Vibrant histories and island bliss come together when you enjoy the best of Greece. Imagine dramatic ruins that whisper countless secrets, whitewashed villages of endless charm, quiet beaches with safe, warm waters, and an easy-going atmosphere at every turn. The Greeks love children, and families always get a warm welcome here. This 10-day tour balances traditional highlights with free time along the coast with three nights each in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.
Athens – Arrival and Greek Tavern Plate Smashing
Land in Athens and you will be transferred to Plaka, a 17th- and 18th-century neighborhood that lies in the shadow of the Acropolis. The roads are narrow and mostly pedestrianized, with lots of people on the street but hardly any vehicles. It can be an overwhelming place for anyone, such is the intensity of the smells and sounds. However, your local guide will be on hand to show you around and give you an orientation into all things Plaka. Think cobbled lanes of market stalls, numerous traditional tavernas, and public squares where local families meet each evening.
You will soon grow accustomed to the style, and there is an easy-going atmosphere that is ideal when you are with your whole family. While at first it can seem a little overwhelming, you will soon find Plaka to be a place where children are revered, and everyone looks out for each other. You can be yourself and still fit in while feeling safe and welcomed. You will end your orientation tour at a small tavern, where the mezze dinner platter provides dozens of new tastes and your children can try many different Greek foods. After dinner, you can smash the plates should you wish, partaking in a legendary Greek tradition.
Athens – Historical Highlights of Athens Private Tour
The Acropolis is a place of legend that has influenced so much in the world, and it is up here that the ancient Athenians would pay homage to gods and goddesses in places that still stand to this day. A day spent exploring history may not always be an easy sell for kids, even if it is the great history of Ancient Greece, but the Acropolis is just so unlike anything you will have seen before that your kids will likely be surprisingly engaged in the experience. You can see photos of the Temple of Zeus or Parthenon, but only today can you appreciate the stature of the Corinthian columns, or the detailing to the wingless sculptures.
It is best to go early, before the crowds and before the heat both arrive, and your guide will take you around while narrating the fascinating family-friendly tales of what took place millennia ago. Rest over the hottest part of the day, first with lunch and then on a terrace. There is more to Athens that you can discover later in the afternoon, like the strange march that soldiers make outside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Staying in Plaka is ideal during the evenings, as you will not need transport to reach any of the cafes or restaurants as there are dozens of options on your doorstep. After a busy day, it is likely to be an early finish this evening, so you can easily settle your family in for the night.
Athens – Cape Sounion Day Trip and Greek Taverna Entertainment
Cape Sounion is the perfect family excursion from Athens, and winding towards the tip of mainland Greece you will pass golden beaches and Aegean promise. You can stop to build sandcastles and swim in shallow waters with plenty of space for the kids to run around as you tuck into a gloopy Greek coffee. Your kids will be delighted and perhaps a little exhausted, a good way to get them back into classical Greek history after yesterday’s tour.
Standing on a windswept promontory, you will soon spot the Temple of Poseidon, 16 towering columns overlooking the Aegean. While it is not on the same scale as the temples in Athens, the isolated location provides a drama and mystery that is compelling to behold. Listen to the tales of King Aegeas and appreciate the scene before winding back to the capital and what is likely to be a very easy-going evening. In Plaka, there are some rooftop restaurants as well, so it is easy to escape the bustle should you need to.
Mykonos – Beach Bumming on a Greek Island
Traveling by ferry to Mykonos takes roughly the same time as flying when you factor in all the waiting times and transfers. You will be booked onto the fastest boat, and your resort is close to the ferry port in a secluded bay that is dominated by the beach. From here, you can comfortably visit Mykonos town and wander through its blue and white streets, but you can also stay firmly away from the summer party atmosphere. Check in to the resort and this day is at your leisure to enjoy it in whatever way suits your collective mood.
Head down to the beach and find waters that are ideal for children without any current or underwater drop-offs. Relax in some of the waterside cafes and restaurants, or perhaps hang out around the resort, where sun-loungers and a swimming pool add up to many idyllic hours. You will enjoy three nights here with two days to do nothing at all and the next day for a trip to nearby Delos. Staying close enough to the ferry port is important as you will pass through it on a number of occasions, and your location also provides easy access to some of the island’s most iconic attractions, so you can also check out the windmills and Little Venice.
Mykonos – Day Trip to the Incredible Delos Ruins
The Acropolis presents many ancient ruins in a busy, urban environment. Cape Sounion is a single spectacular ruin in a dramatically isolated location. Delos is the best of both, a stunning abundance of ruins on an island that is virtually uninhabited. You can feel that this was a sacred island, its mystery emanating from rows of sculpted lions and cracked Corinthian columns. Apollo and Artemis were born here, and that is just the start of the story. At one stage in history, Delos was the world’s most important trading post. What remains today is an immersive insight into Western history with the Temple of Apollo, the Sanctuary of Artemis, a massive amphitheater, then the detailing of Lion Street.
For a history lesson, there is no place better in Greece. You can find archaic remains, and then the beauty of classical Greece. Next up it’s the Hellenistic period, and then you walk across a Roman era. You will come to understand the nuance between eras and appreciate that ruins are not just ruins, but an ode to a specific time and place. Return to Mykonos with most of the afternoon and evening free for time to wander around the main town or rest up close around the resort, perhaps taking advantage of the pool.
Mykonos – Another Day To Relax Around the Beaches and Towns
Another day is yours to indulge in the building of sandcastles and dining on seafood platters. Head into Mykonos town and wander the whitewashed, cobbled streets, where boutique stores hide around mazy corners. Take a taxi to some of the island’s lesser-known beaches, where the waters are empty of other people. Rent a pedal boat and take it onto the bay or just kick back at the resort, where there are facilities aplenty for children. As with your other evenings in Mykonos, there is a good choice of where to eat, so you can stay local and walk to one of the nearby seafood restaurants, or take a taxi into Mykonos town for a wider choice of restaurants, including some that are changing perceptions on fine Greek cuisine.
Santorini – Magical Experiences on the Blue and White Island
Onwards by ferry you go, gliding over the Aegean to the most famous Greek island of them all. Santorini is one from the postcards, a series of blue and white villages perched along volcanic caldera cliffs. Church domes and window shutters feature the distinctive blue, while the white walls flicker different colors as a famous sunset draws near. Arrive at the port and transfer to Fira, the most convenient of all of the coastal villages. It is like a labyrinth once you get into the village with streets jutting off in all angles and the only certainty being which goes down to the coast.
Your local guide will bring you on an orientation tour and help you to understand where to go and where to eat locally in this remarkable little place. If you are feeling active, then you can consider a coastal walk along the caldera to Oia, the largest and the cutest of the island’s villages. Your Fira hotel has a lovely Aegean view, and you can watch the sunset without leaving the grounds as you are tucked away in the village. Your accommodations will not have the resort-style facilities of Mykonos, but Santorini is not a resort style of destination. There will be so much to explore and take in, yet your family will be relaxed and engaged.
Santorini – Santorini Island Tour Including Vineyards and Volcanoes
Take it easy this morning, as now you are on a Greek island where there is absolutely no need to rush. The slow pace of life rubs off on just about everyone, even highly active children. The promise of a fresh ice-cream also helps to keep the kids in check, the cool treat available from a couple of little stores near your hotel. Other treats exist across Santorini, including wine. They have been cultivating it for over a millennia, and the setting is in keeping with the island vibe. You can stop at a vineyard and taste the unique grape varietals, the first stop on a private tour across Santorini.
Next up is the oldest and the most traditional of the villages where church bells always seem to be chiming. Have lunch here then head to the beach, where the sand is red and the waters are as warm and inviting as ever. Looping back around towards Fira, you can jump onto a boat and visit a volcano, with the option to hike up its iconic cone, and there are even donkeys to take you up should you wish. Other highlights on today’s Santorini tour include some Mycenaean ruins and another small coastal village. You should roll back into Fira for sunset time, before another lazy evening on the Greek island.
Santorini – Half-Day Catamaran Cruise and Hot Springs
This morning is left free, and it may be time to hit the shops or take the kids to another beach. After lunch, you will set sail, the power of the wind guiding you around Santorini. Relax on the deck as volcanic nature provides the backdrop. You will stop at hot springs and jump out into the cooling water, everyone wondering why they are called hot springs when the water is not hot. Further around the island, the sand is black, and you can head out to make the strangest of sandcastles. The highlight of all Santorini cruises is heading back towards the dock, just as the sun starts to dip towards the Aegean. It is a beautiful feeling to have the wind in your hair as the sights of the caldera stretch out.
Santorini – Departure
You no longer need to return to Athens for a layover after visiting the islands. Santorini has its own airport and a growing network of international flights, as well as a choice of domestic connections back to Athens should you want to return. You can enjoy one last leisure morning in Greece before going to the airport to catch your international departure.
- Relax in the whitewashed villages of Santorini, where there is all the tranquility you need for a family vacation
- Walk in the footsteps of legends as you tour the Athens Agora and the Acropolis
- Spend two days lounging on the beaches of Mykonos, where warm shallow water meets with soft sand
- Cruise around Santorini in a catamaran, jumping off to discover hot springs and other volcanic remains
- Explore the fabulous ruins of Delos, the island where Greek gods were born
- Enjoy classic Greek tavernas, where the food is sublime and the kids have the chance to smash their own plates
- Head off to Cape Sounion for a day, stopping at a beach before the Temple of Poseidon
Family life is central to everything in Greece. You can see it on any Athens square as families meet up each evening. You can also sense it on the islands as visiting children always receive a warm welcome. Traveling with children can be done with ease in Greece, perhaps thanks to the local mindset rubbing off on everyone. In a culture that values simple pleasures, family is the most important of all. Good food is another pleasure. An easy-going way of life is also prominent, which only helps to make things easier for you as a parent. Even amid the bustle of Athens, there is a relaxed atmosphere that can rub off on everyone.
Families have been attracted to Greece for generations, but even as recently as 30 years ago it remained a challenge to travel here as there were not enough facilities to make it an easy vacation. Circumstances have changed relatively recently as hotel standards and transport connections have improved drastically. You no longer need a six-hour boat between islands or a night spent back in Athens before any international departure. Destinations are well connected now, and resorts provide the family-friendly amenities that can make your trip hassle-free. Greece now offers a superb combination of experiences and destinations, and there is something for every age over this 10-day best of Greece tour for families.
Your private tour will be split across three destinations with three nights spent at each. Athens provides the astonishing history, from the Acropolis to the lived-in neighborhood of Plaka. There is a lot to see and do, but the capital can also be compact. So while not everyone likes to visit many ruins and temples, in Athens you can have many of the world’s most impressive ruins in just one morning. Spend one day in the Acropolis before choosing whether to see more of the city. Then spend day three on an excursion to Cape Sounion, which is a combination of beach time and the fabulous Temple of Poseidon. Each evening you can visit the tavernas, enjoying local dining experiences very close to your hotel.
Take the fast ferry to travel to Mykonos, which is as comfortable and as fast as flying, for three days at a small coastal resort. You will be based just outside of the island’s main town, so you can pop in to explore and to eat. But the bay is quiet, so it is ideal for family time on the beach or time spent around the pool. Two days in Mykonos are kept free, with the middle day spent on nearby Delos, an island rich in history and endless ruins. It is highly educational here, the journey leading from the birth of Apollo through 2,000 years of ancient eras.
Another relatively short ferry ride will bring you to Santorini, the island of whitewashed villages and volcanic splendor. There is a lot to do here, including getting lost in the village of Fira looking for ice-cream. On day seven, you will take a private tour of the island and stop at a red beach, a vineyard, a volcano, and the most traditional Santorini villages. For day eight you will travel by catamaran for an afternoon cruise to hot springs, a black beach, and then a superb sunset experience. From Santorini, you can depart directly as your ten days in Greece comes to an easy conclusion. Looking for the best Greece vacation ideas? Consider browsing our Greece travel reviews page.
$2,495 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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