Santorini island with its high cliffs, blue-domed churches, whitewashed houses and colourful boutique hotels tumbling down the rocks into the azure sea does not need much description. This Instagram star island is the most famous of the Cyclades. It attracts visitors from all over the world who come for its picture-perfect hilltop towns, such as Oia and Fira, its deep blue seas and its magical sunsets. Maybe not the most original destination in Greece, for me personally it is still one of the most beautiful of all.
Santorini island with kids
Santorini is the most photographed and most recognizable island of Greece. It is famous for its steep cliffs, picturesque cubbed houses and the azure blue sea around it. Santorini, also called Thera or Thira, lies in the Aegean Sea and belongs to the Cyclades island group. Santorini consists of six islands: Santorini, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palea, Kameni, Nea Kameni and Christiani. This group of little islands was created during eruptions of the volcano in the middle of the islets. On the main island, several villages were built spectacularly on and against the steep rocks. The beaches are on the east and south, they have black and brown sand with a volcanic origin. You can reach Santorini by plane and boat, the island has an airport and two ports. The harbour on the west coast, Skala, is where the big cruise ships arrive. The other, Athinios port, is used for yachts and ferry boats.
Due to its narrow streets with steps and cliffs, Santorini is not directly considered a family suitable island. And although it is indeed difficult to navigate Santorini with a stroller, I would still recommend this gem for families. Santorini has some excellent family resorts and there are many things to see and do with children. Santorini is a very special island and a must visit for all ages. I would avoid the crowded summer months of July and August but in spring or fall, a holiday on Santorini island with kids is ideal. I visited Santorini twice, both times in September. This time of year, the island is still warm and summery. We stayed at the Vedema Luxury Collection Resort. The grounds of this boutique hotel has several steps but they are wide and flat and I believe children will not have a problem here. Some suites have indoor stairs, check this before you book your accommodation.
The family-friendly beaches are on the east side of Santorini. Here are also two Blue Flag beaches. The Blue Flag means that the beach is well maintained and organized. Monolithos beach is the best for families. It has a calm and shallow sea and a playground. Perissa is another family-friendly beach, and so are the hotels (with swimming pools) here. The beach of Kamari has black sand. This sand and the small pebbles get very hot midday, it is better to visit this beach during the morning or afternoon. Your children should wear slippers or water shoes here. I loved the deep blue color of the sea here. To the West, you come across the southern coast of Red Beach, also known as Kokkini beach. Kokkini means ‘red’ in Greek, because of the red-brown color of the lava here. For more water fun, there is also a small water park on Santorini at the beach of Perissa. Here are 3 swimming pools, several slides and a play area for the children. If it is too difficult to reach the beach or too warm, it is important to know that many hotels in Santorini have swimming pools. I believe Santorini with kids can be a beautiful experience.
Things to do on Santorini island with kids
Besides water fun, there is more to experience on Santorini island with kids. But the island gets very hot in the summer and it is therefore advised to plan your family excursions in the morning or afternoon. If you are interested in archaeology, at Akrotiri, north of Red Beach, you can visit the remains of a historic city. About 1500 BC it was destroyed by the eruption of the volcano. You can also visit several vineyards. The wines of Santorini are world famous and if you want to teach your children about the cultivation of the vineyards and wine-making, you can take them to the Santorini Wine Museum at the Koutsogiannopoulos winery. The Tomato Industrial Museum is a former factory turned museum tracing the history of Santorini’s tomato paste industry. Older children will enjoy the beautiful walk of 10 km from Thira to Oia. This takes about 2 hours. The best thing is to arrive in Oia just before sunset because Santorini is famous for the sunset at this place. There are several options for boat tours on Santorini. Through the bottom of the Atlantis boat, you will see the fish swim. You can get on in Vlychada in the south and the journey takes about half an hour. A day trip to Nea Kemeni, Therassia and the islets of Kamares are also worth a visit. There are several tour boats that organize day excursions to the islands. Finally, a visit to the volcano cannot be missed. This is only suitable for kids who walk easily and I would say, starting from 8 years old. You can just take a day boat trip to sail around the island or visit the actual volcano island and its active craters. A path takes you to the top where you can see smoke coming out of the craters and smell of sulfur. It will take you half an hour to reach each way. There is no shade here and it is very hot in the summer. Always bring a sunhat and water.