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Athens/Santorini 2015 with a toddler

Hi all!
I'm getting a jumpstart on this, even though our trip isn't until next June. We will be headed to Santorini for my sister's wedding. I have traveled pretty extensively in Europe, including studying abroad, but this time we will be taking our son, who will be 18 months, along. We may be crazy for doing so, but don't really feel comfortable leaving him on another continent. Has anyone traveled to Greece with a toddler in tow?

We are in the very beginning of planning for the trip, but it will only include Santorini (arrive Thurs and leave Monday…wedding is Saturday) and Athens (arrive Monday and depart Thursday). We figure we will limit switching cities to make it less complicated.

A few questions I've thought of so far:
Hotels: (In Santorini, my sister is renting a house for everyone to stay in and they have a crib, so this pertains to Athens). Any recommendations on hotels that are family friendly and conveniently located? Also, when we book a room, would we ask for a double plus a crib or a triple and ask the other bed be a crib?

Also, we are looking into taking a boat from Santorini back to Athens, thinking our son may enjoy this more than another plane ride (we will be flying to Santorini to get there faster before the wedding). Any thoughts on ferry vs. hydrofoil?

I will be doing some research on trip advisor as well, but all of y'all were so helpful with questions for our trip to Ireland in 2012, I thought I would start here. Any other tips, sites, transportation information that you think may be helpful for these locations with an active toddler will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!!

Posted by
2950 posts

As far as the trip back to Athens from Santorini is concerned, I think you should definitely avoid the smaller, enclosed highspeed catamarans (There are no hydrofoils on that route) in favor of a large, regular car ferry (bluestarferries.com). The smaller highspeeds are notorious for causing seasickness and there are no outside decks for fresh air or for sightseeing at the other ports along that route.

That said, I question whether or not an 18-month-old will really be aware enough of his surroundings to actually get much pleasure out of an 8-hour ferry ride. Flying would be so much faster and less stressful for the little one. If you sign up for the Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air email newsletters you will be notified if and when they offer their discounted promotional fares, which go for as little as €39, all taxes included. This would actually be less-expensive than an economy class ticket on the highspeed. For June expect those fares to be offered someitme in January or February, March at the latest. If it doesn't happen, no harm/no foul. The ferry is always an option.

Posted by
16883 posts

See a few links for travel-with kids resources at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/kids-in-europe. You would book a double room and request the crib separately. In Athens, you'll probably want to a hotel with an elevator. You might also want to search "stroller" in the box above to see recent forum discussions of strollers vs. baby backpack in Tuscany and similar areas.