Santorini: Ideal Destination … not for children, but for Grown Ups
Best time of the year to visit Santorini would be springtime or fall; best timing would be when you are in love or your kids are grown up and you decide to take a nice vacation with the old man or the old lady.
It is summer and you are sailing in the middle of the Aegean Sea; the sun scorches everything and, as you lounge on the deck, the horizon reveals what looks like snow topping a huge black rock! But no, it can’t be snow in the middle of the summer! As you approach, you discern white abodes clinging on the rock and forming the most amazing synthesis of vernacular architecture! You are about to experience beauty itself, Santorini!
Some believe that the “Lost Atlantis” could be the islet of Strongyli now buried under the lava that emerged from a volcano eruption that took place sometime in the Middle to Late Bronze Age, forming the island complex of Santorini, Palaia Kameni (Old Kameni), Nea Kameni (New Kameni) and Therasia. The volcano is still considered active, with craters and sulfur springs that you can see and…smell, but for the time being it is dormant. It will give ample warning before it decides to wake up again. At sunset, visitors crowd on the edge of the caldera to watch and photograph the sun as it paints the horizon with the most beautiful reds, orange and yellows.
Santorini with kids? I don’t think so!
If you have young kids, Santorini is the ideal place to go…without them! No matter how courageous or resilient you may be, you will not be able to enjoy the full extent of this island’s wild beauty with your baby wrapped around your back or even in the stroller.
What would be the best experiences to enjoy in Santorini without children?
- You could spend many hours in a hotel room with Jacuzzi or a by the pool on your veranda overlooking the caldera…How could you relax, though, with little ones jumping all around you?
- You could walk along the caldera from Fira to Firostefani, to Imerovigli and Oia (or backwards!) watching the sunset all along from the edge of the cliff; you could then have dinner at a fine restaurant. We particularly enjoyed the fusion cuisine of La Maison in Imerovigli and the Greek cosmopolitan cuisine of Mama in Thira, both offering a choice of excellent varieties of local wines. The walk, however, would be too long for your kids.
- You could enjoy the calmness of a romantic night…but don’t we all know how a complaining child can ruin calmness and romance?
- You could experience the chaotic depth under your feet at Skaros but if your little one has come along, you would be watching the kid, not the view!
- You could swim by the black and red rocks, and the thermal sulfur waters of the volcano but that wouldn’t be very attractive to your kids as the rocks are sharp and the sea deepens suddenly.
- You could visit the archeological site of Akrotirion, follow the path to the Red Beach and end up at a small tavern by the sea for fava beans and tomato balls. The heat, however, and the crowds are hard to take even for purposeful adults sincerely interested in the antiquities. You can imagine the whining of your little ones…
- You could attend a concert at the Industrial Tomato Museum.
- You could get to Faros to enjoy the view from the other side of the caldera and stop mid-way at any time to eat at Giorgaros or Kali Kardia.
- You could go on a wine tasting tour of the local sweet wines of Visanto or Kamaritis. Not with children, I suppose!
- You could take the boat to Therasia and walk up the hill to Manolas, the small central settlement on the islet, and have a bite and some ouzo. I will never forget, though, how sorry I felt watching that French couple trying to change the diaper of their two-year-old on the black hot stones…
Your visit to Santorini with or without children will be memorable, but remember: The island is not exactly kid friendly. So, spending your whole summer family vacation on Santorini is not the ideal choice. Choose among the kid-friendlier islands of the Cyclades close by, such as Naxos and Paros or the smaller -unknown, yet family friendly- Aegean islands, with the guidance of a travel advisor and enjoy a one-day cruise to Santorini. Or just keep Santorini on your bucket list for a short escape without your kids. Reserve your plane tickets for a spring or fall trip, a room overlooking the caldera, a vehicle to get around with, and…get going!
Santorini with Kids anyway?
In any case, the kids’ and teens’ friendlier activities and tours in Santorini are traced by the MAMAKITA team of family travel advisors and you can explore them here. If you are not sure yet on which Greek island to visit with your kids or how to enjoy an island hopping in the Greek islands with your kids, check MAMAKITA proposals and let MAMAKITA create for you and your family your own tailor-made trip itinerary making your request here.