Being the largest island in Greece filled with natural wonders and cultural sites, Crete holds a worldwide reputation, and it is among the top islands to visit in Greece with kids. The fifth-largest Mediterranean island consists of four different regions boasting diverse landscapes and endless sugar-coated beaches. No wonder it’s one of the top family-friendly destinations for summer holidays in Greece. Whether you’re planning to explore the island from east to west or you’re spending your days at a beachfront hotel, this guide will help you captivate your kids’ interest and make the most out of your family trip in Crete with kids.
Home to the Minoan civilization, Crete is a place of great historical significance. The island’s rich past becomes apparent not only in museums and sites but also in buildings, castles and even natural sites. Spark your kids’ imagination through Crete’s myths and legends and go on a cultural exploration with your little ones while delving into the island’s natural beauties. From the worldwide known Knossos palace to Zeus’ birthplace in Lasithi and a pirate kingdom in Gramvousa, Crete offers innumerable choices for family-friendly activities.
Chania with kids
The city of Chania, on the western side of the island, blends the cosmopolitan atmosphere with elements and features from the past. The Old Town with the Venetian port features mansions, fountains and the impressive Lighthouse that date to the 16th and 17th centuries. Restaurants, street vendors and souvenir shops lie in the narrow alleys of Chania old town making it an ideal place for an evening walk. At a close distance from Chania, there are plenty of organized or partly beaches for families with kids. Maleme beach, Loutraki beach Germaniko Pouli beach and Agioi Apostoloi are less than 20km away and are easily accessible by car.
However, with Chania as your starting point, you also have plenty of opportunities for one-day trips and Imeri Gramvousa should definitely be on the top of your list. Located on the west side of Chania, this Natura 2000 protected island is the perfect destination because it combines beaches with turquoise waters and historical sites that are bound to captivate the whole family. On a steep rock 137 meters above sea level stands an imposing 16th-century Venetian fortress filled with myths and stories. Learn its story throughout the centuries with the self-guided audio tour “Gramvousa: The pirate kingdom” and introduce the family’s youngest to Greek mythology and the island’s history.
Rethymno with kids
Next to Chania and right before Heraklion, lies Rethymno. This region has its own unique natural beauties, mesmerizing beaches and a quaint Old Town that bears witness to its diverse past. Built around the Venetian fortress Fortezza, the old town features buildings, fountains and churches that date both to the Venetian and the Ottoman Era. Modern shops, restaurants and cafes are nestled in the cobblestoned alleys brimming with life from early in the morning until late at night. Discover the story of Kara Musa Pasha Mosque, visit Rimondi Fountain and explore the imposing Fortezza with the self-guided audio tour “Rethymnon: between East and West.” This tour takes you on a journey through space and time and gives an insight into how Rethymno took the form visitor see nowadays.
Heraklion with kids
Heraklion is Crete’s largest city and it’s worldwide known due to its proximity to Knossos, the capital of Minoan Crete and the center of Minoan civilization. A site that should definitely be on your to-do list on your family trip to Crete and guarantees to keep your kids’ interest alive at all times. Choose a kid-friendly private guided tour or self-guided audio tour and learn about king Minos, the myth of the Labyrinth and the story of Daidalos and Icaros. “Minoan Myths around Knossos” educational activity is the perfect way to introduce kids to Minoan civilization prior to your visit to Knossos and help them understand the importance of the archaeological site.
And if Knossos sparks your imagination about life in the Minoan civilization, continue your exploration at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Here you’ll find a great collection of artifacts from all periods of Cretan prehistory and history. “The Heraklion Archaeological Museum: a hymn to art” audio tour will guide you to the museum’s halls allowing you to enjoy the exhibitions at your own pace.
Heraklion may not be as picturesque are Chania or Rethymnon but it has its story which is certainly worth your while. Explore the city with “Heraklion: the Castle of the Moat” on your headphones and learn how Ottomans conquered Heraklion shaping the island’s history.
Lasithi with kids
Last but certainly not least comes Lasithi, Crete’s easternmost regional unit. Painted with cerulean-water beaches, this part of the island attracts travelers for its magical scenery. Few know, though, that Lasithi is a place full of myths and legends and home to the famous Minoan Path. Take your kids on a different type of road trip on a route where monsters and bizarre creatures lurk. Explore the region’s Cretan countryside and give your little ones a proper insight into greek mythology with “Signs and wonders: the Minoan path of Lasithi” audio tour. We bet it will be a ride they will never forget. Of course, the place here that according to Greek mythology Zeus was born should be part of your trip. The Dictaean Cave is located above the village Psychro in Lassithi Plateau and it is open to travelers fascinated by culture and nature. Visit this important place of worship for the Minoans and let the stories of the “Dictaean Cave tour: The birthplace of Zeus” take you on a magical journey.
Need some help in trip planning by the best family travel agents in Greece? MAMAKITA family travel specialists can customize your itinerary in Crete with kids according to your preferences, age of kids, travel pace and budget. Enjoy your family holidays in Greece without worrying about family friendly accommodation or kid-friendly tours and activities by making your request here.