Places to visit in Greece

Adventurous travel by boat and local ferry, blissfully warm seas, uncrowded beaches and secret coves, a lush countryside of vineyards and olive groves and mountain trails, friendly people, and delicious seafood served in waterfront tavernas… What’s not to love about Greece? This is one of those places that has all the ingredients for a perfect family holiday, especially for families keen to mix culture and history with thrilling outdoor activities as well as classic beach days.

Kayaking in Greece with turquoise water and blue skies

From the Peloponnese to Crete, families will love exploring by kayak


It often gets overlooked – perceived as too hot, too dusty and, and too busy – but everyone should visit the Greek capital at least once. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer scope and drama of those iconic historic sights lording it over the city.

But it’s not all about the Parthenon and the other sights on the Acropolis. Athens is also a bustling modern city full of lively neighbourhoods to delve into. We recommend a walking tour to immerse yourselves in both the history and the local life, and/or a food tour allowing you to taste local treats and get to know the city at the same time.

Acropolis Athens - visit on our Greece holidays with the kids

Picture-book Greece, these islands scattered across the central Aegean are best reached by high-speed ferry from Athens, and explored by ferry hopping. Your main stop will probably be Naxos, a paradise of great beaches, mountain and fishing villages, temples, tavernas and distilleries. When you’re not taking it easy, there’s hiking up Mount Zas, the legendary birthplace of Zeus, a medieval Venetian castle to explore, coastal and mountain cycling, and sea kayaking and snorkelling. Cookery courses are also a popular way of getting under its skin.

From Naxos, it’s an easy hop to Santorini, which with its pretty main town perched on the rim of a vast underwater volcano is best known for its sunset views and its ashy black-sand beaches. This unique geography makes it another splendid place for hiking.

You can also catch a ferry from Naxos to Amorgos, with more gorgeous beaches, some with amazing snorkelling or diving, plus sea kayaking and epic hiking along the island’s ‘spine’, past evocative medieval ruins and a monastery.

From here there are ferries back to Athens, completing the perfect ferry-hopping holiday, although other islands to visit are Milos and Sifnos, and Mykonos can be fun too.

Amorgos windmill, places to visit in Greece
Ionian Islands

These lush green islands in the northwest are best known for the holiday hotspots of Corfu and Zakynthos, but there are less well-discovered gems to root out, including Kefalloniá, Ithaca and Lefkada, with lots of quiet and undiscovered areas and plenty of timeless Greek villages to amble around.

These include the fishing village (and yachters’ favourite) of Fiskardo on Kefalloniá, with its pastel-hued 18th-century Venetian houses. Kefalloniá is a good base for exploring the other islands, with ferries to laidback, rustic Ithaca and Lefkada – both laidback hidden gems oozing rustic charm and with superb beaches.

View of beach on Zakynthos - Greece

This peninsula – the southernmost part of mainland Greece – not only has some of Greece’s best beaches, but also some of its most gorgeous scenery. Think citrus and olive groves, vineyards, and snow-clad mountain peaks – all blissfully untouristy. Culture abounds in Byzantine cities, classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, and Frankish and Venetian fortresses, as well as Olympia, the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, with the original stadium ruins and a brilliant museum.

All worth visiting are the archaeological site of Mycenae, once a major centre of Greek civilisation, and Epidaurus, one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the world, designed so up to 15,000 spectators could hear the actors without amplification.

The Peloponnese is also a fabulous place for water sports, including learning to sail or windsurf. There’s great sea kayaking in Nafplio Bay, while Nafplio itself (Greece’s first capital) is a cosmopolitan, atmospheric seaport worth a wander for its Palamidi fortress and Old Town.

Another lovely town is Kardamyli with its harbour full of seafood eateries and brilliant sea kayaking, swimming and snorkelling. And there’s yet more great hiking in this region, in the central mountains where the Lousios Gorge blends Byzantine cliffside monasteries with whitewater rafting complete with stop-offs for swimming.

Epidaurus amphitheatre - Peloponnese

The largest of all the Greek islands is also the birthplace of the Minoan civilisation, and a visit to Knossos (the Palace of Minos) evokes a sense of some of that epic history – Crete’s most important ancient palace, it’s said to be where Theseus trapped and killed the Minotaur in the maze.

Crete’s central White Mountains are also a world apart from its popular resorts, with dramatic gorges, rugged landscapes, citrus farms and tranquil villages. Samaria is the most popular gorge, with epic hiking, but the lesser-known Imbros is fantastic for getting away from it all and/or with younger kids. Meanwhile, the island’s beaches range from lively family affairs with lots of facilities to deserted coves.

Chania merits a few days in its own right, for its beaches, Venetian harbour, dockyards and tavernas. Sea kayaking along Crete’s south coast is also unmissable, as is hopping aboard the water taxi from Sfakia to Loutros, a delightful village with a great beach plus swimming and snorkelling in sea caves.

Crete village, after hike down gorge on family holiday, turquoise sea


Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

Stubborn Mule cartoon