Family holidays in Greece

 By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer

Greece is possibly the most perfect holiday destination for families. Superb weather, easy flight connections, simple delicious food and welcoming people (who genuinely like children) all make up an ideal combination. If you want independence and privacy, you can rent a budget apartment or a villa with private pool. On the other hand you’ll also find some of the best beach resorts and luxury hotels in the Mediterranean region.

With very young children you should prioritise the journey: fly direct to one of the bigger islands, or stay on the mainland, ensuring that the transfer is short. Renting a car will give you more freedom, and allow you to carry all those essentials. If you want child care, consider the family-friendly all-inclusive IKOS Resorts or MarBella resorts.

A beach club is a great solution for active families, as there’s a mix of sports, water sports, childcare, kids clubs and a sociable vibe. If you want a largely British clientele, try Mark Warner which has clubs in Rhodes, Lemnos and Paleros on the mainland. If you want to mix with a more international crowd, try Club Med.

Best Greek islands for families

With pre-teen kids, you can go anywhere in Greece and find all the ingredients of a perfect family holiday, but if you’re travelling in February half-term or October half-term, you should head further south to catch the best of the weather. That means the likes of Crete, Kos and Greece-speaking Cyprus (although it’s not actually in Greece, it has many outstanding hotels and some of the warmest weather in the Med). Try the GK Beach Hotel in Crete or the IKOS Aria on Kos.

Another option for young families: Simpson Travel offers a bespoke crèche and kids’ activities in some of its small hotels and villas in Lefkada, Crete and Corfu. For example, Mousses is a family-friendly villa resort in Lefkada with professional child care from 6 months up to 11 years of age, a fenced pool, taverna and lawned gardens.

If you have teenagers who want to mix with others of their own age, the north-east corner of Corfu is an excellent destination. It’s easy to get around, safe and very sociable. Rent one of these family villas with pool in Corfu.

Not far from Corfu is the gorgeous island of Kefalonia, brought to life in the novel and movie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. GIC The Villa Collection has some beautiful villas on Kefalonia with private pool and up to four bedrooms, ideal for children of all ages.

One destination that’s a hit with all ages is Halkidiki on the mainland. It’s a gorgeous region with long unspoilt stretches of sandy beaches and pine forests and is home to the wonderful Sani Resort which contains a choice of upmarket hotels along with a Blue-Flag beach, a marina, restaurants and outstanding sports facilities. There’s a crèche for babies and toddlers, a free club for children aged 4-11 and a Teenage Club in the high season for ages 12-17. It’s an easy transfer from Thessaloniki airport which has excellent flights from across the UK.

Also in Halkidiki is the all-inclusive IKOS Olivia, a contemporary low-rise resort set in beautiful gardens and olive groves with a beautiful sandy beach. There’s a Football Academy for ages six and over, tennis club, mountain biking, swimming school, bikes for hire and water sports. In the evening there are beach parties and live music, plus there’s an Anne Semonin Spa for that all-important pampering.

Last updated: 2 January 2022

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