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20 days in Greece with a 5 and 9 yr old

Hi Travel Gurus!
I need some guidance on my itinerary for our trip to Greece.
We are leaving for Athens from Dallas on 26th June and taking the return flight from Athens on 18th July. Based on the study we know we want to be in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. We have two kids and they are used to travel every summer. We are not the rough backpackers but do love visiting places.

Posted by
2934 posts

There's not much for kids that age to do on Mykonos. Look at youtube videos of summer in Mykonos.

The beaches will be overrun with wild party-goers. I suggest you go to Santorini and another island close by that is much more family-friendly, such as Naxos, Paros or Antiparos.

Posted by
951 posts

Bear in mind that Mykonos & Santorini are two of the most heavily touristed and expensive of the Greek Islands. You'll be there just at the start of the High Season so expects crowds and high prices, plus how "Greek" do you want your holiday to be?

If you want something much more traditional and Greek then there are numerous other options, in fact too many to mention.

However, my favorite Greek Islands are Sifnos, Milos, Naxos, Crete, Tinos, Amorgos, Astypalea, Skyros, Ikaria, Fourni, Chios, Lemnos, Karpathos, Kythira, the Small Cyclades, and several other.

You may want to check out Matt's Greek Guide for more help or use the Guide Books: Greek Island Hopping or The Blue Guide to the Aegean Islands.

Matt's Greek Guide:

Posted by
11450 posts

Naxos is so lovely , I've been to Mykonos twice and I won't return again , the town is filled with overpriced shops , many those brand name ones , what's Greek about going into a Yves St Laurent ?

Naxis has a beautiful child friendly beach , Sandy , long shallow gradual entry !

We visited it for our first time last year and will be back !

Bang for buck too, our room in Mykonos was 95 euros , small simple room , one bed , nice , but also it was off season ( we went mid May) , room in Naxos had a seperate ante room with two single beds and a tv , huge deck , and was 105 euros !!We had an adult friend stay with us and he was comfy ( I still hated sharing bathroom with him lol) but this room was ideal for family ! 2 minutes to beach , family run , super kind people . Ekathi makes a homemade breakfast buffet each day ( included) and one day when we rented a car she brought out some leftover cakes from buffet for us to take for a snack !

To get anything similar in Santorini you will pay at least double !

Hotel Kymata

Ps no elevator though and the two room suites are on third floor , but size of deck and views were worth it , take a look at photos .Hotel is probably booked up now though .

Posted by
5 posts

I would appreciate if you all could help me create an itinerary.
4-5 days in Athens
2-3 days Naxos
2-3 days Santorini
I still have 7-8 days to fill in. What would be your suggestion?

Posted by
11450 posts

Sorry.. we spent 4 days in Naxos and felt it wasn't long enough.. so you obviously travel faster than we do.. Do be sure to rent a car and drive around the island.

I think you could inject Paros if you wish.. I spent a week there years ago.. ( I'm not a 2 day here and there person normally)

Posted by
2891 posts

We went on a similar trip in late July through Greece in 2015 and I would skip Myknonos other than as a day trip from Naxos. We went there for a day trip from Naxos which ended up being an overnight trip because we missed the last ferry. I agree with others that Naxos is a great spot for children. My then 9-year old son asked me some pretty tough questions based on some t-shirts that we saw people wearing in Myknonos. It is probably more of a party place (or at least the parts that I went to) than a family place though we did have one of he best meals of our lives there. We loved Naxos and stayed for 5 days and could have stayed longer. We also went to Santorini which I did not find especially family friendly but for different reasons than Mykonos. We spent about a week in Crete and that was excellent. It was extremely hot there but my entire family loved it. We did 5 days in Athens (including our arrival day) which I thought would be too little time but the person who told me to spend only 4 days there in the summer was correct. Then 5 days in Naxos, 2 days in Santorini and 5 days in Crete.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks JHK!
I am getting a clearer picture now.
Here's my schedule now:
Athens-5 days ( day trip to Hydra and one day trip to Olympia)
Naples- 4 days (we decided to go to Amalfi coast as well)
Santorini - 3 days
Naxos- 7 days (visit neighboring islands Paros, etc.)
return to Athens day before for flight back next day

Posted by
991 posts

I have been ignoring this since you have been getting some good thoughts. The Naples thing will be a big hole in your plan. You propose to visit Athens then travel to Naples then to Santorini and back to Athens. Each hop eats up at least a half day of your vacation. Logistics are important.

So here goes. Fly to Naples first. That cuts out a round a trip into Athens then a trip back to the airport. Do your Naples thing. As I am sure you are aware there are one a day direct flights Naples to Santorini. So fly Naples to Santorini.

Spend your time on Santorini. It is spectacular but will be more so for the adults than the kids.

Take the ferry to Naxos. It is a perfect island for kids. Stay at St George beach Agios Georgios. There will be dozens of kids on the beach every day. your kids will have friends in a couple of minutes. St George is part of Naxos town so you get a beach vacation with all the benefits of town.
Rent a car and explore the island. Find Plaka beach. In my opinion its the best beach in Naxos. It is possible to do a day trip to Paros using regular ferries and there is an excursion boat to Delos and Mykonos.
Naxos Town
Trip around Naxos
Day trip Delos and Mykonos

If you can find seats fly from Naxos to Athens but there are ferries as well. Do your Athens time at the end of your trip. While Olympia is amazing it is a 5 hour drive each way so including 5 hours at the site you are looking at a 15 hour day. Think that through. Look at Nafplio instead. Perhaps even spend a night there. You can stop at Corinth and visit teh dcanal, visit Ancient Corinth and Ancient Nemia ( which has sister games to Olympia. Nafplio also has two intact Venetian era Castles. The kids will love it.
Nafplio and Peloponnese

For fun

Posted by
2914 posts

I would suggest switching from Olympia to Delphi, as it is closer to Athens and a decent day trip. I wouldn't bother with Napflio, not that interesting compared to much of Greece. However, It's all a matter of personal choice. Sounion would be an easy option from Athens.

Posted by
2865 posts

To Wray -- when there are kids 5 & 9, Nafplio is a heckuva lot more fun than Delphi. And when kids ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. This wonderful NONcommercial website -- --- tells everything you need to know ... click on ALL links! Things kids will love ... boatride to castle in the bay -- going up to Acronafplia ramparts (u use an elevator built into a cliff) and tackling the 999 steps up to the mighty Palamidi fortress. For the latter the easiest way is to drive up the Back way, and go DOWN the steps ... (and if you work it right, you can drive to back gate, your spouse & kids scramble down the steps, while YOU drive the car to the cafe at the foot of the steps and sit by a nice waterfall & read the paper while you wait).

And do NOT believe that Nafplio isn't historic --- you trip over history everywhere u go. 15 minutes outside of town is an Iliad-era fortress, Tiryns, never any crowds. Going back to athens, you can drive East across the Peloponnese "thumb" toward the coast and see Epidaurus and its awesome 15,000 seat ancient amphitheatre. Oh, and en route keep your eyes open for The World"s OLDEST Bridge in Continuous use... 4,500 years old, by LH side of road.

Posted by
4 posts

I would suggest to rent a car while on Athens and have day trips to Delphi or Olympia, or have Nafplio as a base to road trip through the Peloponnese. There are a lot beautiful places in mainland Greece, don't visit only the islands. Crete and Naxos are very nice options too for you and your family...

Posted by
1117 posts

Why Naples? That doesn't seem to make a lot of sense in your itinerary, and it's going to add a lot of pure travel time to your vacation. I can't imagine your kids are going to enjoy that a whole lot. It's your trip and your choice of course, but I'd save that for another trip.

I am not sure I would want to spend that much time in Athens either with children. Also, I absolutely agree with the poster who said do Athens at the end. There can always be delays or cancelations of flights or ferries so that will give you some leeway for catching your return flight.

I agree that Mykonos is not a great island with children. Santorini is touristy too, but there are some things your children should enjoy: visit ancient Thira with them, and take the boat tour to the volcano islands and to Thirassia.

I am sure your kids will enjoy exploring an island like Naxos or Paros. And you can always take day trips from there: to Mykonos, to Delos, to Antiparos, to the smaller Cyclades.