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Greece has it all. History, culture, myths, legends, food and beautiful sun-drenched islands. Although there's plenty to see and do on the mainland, the captivating collection of islands are a gorgeous getaway for holidaymakers. Vibrant energetic cities, ancient historical sites and idyllic beaches are just some of the many reasons families fall in love with this perfect part of the world – and who can blame them? Here's a look at some of the best Greek Islands for families.
Rhodes is blessed with 300 days of sunshine on average each year. Fringed by miles of clean sandy beaches, lush vegetation and fascinating landmarks. With a wealth of leisure activities, lively entertainment and historical relics reminiscent of a long and colourful past.
Your first stop should be the Old Town. This perfectly preserved medieval town is listed amongst UNESCO as a world heritage site. The town itself is filled with wondrous history and kids can imagine their lives in medieval times. Stroll down cobbled streets, following the old city walls and encounter the Street of the Knights. Admire its medieval buildings with their impressive facades and see the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
In June through to September, The Valley of the Butterflies is a wonderful experience. As the name suggests the whole valley becomes carpeted by butterflies in a marvel of natural beauty. The valley shelters the tiger moth species that is native to the island and the beautiful fantastic colours are truly something to behold as well as the splendour of the river and waterfall to explore. This is a perfect excursion for nature lovers!
From there you can make a splash at the impressive Faliraki Water Park. The largest waterpark in the whole of Greece and one of the largest in the world extreme speed slides, open and closed slides, twisters, black holes, turbo, free fall and kamikaze slides provide just a small taste of what awaits you.
We couldn't mention Rhodes and not mention the vast array of picturesque beaches to relax on. Tsambika beach is an untouched paradise, with pure fine sand and crystal clear waters. This is a beautiful place for a day of relaxation and with shallow calm waters it is perfect for the kids to play the day away. There's also a few water sports facilities for the thrill seekers and some canteens for refreshments in the beautiful Grecian sun. For a much more energetic beach head to Lindos on Rhodes east coast. This stunning beach is perfect for families as its shallow waters are fantastic for swimming and paddling in. With Lindos town not far away you could easily spend your whole holiday here and still find more to see and do.
Known to the locals as Kerkyra, Corfu is the jewel of the Ionian Sea. With captivating natural beauty it's easy to see why the island is beloved by families from around the world. A stunning paradise the island boasts some of the most beautiful picture postcard scenery - studded with mountains, and lined with beaches and lagoons. Corfu has a rich history with influences of all the cultures that have called the island home, making it perfect for exploration and discovery.
Fancy splashing about? There's plenty of beaches to roll out your towel. From secluded bays to action packed adventure – you're sure to find the right spot of sand for you and yours. Avlaki beach in the north of Corfu is perfect for some peace and quiet. The area is fairly quiet but still with plenty to see and do. Local sailing and snorkelling schools are on standby, so you and your little ones can quickly learn the ropes and take to exploring the beautiful Ionian Sea. For a more classic "bucket and spade" experience you can always head to San Stefanos Beach, a former fishing village that has held on to its sleepy, laid back way of life. Need action and energy? Glyfada Beach and Roda Beach are perfect for families, with plenty of water sports and activities for all ages. Corfu is one of the best places in the world to go scuba diving, so why not find a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified trainer and explore deep within sunken wrecks and beautiful reefs? After a long day of tiring the kids out, take them to one of the beautiful tavernas along the seafronts which serve both authentic Greek cuisine and British staples (perfect for even the fussiest of fussy eaters).
If your little ones are still buzzing with energy and excitement, take them to wild rides of Aqualand. This waterpark is one of the most popular attractions on the island and it is easy to see why. Some of the designers who worked on Universal Studios and Disney parks had creative input with Aqualand making it perfect for kids and the occasional adult! With something for kids of every age this thrilling adventure is perfect for burning off any excess energy.
Hit the trails scattered across the island. Mount Pantokrator is beautiful with its green slopes and (occasionally) snow-capped peak it stands at a similar height to Wales' Mount Snowdon. Making it perfect for adventurous families looking for the ultimate view. If you fancy seeing more of the sights why not wander the Corfu Trail? At 136 miles this is not something you can do in a day. The path stretches from one end of the island to the other and boasts lots of hidden gems to explore.
Let's start with the largest of the Greek islands, Crete. The birthplace of Zeus is perfect for families with kids of all ages. From vast beaches and nestled coves to immense peaks and verdant gorges, there's much to do on this idyllic island. It's no wonder then, that Crete has become a firm favourite amongst holidaymakers – and it's easy to see why!
Naturally, the first place you want to head is the beach. Surrounded by the mesmerising Mediterranean Sea, the coral blue waters are perfect for swimming. The coves, bays, caves and beaches are teeming with water sports, snorkelling, scuba diving, boat tours and sailing. Falasarna beach near Chania is perfect for families. Fine white and golden sands and beautiful turquoise waters will cater to your every need, perhaps this is why families have been coming here for generations. After a long day lazing under the sun, be sure to stick around for the stunning sunset show.
The only way to truly explore Crete is to go off the beaten path, literally. The rugged mountainous terrain is perfect for hiking and biking. With plenty of trails you will be spoilt for choice, going from beautiful vista to beautiful vista. There are plenty of biking trails that will take you across the rugged mountain terrain, racing down hills and through the Cretan countryside. Stunning sights, beautiful wildlife and plenty of rest stops and villages make it a fantastic way to see another side of the island apart from the beach. If you are a fit family looking for a bit of a challenge, then there is the famous Samaria Gorge. This is 18km (11.25 miles) of rough terrain, with stunning natural views and plenty of beautiful picnic stops this is a great day out for those with older kids, especially when you reach the end and look out over the Mediterranean Sea.
History and myth collide in Greek culture and none more so than at the Palace of Knossos. This beautiful palace is a major archaeological site and popular attraction, and is rumoured to be where the Minotaur lived before the hero Theseus came and killed the beast. Excavated and partially renovated in the 1930s the palace allows you to truly explore ancient history as though it were yesterday and learn more about life over 2000 years ago.
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