Itinerary for a Family Trip to The Greek Islands

island hopping with kids greece

If you wish to experience a family vacation in the best Greek islands with kids, and you wish to combine leisure on the beach, family fun, culture and food, here is the best Greek island-hopping itinerary for a family trip to Greece!

By Eleni Fotiou, travel journalist, founder & travel specialist at ΜΑΜΑΚΙΤΑ Family Friendly Greece and family travel advisor for Greece and Italy with Travel 12 and KimKim.

Best Greek island-hopping family trip itinerary

Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea”, wrote Nikos Kazantzakis, the world-renown Greek writer and author of Zorba the Greek. Each one of the Greek islands with its unique beauty attracts families, who indulge in island-hopping with their kids or keep coming back to the same Greek island every year, as if they go on a pilgrimage. But what to choose among the -more than- 200 Greek islands for a family trip? Which is the best Greek island to stay, which one to visit on a day trip? Are Mykonos and Santorini child-friendly? Which are the best beaches for babies and toddlers and what to do during a family vacation on Naxos and Paros?

The best Greek island-hopping itinerary is not about how many Greek islands you will visit or whether you tick all the must-sees. It is about getting acquainted with a natural way of life close to the sea. About enjoying the sun and the sandy beaches with the turquoise waters, thus giving your family the chance to live like a local in the Cycladic villages, slow down the pace and savor the tastes from the rich Aegean food culture and culinary traditions.  

In this family trip itinerary in the Greek islands with kids, MAMAKITA family travel designers propose the best Greek Islands of the Cyclades for families, as well as the best activities and experiences to enjoy during your Greek island exploration with kids. Follow this 11-day family island-hopping itinerary and explore the kid-friendliest Paros & Naxos, artistic & tasteful Tinos, famous & cosmopolitan Santorini and Mykonos, as well as the gems of the Aegean Sea, Antiparos and the Small Cyclades.

Need some help in trip planning by the best family travel agents in Greece? MAMAKITA family travel specialists can customize this Greek island-hopping family vacation itinerary according to your preferences, age of kids, travel pace and budget. Enjoy your family trips in Greece without worrying about family friendly accommodation or kid-friendly tours and activities by making your request here.

Brief Family Trip Itinerary for Greek Island Hopping

  • Day 1: Arrival to Tinos Island
  • Day 2: Hiking & Cooking Tinos with Kids
  • Day 3: Mykonos & Delos Family Day Trip
  • Day 4: Marble & Art Activities in Tinos villages
  • Day 5: Swimming & Hiking Paros with Kids
  • Day 6: Antiparos Family Full-Day Boat Trip
  • Day 7: Swimming & farming Paros with Kids
  • Day 8: Naxos Beaches with Kids
  • Day 9: Small Cyclades Family Full-Day Boat Trip
  • Day 10: Santorini with Kids
  • Day 11: Hiking & Cooking Santorini with Kids

Detailed Family Trip Itinerary for Island Hopping in Greece with Kids

Day 1: Arrival to Tinos Island

Arrive to Tinos Island, one of the best Greek islands for a family trip in the Aegean Sea. Spend your first day at one of the sandy child-friendly beaches of the island that suit your taste.  Relax and synchronize your rhythms with the pace of natural life.

In the afternoon, enjoy a welcome private tasting and dinner in Nissos, the ultimate experience for beer-loving parents. Visit the awarded brewery, and while parents taste 5 types of beer along with local recipes, cheese and cold cuts, children have the chance to taste malt seeds and the wort, barley’s “must”, the ideal non-alcoholic drink, and to explore the produce of barley before the addition of yeast. As the sun sets, prepare healthy pizzas with the use of the spent grain and enjoy a family dinner around the big “Nissos” table with great views of the Aegean Sea!

Day 2: Hiking & Cooking Tinos with Kids

Discover Tinos’ authenticity, unique architectural interest and local food culture in its traditional villages, Tripotamos, Ktikados, Loutra and Kambos. Visit the Tripotamos Folk Museum, and as you head towards Ktikados, stop by the Halaris workshop to taste some of local snacks, such as the sweet pies “tsimbites” or “lychnarakia”.

Afterwards, enjoy the experience of a cooking class and lunch with a highly-esteemed local chef, Nikoletta Foskolou. Savor the Tinian gastronomy and local tastes such as traditional cheese “rocks” (“petroma”), agkinaroryzo (artichokes on rice), sundried tomatoes, fourtalia (traditional omelette), salad with sea fennel, sausages and louza (Tinian prosciutto) and many more!

In the afternoon, visit the Costas Tsoclis Museum, housed in the former primary school of Kambos, which is dedicated to the work of the famous artist. You can also enjoy a guided hiking tour along the Tinos Trails to admire the impressive moonlike rocks around Volax. Don’t forget to visit one of the famous basketry workshops before continuing to the village of Falatados. Teenagers will love the climbing experience at the giant rock of Exombourgo together with an experienced trainer while parents with younger kids can visit the former Ursuline Monastery in Loutra now turned into a unique museum.

One of the best things you can do on Tinos is to attend a performance at the Koumaros Theatre, a work of art in itself. Located at the foot of Mount Exomvourgo and fully integrated into the natural environment of the island, it is designed by artist Costas Tsoclis based on an idea of his wife Eleni and run by his daughter, travel journalist Maya Tsoclis.

Day 3: Mykonos & Delos Family Day Trip

Visit Mykonos and the unique island of Ancient Delos in a family full-day small group or private boat trip from Tinos.

You will start at Delos, where together with a state-licensed tourist guide experienced in kids, you can discover why this island is considered as one of the most important mythological, historical, and archaeological sites in Greece. Then, you will sail to Mykonos, which isn’t only about its cosmopolitan atmosphere and famous nightlife. It has rich culture, local customs and traditions, from folk dances to loom woven fabrics and from cheese & charcuterie making to traditional feasts. You can join a kid-friendly gastronomy tour to taste all local delicacies like onion pie, louza, mostra, etc. and learn how they are made. You also have the opportunity to experience an olive oil and food-pairing seminar by an olive oil sommelier. Enjoy the sunset as you sail back to Tinos!

Day 4: Marble & Art Activities in Tinos villages

Discover why Tinos is famous for its Art and its Marble in the heart of marble craftsmanship, Pyrgos village. With a long tradition in the art of marble included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Pyrgos is an art center and an open-air museum. Being the hometown of a good number of Greek artists and sculptors, such as Giannoulis Halepas, D. Filippotis, Yiannis Voulgaris, Lukas Dukas, and painter Nikiforos Lytras, it is definitely worthy of your visit.

Stroll around its cobbled streets, experience the world of local children who are born in the sound of marble chiseling instead of dirty street graffiti, and see them carve the marble from a very young age in every little street of the village. Relax and have something to drink in the town’s amazing square and explore the Museum of Marble Arts and Crafts, the residence of Giannoulis Halepas that has also been turned into a museum, the Panormos Artists’ Museum, as well as the local marble workshops and galleries. Don’t miss the experience of a hands-on activity in the workshop and studio of one of the artists of today.

Before traveling to your next destination, pay a visit the Virgin Mary of Tinos and the Elli Mausoleum that awakens memories of the August 15, 1940 torpedoing of the warship “Elli” while it was participating in the celebration of the Assumption. The carpeted runway on the right side of the road is kept free for pilgrims ascending on their knees.

Day 5: Swimming & Hiking Paros with Kids

Travel to Paros island, which is rightly considered among the top destinations for family vacations and the perfect Greek island for families who love watersports. Many accommodation options for every budget; various things to do with kids and teens; sandy beaches with natural shade for every taste (from organized beaches with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars and water sports to pristine, yet accessible bays); quality food, taverns and restaurants by the water are among only the obvious reasons to choose Paros for your family holidays. The island though has a very significant, yet not celebrated, advantage. Its lacy coast creating inlets and coves reserves a peaceful bay in every corner no matter how the wind blows. So, even on a windy day, you don’t have to drive long distances to find a peaceful beach. Ask your family travel specialist to help you find what you are looking for.

In the afternoon, you have the option for a guided hiking in the ancient marble quarries from where the famous Parian marble was extracted, located in Marathi. Despite their great importance and continuous use from antiquity until the 19th century, today they seem deserted! This is what actually makes the tour in the marble quarries such a unique experience. After the tour, kids will also have the chance to paint their own marble souvenir with the guidance of a sculptor in his atelier.

Of competitive beauty are Lefkes and Prodromos villages connected with the Byzantine footpath, a trail famous for its historical importance, as well as its nice views in late afternoon. Enjoy a relaxed guided walk, listen to stories of pirates and knights, relish the various smells of the Cycladic nature, such as oregano, fennel, sage and thyme, and end up to the “Kallitehniko Kafenio” to taste traditional mezes and homemade dishes.

For dinner, you can choose one of the best taverns in Paros, located in Alyki, such as Mouragio, Balkoni tou Aki, Alyki tavern and Thalassa mou in Piso Alyki, which is quieter. Try “gouna” (a type of sun-dried fish) and “salatouri” (made of stingray), both served as mezes, and taste the local wine varieties Mandilaria and Monemvasia.

Day 6: Antiparos Family Full-Day Boat Trip

Explore neighboring Antiparos during a full-day boat trip on a small group or a private boat excursion and discover its wonderful beaches. You can visit the town, built around a 15th century Venetian castle or go to Antiparos Cave on Ayios Ioannis Hill, the top attraction of the island to see its famous stalagmite and stalactite formations, including the oldest stalagmite in Europe estimated to be 45 million years old!

However, what is really unique is Despotiko islet (a haven for archaeology enthusiasts that hosts the Sanctuary of Apollo) as well as two more small uninhabited paradise islands (Tsimintiri and Strongylo), between Paros and Antiparos, famous for their turquoise waters, which will definitely be one of the highlights of this family trip to Greece!

Day 7: Swimming & farming Paros with Kids

Today, you will enjoy the island’s north and the unmissable kid-friendly Kolymbithres beach. You can start you day a bit earlier to explore the Environmental & Cultural Park of Paros. A theme park that spans an 800-acre peninsula and a pioneer of its kind in the Cyclades, Paros Park is of great geological and historical importance and welcomes visitors year-round for a variety of environmental and cultural activities or just for a walk in this natural place. Guided tours for teenage families are available in the morning and in sunset.  

Then, enjoy your swim on Monastiri beach, where you will find umbrellas, sunbeds, watersports and an all-day restaurant. Or, you can head directly towards Kolymbithres, which is among the most popular Greek beaches worldwide. On the beach, you will find an aqua fun park and several beach bars.

In the afternoon, when the heat of the day is over and the sun is low, you have the opportunity to relish the most breathtaking view of Kolymbithres from up the hill and the serenity of an organic farm that overlooks the coast of Naoussa and the Mycenean Acropolis (Koukounaries). The farm is a paradigm of agro-ecology, in other words farming on the basis of sustainable agricultural principles and it is specialized in the production of Mediterranean crops that are well suited to the distinctive microclimates of this land, i.e. olives, capers, oregano, lavender, figs, grapes and other herbs, which embody the flavors of Greece through their taste and aroma.

In the evening, visit cosmopolitan Naoussa for dinner. Just bear in mind that walking along the coastal promenade with toddlers and young kids might be a challenge when the sun sets and the seaside taverns become the hotspot of the whole island!

Day 8: Naxos Beaches with Kids

Naxos is among the best Greek islands for families as it offers some unique culturally enriching opportunities. There are so many villages to walk through, so many great beaches to swim and so many unique and delicious foods to taste. Spend your day on the beach, selecting one of the child-friendly beaches along the coast from Agios Prokopios to Plaka. The soft sand and the crystal waters are just heavenly.

In the afternoon, explore Naxos town and its imposing castle-town with its stone paved alleys (known as “kalderimia” in Greek), where you can admire a unique blend of Cycladic and Medieval architecture, mansions with Venetian blazons, narrow arched alleys (known as “stegadia” in Greek), catholic churches and fortifications. Walk on the islet of Palatia to visit the temple of Apollo, “Portara” that stands still since the 6th century BC. Behind Palatia lies Grotta, the coast of mermaid Kymothoi… You haven’t heard about her? Follow a food and culture tour that you will never forget and unveil the history and myths of Cycladic civilization!

As the sun is about to set, walk to the cedar forest between Maragas and Agia Anna to look for the “eye of Naxos” and admire the view from the small church up the hill.

Day 9: Small Cyclades Family Full-Day Boat Trip

Enjoy a day trip to Small Cyclades, Schinoussa, Koufonisia and Keros, the gems of the Aegean Sea, which are ideal for babies and toddlers even for a longer beach vacation. Located between Naxos and Amorgos, the complex of the Small (or Lesser) Cyclades offer much more than you can imagine. These tiny islands, blessed with so many baby and toddler-friendly beaches in such a small distance, save parents who love exploring as much as possible from long distances and the crowds of the most popular Aegean islands.

Day 10: Santorini with Kids

Famous for its unique sunset, Santorini is certainly in every traveler’s bucket list for Greece. Actually, it might have been the main reason to travel to Greece, and this is why you will definitely need a family travel specialist to save you from the crowds and show you the family friendly side of the island, which -objectively speaking- is not among the best Greek islands to visit with kids.

In any case, you can’t miss the highlights! Santorini owes its shape to the volcanic eruptions of thousands of years ago, which also created the spectacular caldera. The cave houses that have been built “inside” the cliff are unique, and offer breath-taking views of the volcanic islets and the sea. Take a sea kayak guided trip, if you are a family of active teenagers, or a Catamaran Cruise, if you are fond of a more relaxed trip. This way, you will have the opportunity to see and swim at some of the unique volcanic beaches that come in black, red, or white sand, to enjoy the unparalleled views from a different viewing angle, and bathe at the volcanic thermal springs.

A viewing of the sunset from the caldera is basically mandatory, but you can do your research ahead of time to figure out just where the best angle is on your day.

Day 11: Hiking & Cooking Santorini with Kids

Explore the gorgeous, largely untouched landscapes of Santorini during an off-the-beaten path hiking tour, starting from the traditional village of Akrotiri. Set off along a trail that showcases incomparable views of both sides of the island, in and out of the caldera. Pass through sprawling vineyards and long-deserted chapels that take you back to what life was like on this island during bygone generations. This scenic hike leads you to the idyllic beach of Mesa Pigadia, where you will have some time to relax, swim, and snorkel amid the area’s dramatic scenery. Then learn the secrets of unlocking the most wonderful flavors of Greek cuisine during a cooking class. A delicious lunch completes this unique experience and your Greece family expedition.

Need some help in trip planning by the best family travel agents in GreeceMAMAKITA family travel specialists can customize this Greek island-hopping family vacation itinerary according to your preferences, age of kids, travel pace and budget. Enjoy your family trips in Greece without worrying about family friendly accommodation or kid-friendly tours and activities by making your request here.

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