a short distance from Athens. This relaxing getaway is a popular destination for those vacationing in Athens. It offers a quiet, relaxing escape from the tourist-heavy big city where you can find large stretches of sandy shore with very few crowds.

The island is popular for its beautiful landscapes, charming whitewashed villages, and laid-back atmosphere. You’ll also find some excellent food here. There are a wide range of tavernas and local eateries serving excellent Greek cuisine. Don’t miss the island’s specialty. A chickpea soup topped with sweet almonds.


Wandering Wagars family at the Palace of Knossos on Crete
Paying a visit to the Palace of Knossos on Crete

As the largest of all of the Greek Islands, Crete is without a doubt on of the most popular destinations in Greece. The island’s history dates back an astounding 9,000 years. It’s this incredible island where the Minoan Civilization, the first civilization in Europe, came to be about 5,000 years ago.

The Minoan civilization flourished on the island, and some of its art and culture can be viewed on a visit to the popular Palace of Knossos, which was once the center of Minoan culture.

Beyond its history, Crete’s dramatic landscapes make it a paradise for hiking and outdoor lovers. The rugged gorges of Samaria and the soft sand beaches of Elafonissi and Balos are especially popular. Among its outdoor attractions is a wide range of SCUBA diving playgrounds along the island’s rugged coast.

Crete is a popular destination for small resorts and homestays. Take your time and slow travel the island to experience sipping a glass of raki with locals in a mountain village or wandering the narrow alleys of Chania’s old town.


Not far from the Gulf of Patras and the beautiful shores of Messalonghi sits the island of Kefalonia. I’ve been dying to visit here ever since I first heard about it from an Italian friend who visits every year.

The island’s rugged coastline and hilltop villages make for postcard-perfect scenery. But it also adds to the allure of an island known for beaches that you need to hike a bit to reach. Myrtos Beach, with its dazzling white pebbles and electric blue water, is one of the island’s most popular.

Kefalonia is a haven for snorkeling. The waters off its shores are lush with marine life and colorful corals. There are countless coves and sea caves that are accessible only by boat as well as abundant marine reserves.

One of the island’s most unique features is the underground Melissani Lake, a lake that lies inside the cave, with trees and forests surrounding it.


North of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea is the large island of Corfu. Corfu is known as the Emerald Ise, thanks to its lush vegetation topping towering cliffs and azure coves. The island is a popular destination for sunbathing, swimming, boating, and snorkeling. But the rolling hills, olive groves, and beautiful villages of the island’s interior are truly what makes it one of the best places to visit in Greece.

This is an island that is best explored. Rent a car and drive through the small towns, stopping to talk with locals at tavernas and cafes. Ride a bike through hills dotted with olive trees and explore the historic monasteries hidden among cypress trees in lush valleys.


A family looks out over the whitewashed buildings and blue rooftops of Santorini, Greece
Getting our chance to look over the whitewashed buildings and blue rooftops of Santorini, Greece

There are few places in Greece that epitomize the Mediterranean life more than the island of Santorini. This popular island known for its white-washed buildings topped with brilliantly blue roofs is picturesque. And it’s also one of the busiest places to visit in the Greek Islands.

During the high season, Santorini is loaded with tourists packed like sardines in search of the perfect photo of the island’s scenic skyline. But it’s possible to see another side of this island with a fraction of the crowds.

Head away from the tourist crowds in Oia and wander the maze of narrow alleys lined with quiet shops and cafes. Once you leave the main drag behind, the crowds drop away dramatically.

For something even better, head south to the town of Megalachori. This postcard-perfect city gets a fraction of the tourists as its sister in the north. It’s an authentic look at life on the island and my family’s favorite stop in Santorini.


Naxis us the largest of the Cyclades islands. the island is known for its gorgeous beaches including Agios Prokopios and Plaka Beach. But like Corfu, the real magic of this island lies inland with its quaint villages where time seems to slow to a craw.

Picturesque towns are connected by rolling hills and fertile valleys lined with wildflowers and citrus groves. The lush greenery seems almost surreal beneath the towering Mount Zas, the highest peak in the Cyclades Archipelago. The views from the summit over the shimmering waters below are spectacular.

The island’s capital, Naxos Town, features Venitian-style mansions centered around a massive marble doorway where the remains of the Temple of Apollo lie. Dotted around it are wonderful artisan shops, tavernas, and cafes serving up thick iced coffee.

Are You Ready To Visit These Incredible Places in Greece For Yourself?

Greece is a wonderful destination that offers a little something for everyone. There is a range of incredible landscapes, relaxing beaches, adorable towns, unforgettable food, and history that dates back as long as civilization itself. If you’re looking for an incredible family travel destination, this country might just be the perfect fit.

If you love family travel as much as we do, have a read of our Greece Family Travel Blog, and please join our Family Travel Support Group on Facebook. You can connect with more family travelers just like you who love to explore the world.

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