Things to do in Santorini with kids include cruising, swimming on the beaches, trying out Greek cuisine, and enjoying ancient sites and beautiful sunsets.
This small island is where one of history’s largest volcanic eruptions occurred during the Minoan civilization. With strikingly gorgeous cliffs, colorful villages and towns, and mind-blowing Greek cuisine, chances are, you’ll never forget your time spent in Santorini.
You can also take a ferry boat from the port of Piraeus in Athens to Santorini. This may take nearly 8 hours, but you’ll enjoy the breathtaking views of the Caldera and the cliffs. Taxis and buses often run from the port to different towns.
There are no direct flights to Santorini from the USA, Canada, or Australia, but do not let that stop you from booking a Santorini family holiday – stay in Athens for a few days to break up the trip.
The best time to visit Santorini is from August to October as the weather is pleasant and will not be too busy. For sightseeing, it is best to visit Santorini from April to May. For swimming and sunbathing, June to September is ideal. Remember to book your hotel in advance if you plan to visit Santorini during the summer.
PROS AND CONS OF GOING TO SANTORINI WITH KIDS
Santorini holidays with kids require a well-planned Santorini family itinerary. Here are a few pros and cons of going to Santorini with children:
Santorini With Kids – Pros
Stunning views of the beach
No matter where you turn, you will find breathtaking views everywhere in Santorini. The cliffs are a treat to look at, and the beach sand comes in different colors!
You can explore the towns of Fira, Oia, and other towns and villages in Santorini on foot. These are so beautiful that you can click stunning pictures whenever you stop walking. Take an extra memory card if you run out of space on your camera!
The history of Santorini is fascinating. You can explain to your kids about the volcanic eruptions that took place in Santorini in 1646 BC. The boat tour of the Caldera makes it even more exciting to witness the remains of the eruption even after all these years.
As you can see, Santorini for kids is a great idea! Just keep in mind the following…
Santorini With Kids – Cons
Hilly Terrain and Steep Drops
Most places in Santorini are rocky and have a lot of steps, making it a dangerous place for small kids. If you have babies on board, you’ll have to carry them, as taking strollers to get around is not a good idea.
Limited accommodation options
The hotels in Santorini are swoon-worthy, but only a few of them exist. So you’ll have to book in advance as the rooms get filled up quickly. Also, some of the hotels allow only adults.
Some family hotels in Santorini can get really expensive, so plan your budget in advance and choose a suitable hotel.
High temperatures at noon
It can get sweltering at noon in Santorini, so it is better to start early in the morning and relax at noon if you plan to explore the island. It is best not to be out in the scorching sun, especially if you have kids on board.
Things To Do In Santorini With Kids
A Santorini family itinerary can vary depending on the interests of your children. It may not be the perfect travel destination for kids, but it sure holds a treat for all its visitors.
Families can rent a car and drive around the island to discover its beautiful towns, take pictures at the gorgeous beaches, and explore the history of Santorini. You can try local dishes like moussaka, fried calamari, and baklava and cruise the Caldera with the family. Children will surely love the blue waters and the breathtaking views of the cliff.
If you are clueless about what to do in Santorini with kids, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Use this list to find fun things to do in Santorini with children and plan the most exciting vacation on this island.
Santorini’s capital town of, Fira, is located along the upper rim of the Caldera and is perfectly picturesque. That postcard-worthy Cycladic design of white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and narrow stone-paved streets is on full display here.
If you want to explore the Caldera, the sides are quite steep. If you have adventurous kids, feel free to take the 600 step pathway down to the harbor of Skala Thira; otherwise, you can opt for a taxi.
Fira and Oia are among the most beautiful and colorful towns in Santorini. The two towns are six miles apart, so the trek can take at least 3 hours with kids. Go for this only if your kids are older, as it will be difficult if you’re carrying babies. The path is dirt, so it’s not suitable for most strollers.
It is best if you start early in the morning so that you will reach Oia by noon. Eat lunch in Oia and take a bus or a short taxi back to Fira.
Along the walk, you will pass the village of Imerovigli along with Skaros Rock.
Oia is known for its sunset views from the short promenade near the Cathedral. You can spend the evening here in one of the cliff-clinging restaurants, but remember to book in advance.
Cruise The Caldera
Cruises continue to be the best way to see Santorini’s craters, hot springs, and gorgeous cliffs.
A Santorini trip is incomplete without cruising the Caldera, from short sightseeing cruises to sunset dinner cruises to Greek dancing on the boat. The price will differ with the type of cruise you choose, such as a sailboat, a kayak, or a catamaran.
Look out for cruise companies that your hotel recommends. Book your cruise in advance if you’re visiting during the busy summer.
Visit Santorini’s Castles
There are five castles and fortresses on Santorini, and what kid isn’t excited about seeing a castle in person!?
Skaros Rock – Visit the most famous of Santorini’s fortresses while hiking between Fira to Oia. This offered protection from pirates back in medieval times.
Castle of Agios Nikolaos – This stunning sunset spot is found in Oia.
Fortified Tower of Niborio – Located in the village of Emporio, this square shaped tower was originally used by monks.
Castle in Pyrgos – Found in Pyrgos, the highest village on Santorini, you will get incredible panoramic views of the Aegean Sea.
Ancient Tower & Castle in Akrotiri – Built by the Venetians to defend Akrotiri from attacks, a few remains still stand today and can be seen when visiting Akrotiri.
Try Out Local Dishes
Trying out the local specialties is another exciting thing to do in Santorini. Some of the best local dishes include Fava (a kind of pea), Tomatokeftedes (fried tomato balls), and Vinsanto (an Italian dessert wine made from dried raisins).
Watch A Movie At The Open Air Cinema In Kamari
Kamari village in Santorini is known for its open-air cinema. The setting is beautiful, and the experience will be magical, especially if you or your kids haven’t been to an open-air cinema before.
Ditch The Crowds In Santorini’s Quiet Villages
These small villages will be a quiet respite for the whole family.
Exo Gonia: Enjoy the traditional character and delicious cuisine in Exo Gonia while taking in stunning views of the valley, sea, Kamari village, and Mesa Vouno Mountain.
Vothonas: Vothonas, built in the gorge, is known for its cave homes and unique architecture. It is the perfect place to wander! Adults can sample wine while children are offered juice. Additionally, you can stop at the Wine Museum in an underground cave to learn the history of winemaking in the region.
Pyrgos: One must visit is the hilltop village Pyrgos Kallistis, a hinterland village that will show you a truly authentic way of life. Home to boutiques, wine bars, tavernas, and the Castle of Pyrgos.
Kamari: This fishing village is home to the Sanctuary of Poseidon and the open-air cinema, along with hosting traditional live Greek music and the Kamari beach. This is definitely the most busy of the smaller villages.
Island Hop To The Other Volcanic Islands
Santorini was originally a much larger and round island before volcanic activity broke up the land. Five separate islands exist: Santorini, Therasia, Aspronisi, Palaia Kammeni, and Nea Kammeni. All the islands are worth a visit, and it’s fun to take a day exploring the volcanic islands as a family.
Therasia – home to about 300 locals, this is a great spot to grab food at local tavernas
Aspronisi – uninhabited
Palaia Kammeni – home to famous hot springs and mud baths, warmed by volcanic activity underground
Nea Kameni – known for hiking and the chance to climb up to the volcanic crater
Boats leaving from the Old Port of Fira visit these other islands regularly, so you can catch a ride or go with a relaxed catamaran or yacht tour.
Explore Ancient Thera
On the island, be sure to check out Ancient Thera, a Dorian settlement located on top of the Mesa Vouno Mountain, in the central portion of the island. This ancient town is developed on a terraced territory and features antique buildings such as the Sanctuary of Artemis and the impressive Agora.
To visit Ancient Thera, the location of Kamari is a great place to book accommodation. Check The Eco-friendly Boathouse Hotel is located right on the beach of Kamari and boasts an outdoor pool that kids really love!
Head Back In Time At Akrotiri
If you love history, you must take your kids to visit Akrotiri, a set of wonderfully preserved ruins. Here you’ll be able to look through a window of history. Kids will be fascinated when visiting a site destroyed by the eruption of the Santorini volcano.
The site was initially covered in volcanic ash after the colossal eruption, but that was a blessing because the ash preserved many of the buildings. For that reason, we can see them today in such fantastic condition.
Inside the site, it’s possible to observe the multi-storeyed houses with frescoes, the unique sewer system, stone streets (like the ones in the different settlements of modern Santorini), and endless storage vases and furniture.
If you’re worried about the weather, you don’t have to be here – there is a huge roof that protects you from the sun, rain, wind, and anything else the weather wants to throw at you.
Visit Santorini Museums
If you have kids who love digging deeper into history, culture, and archaeology, these are some cool museums in Santorini to check out:
FAMILY FRIENDLY MUSEUMS IN SANTORINI
Lignos Folklore Museum: Located in a cave house, this museum has workshops for shoemakers, tinsmiths, carpenters, and barrel makers.
Naval Maritime Museum: Kids can get up close to old maritime equipment, chests, and models of Thiran vessels.
Museum of Minerals & Fossils: Check out a large collection of plant fossils from the Caldera dating back 60,000 years ago.
Archaeological Museum of Fira: This is a great place to go after visiting the Archaeological Site of Akrotiri. It’s home to artifacts from the island dating back to the 3rd millennium BC.
Museum of Prehistoric Thira: Another great place to visit after seeing Akrotiri in person; this has objects found at the site and island geology information.
Tomato Industrial Museum: If you have gardeners, this is a fun museum where kids can learn the cultivation process and production of Santorini’s famous (and protected) small tomatoes.
Visit Atlantis Bookshop
Do your kids love to read? Head to Atlantis Bookshop in Oia found along the main marble street of town. The cool, calm, and unique atmosphere and the large selection of children’s books make this a top bookstore in the world.
Books in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Greek can be discovered here, with an incredible assortment of genres to choose from.
Rare and antique books are also available for purchase.
Take Teens On An Adventure
If traveling with teens, you have a few more options for thrilling activities. Some favorites of ours include:
Taking a catamaran trip, especially ones that include swimming and snorkeling time from the boat
Renting kayaks to explore the Caldera, the Akrotiri lighthouse, and hidden coves
Sunset horseback riding in Megalochori village, out along the Caldera cliff
Swim On Santorini’s Beaches
Some of the best family-friendly beaches in Santorini include the Perissa, Monolithos, and Kamari beaches. Locals also love to swim off the rocks below Oia.
Plan a fun day at the beach and grab lunch from one of the seafood restaurants at the base of the cliffs.
Below we’ve detailed all the family-friendly beaches you should consider!
Picnics at the beach can make Santorini holidays with kids exciting. And the good news is Santorini has many kid-friendly beaches. These include Monolithos Beach, Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, Caldera Beach, Perivolos Beach, etc.
Grab your sunscreen, beach towels, and beach toys for the kids and head off to any one of these fabulous beaches:
Perissa Beach is yet another kid-friendly beach in Santorini. You can take a water taxi from Perissa Beach to Kamari Beach. There is a bus stop and a water taxi stop towards the north end of the beach. The two beaches are separated by a hill called Mesa Vouno. You'll also find a wide range of restaurants and hotels here.
It's important to note that the black sand absorbs the heat, so you will want beach shoes for the whole family or plan to visit this beach in the morning before it's too hot.
Adjacent to Perssa is Perivolos Beach. This beach is a typical black sand beach, but it's ideal for those who want to enjoy their beach days in relative peace and quiet. It's close to the party area of the island, but it's far enough away to give you space.
The beach is very long, and several watersports are on offer, including jet skis. The plus point is that there aren't as many hotels backing this beach as it's so long, meaning you'll never feel crowded in.
Monolithos Beach has the most incredible-looking sand, perfect for making sandcastles. The water here is comparatively shallow, making it safe and kid-friendly. There are a few hotels and a play area for the kids nearby. It is mostly quiet here, so if you want to spend some time in peace, head to Monolithos beach.
You'll find lots of local families heading to this beach because the water is a little safer than some other beaches, without a steep drop into the water.
Red Beach is known for its stunning views. Just like its name, the sand here is red in color, making it one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini. But remember that the path to the beach is a little steep, so it is safer to click pictures from a distance.
This is also a great place to snorkel for teenagers.
Families will adore Kamari Beach, a relaxed spot with plenty to see and do within close proximity, including excellent eateries and shops. The beach is close to the airport, so kids will love watching the planes flying overhead.
Very close to the beach, you'll find lots of amusements, such as mini golf and playgrounds, but the beach itself is ideal for building sandcastles and swimming.
The beach is pebbly, so remember swimming shoes, and the water is crystal clear.
The huge, white cliffs and rocks behind this beach give it its name, and the contrast with the blue of the sea is delightful. This is a quiet beach; however, it's small, so if you want to visit, you're best to get there early and bag a spot. Access to the beach is by boat only, and some sun loungers are available to make your day more comfortable.
This is an excellent spot for younger children to swim and snorkel.
How To Travel Around Santorini Island With Kids
Getting around Santorini with kids is easiest on foot, by bus, or by car. You'll find many KTEL buses traveling from one town to another. If you want to take a car, remember to book in advance. If you have a baby on board, book a vehicle that has a baby car seat.
There are a lot of restaurants that do justice to Santorini's breathtaking views. Here are some of the best family restaurants in Santorini:
Located on the cliffside in a village called Imerovigli, the Mezzo restaurant offers jaw-dropping views of Santorini. The restaurant is famous for its Mediterranean dishes, such as grilled octopus, fisherman shrimp, and tuna tartar. The best time to dine here is either at noon for lunch or early in the evening.
Avocado is another family-friendly restaurant in Imerovigli. They are open from 12 pm to 12 am, so you can go for lunch or dinner. The menu ranges from traditional Greek dishes to various seafood, pasta, and vegetarian options. There are both indoor and outdoor dining options. You must cross the street as the restaurant is just off the Caldera to enjoy the view.
Fistikies is located near Kamari Beach. So after a fun day at the beach, you can go to Fistikies for lunch. The restaurant is popular for its traditional Mediterranean cuisine and the best quality wines and beers. They even have a kid's menu and a small playground for children.
Metaxy Mas is a beautiful restaurant situated in the depth of a hill in Pyrgos, a village less than two miles from Kamari. The easiest and cheapest way to get here is by bus.
The food is delicious, and you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the beach from this restaurant. Remember to book your seats in advance, as it can get pretty busy here.
Where To Stay In Santorini With Kids
There are only a few kid-friendly hotels in Santorini, so make sure you book in advance if you plan to spend Santorini holidays with kids. Although some of these hotels are pricey, they sure provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Read our expert list of the best family hotels in Santorini.
Rivari Santorini Hotel
Rivari Santorini Hotel is located on the main street in Kamari village. The famous Kamari Beach is just a 10-minute walk away. The hotel is built in a traditional architectural Cycladic style, with seven split-floor buildings. You can rent a car or motorcycle from the hotel to drive around the island.
Located in the heart of Oia, the Aethrio Sunset Village features Cycladic-style studios, suites, and rooms. Visitors love the roof terrace, from where you can enjoy the breathtaking sea and sun views. There are many shops, restaurants, and bars nearby the hotel.
Overlooking the beautiful Aegean Sea, the Splendour Resort is a 5-star resort located in the village of Firostefani. Amenities include a swimming pool, pool bar, restaurant, and free wifi. All rooms have a private balcony, a mini-fridge, and a satellite TV. The picturesque town of Fira is just a 15-minute walk from the resort.
This hotel is located 800 meters from the center of Oia (a 20-minute walk from Oia). The hotel overlooks the Aegean Sea and offers beautiful views of the Santorini sunset. You can rent a bike or car from the hotel. They can also organize island tours on request.
Built in traditional Cycladic architecture, Villa Voula in Perissa is yet another beautiful hotel to stay in when you're in Santorini with children. The famous black beach is just 150 meters away from the hotel. You will also have easy access to restaurants, bars, and shops.
How much do I need to budget for our family holiday in Santorini?
The budget for a family holiday in Santorini can vary depending on factors like accommodation, activities, and duration of stay. It’s recommended to plan and budget accordingly for your family’s specific needs.
What Santorini family holiday ideas do you recommend?
For family holidays in Santorini, consider exploring Oia village, enjoying beach time at Kamari or Perissa, and taking a boat tour to the volcanic islands.
Is Santorini for families a good idea?
Yes, Santorini can be a great destination for family holidays, offering beautiful views, kid-friendly activities, and a relaxed atmosphere.
What are the best family hotels in Santorini?
Some of the best family-friendly hotels in Santorini include Astarte Suites, Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, and Cavo Bianco.
Is Santorini with kids good in the summer?
Yes, Santorini is a popular summer destination for families, offering warm weather and a range of outdoor activities suitable for kids.
What are the best family destinations in Greece?
Greece has several family-friendly destinations, including Crete, Rhodes, Naxos, and Corfu, in addition to Santorini.
Could we do our family holidays to Santorini in October?
Yes, October can be a good time for family holidays in Santorini. The weather is still pleasant, and the crowds are usually smaller compared to the peak summer months.
What Santorini for kids tours are good?
There are various kid-friendly tours in Santorini, such as boat tours to the volcanic islands, a visit to the Santorini Water Park, and exploring the ancient ruins of Akrotiri.
Is a family holiday to Santorini suitable if we have a stroller?
Santorini’s terrain can be hilly and involve some steps, but many areas are stroller-friendly. It’s advisable to choose accommodations and activities with stroller accessibility in mind.
Now that you have all the information at hand to book a family holiday to Santorini, we hope you enjoy Santorini with your kids!