Crete is the quintessential holiday island. It is also perfect for families with children. As the largest island in Greece, it offers plenty of things to do, see, and enjoy. From sandy beaches to ancient ruins, quaint villages, and bustling towns, you are bound to find something that matches your family’s needs.
Among other sights, Crete has several waterparks, aquariums, museums, parks, and botanical gardens to choose from.
If you come in the summer, you will be spoilt for choice when choosing beaches to visit. Indeed, depending on how long you plan to stay in Crete, it is impossible to visit them all.
In addition, you will find ancient ruins to visit to get a glimpse of what life used to be like as long as 3,500 years ago. Children will be mesmerized by all the new things to discover!
Crete is famous for its hospitality, so it’s no surprise that children are always welcome and people bend backward to help families with toddlers and young kids. As for the food, you will find fresh fruit and vegetables as well as tasty dishes, all based on the Mediterranean diet. Crete produces—and exports—its own produce so you know you will be eating the freshest fruit and vegetables in the world.
Crete is a large island with something for everyone
Since Crete is a very large island, there are plenty of things to do. Unlike smaller islands, which offer fewer possibilities for visiting and discovering, Crete is brimming with activities and things to see, discover, and experience.
Tourists rarely manage to visit everything Crete has to offer, so they often come back to experience some more. As a family, you know you won’t get bored and you and your children will find plenty of new experiences to enjoy every day.
Crete has plenty of beaches
There are hundreds of beaches on Crete’s shores. You get to choose unforgettable beaches, from the exotic Balos to the astonishing Falassarna, Vai with the palm trees, the lagoon-like Elafonisi, Preveli with the river, or Seitan Limania with its azure waters.
There are many more beaches that are just asking to be discovered and the sheer pleasure of finding beautiful spots for a dive will engage children.
Children can swim, dive, snorkel, kayak, and discover all types of water sports. There is a waterpark with pools and slides in Anopolis and many beaches offer water sports activities for children to try.
Ancient civilizations to discover
Crete has plenty of ancient sites to visit, with Knossos being the most important one. It is where the infamous Minotaur lived, according to legend, and the ruins display all the spectacular beauty of the Minoan civilization. If you like to dive into antiquity, you can also visit Phaistos—another ancient palace—and the archeological museum in Heraklion.
There are guided tours specifically geared for children so they can appreciate the history and importance of the ruins in a more accessible way.
Activities to enjoy
Sometimes, history and ancient civilizations are not what young children enjoy the most. Don’t worry about it, as Crete has plenty more fun activities to offer.
You can visit the Aquarium close to Heraklion to experience the sea from a different angle.
Kids also love Dinosauria Park, where they will learn everything there is about dinosaurs.
If you like gardening, you can visit the Botanical Park near Chania where 20 hectares of garden are overflowing with fruit trees, tropical fruit trees, Mediterranean herbs, and vines. Families can spend a day discovering nature, exploring the area—which includes a pristine lake—and dining at the restaurant, which serves Cretan dishes made from the freshest ingredients.
In addition, Crete offers plenty of fun activities such as pottery workshops, cooking studios to discover Cretan cuisine, as well as ecology-oriented programs for children to get a better understanding of how nature works. There are also trails for walking, donkey rides, and farms to experience rural living.
Whether you are staying in Chania, Heraklion, or Rethymno, you are sure to find interesting and fulfilling activities for your children!
Towns to discover
Cobblestone roads, winding streets, and 300-year-old towns are there, waiting to be discovered by you.
You can walk around, take in the views, shop for beautiful mementos, and walk along the waterfront of Chania, Rethymno, or Heraklion where yachts and sailing boats are gently floating on the water. Restaurants, cafés, and shops line the streets and offer a great way to mingle with the locals once the sun has set and temperatures are cooler.
The food is fresh and delicious
Crete has given us Mediterranean cuisine and Cretans swear by their culinary tradition, which they credit their famous longevity with.
The island produces most of the fresh fruit and vegetables in Greece, thanks to its mild climate and fertile land. Not only are dishes bursting with color and taste, but they are also amazingly healthy. Many restaurants have adopted the farm-to-table philosophy, which means you will be enjoying the freshest, most delicious products possible.
Watermelons, melons, peaches, apricots, and grapes are all locally produced, as are vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers—not to mention the famous Cretan olive oil. Even the meat is produced in Crete, and you have fish and seafood caught daily by local fishermen. It doesn’t get any fresher or tastier than that, so even the pickiest of children will find something they will want to eat again and again.
People are great
A place is nothing without the people that make it real. Cretans are famous for their hospitality and always strive to help.
Children are treasured and people will get out of their way to help families with children make the most of their holidays. Locals will happily show you the way, suggest the best beach for children, and even call on a relative to guide you on a mountain trail overlooking the sea. If they have chickens, don’t be surprised if they offer you some eggs for the children because they are the freshest—and children should always get the best.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out our list of amazing family villas in Crete and make the most of one of the safest and most pleasant places to visit in Greece!
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