This family-focused trip features all that Greece has to offer, but with a kid-friendly twist. Start in the bustling capital of Athens where you'll take an interactive language class and tour the incredible Acropolis, followed by an archeological tour and beach day in Nafplio. End the trip on the island of Crete, where you'll visit beaches, enjoy guided tours of historic sites, and become archeologists and artists in a simulated excavation and a mosaic-making class.

Highlights

  • Learn the basic of the Greek Language at a class in the Children's Museum
  • Take an interactive excavation and mosaic-making workshop
  • Discover the mythological tales of Greece's gods and heroes with a story-teller
  • Relax on some of Greece's most famous beaches
  • Explore ancient sites and historical old towns in Athens, Heraklion, and Chania

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens - Explore Athens
Day 2 Enjoy a Greek Language Lesson at the Athens Children's Museum Athens
Day 3 Discover Greek Heroes on a Family Mythology Tour Athens
Day 4 Transfer to Nafplio - Explore the Acropolis of Mycenae Nafplio
Day 5 Enjoy a Family Beach Day Near Nafplio Nafplio
Day 6 Visit the Ruins of Nemea with a Storytelling Tour Nafplio
Day 7 Transfer to the Majestic City of Heraklion Heraklion
Day 8 Discover Heraklion's Archaeological History with a Private Tour Heraklion
Day 9 Transfer to Chania - Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of the City Chania
Day 10 Day Trip to the World-Famous Elafonissi Beach Chania
Day 11 Join a Family Excavation and Mosaic Workshop in Crete Chania
Day 12 Depart Greece via Athens  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens - Explore

Monastiraki Square and Sunset over Plaka
Monastiraki Square and Sunset over Plaka

Welcome to  Greece!

Upon arriving in Athens, you'll settle into your accommodation and enjoy the city famous for its mythology. You'll discover its towering temples, classical deities, the iconic Acropolis, and the ruins of ancient market places, all in contrast to the vibrant nightlife, bustling flea markets, and contemporary cuisine.

Suggested activities include:

  • Visit the Parthenon temple, which sits proudly atop the Acropolis rock. This temple has enchanted visitors and locals alike since its construction centuries ago in 438 BCE. Although it's visible from many parts of the city, it's worth visiting these ancient ruins up close.

  • Discover one of the world's first meteorological sites, the Tower of the Winds. Afterward, you can stroll down the neighboring Aeolou Street, which is home to an array of charming local shops and cafés. Try to keep some extra space in your suitcase in case you decide to buy something at one of the busy stalls of the Monastiraki flea market.

  • Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets of Plaka—one of Athen's oldest neighborhoods—where you'll find iconic two-story Athenian houses and charming antique shops. The district is tucked under the Acropolis hill and has a lovely, vibrant atmosphere.

In the evening, your hosts will recommend the best places to enjoy original Greek food. The country's cuisine has evolved over the centuries through a rare blend of Eastern and Western influences, all prepared while using local and seasonal ingredients.

Day 2: Enjoy a Greek Language Lesson at the Athens Children's Museum

Kids Love the Street Performances in Athens
Kids Love the Street Performances in Athens

An ideal way to start your family trip to Greece is to get acquainted with the language through a fun, 2-hour long interactive lesson. After breakfast at your hotel, stroll through the beautiful city of Athens, admiring its unique blend of the ancient and the modern. A little before noon, head to the Children's Museum located in the city center where you'll enjoy a very special experience with your family.

Using the Hellenic Children’s Museum’s interactive exhibits, the specialized personnel will help your family grasp the basics of communication in the Greek language, using a fun, interactive lesson that will fully capture your attention.

The experience is designed specifically for children from 4-12 years of age, and incorporates teaching techniques that maintain the children's focus and interest. The environment is encouraging, engaging, and filled with positive energy. Your kids will love learning how to say "hello", "goodbye", "thank you", and other fun words and phrases. Use your newly-acquired knowledge throughout your trip!

After your class, you can spend more time at the museum, discovering the free children's activities and the kid-friendly cafe for lunch. When you're ready to move on, head back to the city center to explore the beautiful National Gardens and to watch the changing of the Presidential Guard, which occurs every hour on the hour.

Head back to your hotel for a little relaxation (and maybe a nap for the little ones). Once rested, return to Athen's most historical neighborhood, Plaka, where you'll find plenty of family-friendly eateries serving delicious Greek cuisine, as well as entertaining street performers.

Day 3: Discover Greek Heroes on a Family Mythology Tour

Views of Acropolis Hill in Athens
Views of Acropolis Hill in Athens

Enjoy an early breakfast before meeting your guide in the city center. Today's tour is specifically tailored for families, exploring the mysteries and histories of Greek mythology with a unique tour that exposes the truths behind the universal myths.

The tour includes all of the best landmarks and sites in Athens: The Acropolis (Parthenon, Theater of Dionysus, Temple of Athena Nike, Temple of Erechtheion, Sanctuary of Asclepius), and the Ancient Agora, where democracy was born. Along the way, you'll hear stories about Greek gods and heroes in a fun and engaging way. 

At the end of the tour, you and your kids can participate in a fun activity that'll take you inside the ancient Agora. If your family is interested in more history, stop at the Acropolis Museum to admire the Parthenon Gallery, which hosts objects and artifacts of every-day life in ancient Athens. Note that the museum cafe is an ideal lunch spot with a great view of the Acropolis.

After a busy morning, head back into the old town to watch street performers, eat ice cream, or simply relax at your hotel. For dinner, enjoy another buzzy restaurant in the historic district of Athens.

Day 4: Transfer to Nafplio - Explore the Acropolis of Mycenae

Aerial View of Nafplio and its Bustling Port
Aerial View of Nafplio and its Bustling Port

Today you'll trade the bustling capital of Athens for the charming seaside city of Nafplio. Along the way, you'll stop to explore the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of the surrounding region, including the area of Peloponnese and the impressive Corinth Canal, built around 1890 to increase ship routes. 

You'll also visit the impressive Acropolis of Mycenae, built before 1100 BCE, which you might recognize from the references in Homer's Iliad. It was Mycenae's King Agamemnon who led the Greek armies to the war of Troy on behalf of his brother Menelaos, in order to bring back his beautiful wife Helen.

Step through the Lion Gate to see the ruins of the Palace, the castle, and the famous Tholos tombs, which includes the tomb of King Agamemnon. Spend some time in the museum to marvel at the artifacts revealing this amazing civilization's every-day life, including cultivating olives and extracting olive oil.

Afterward, continue to the historical district of Nafplio, one of the most beautiful towns and the first capital of modern Greece. Settle into your accommodation and set out to enjoy the city.

Nafplio is a masterpiece of Venetian, Ottoman, and Greek architecture. As you walk down the cobblestone streets, you can admire the seafront, the incredible architecture, the buzzy squares, and all the different statues depicting figures from the city's rich history. The city is set underneath the imposing Palamidi Castle and features the fort of Bourgi on a small island right in the middle of the harbor.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly dinner spots near the port, where you can watch the boats come and go.

Day 5: Enjoy a Family Beach Day Near Nafplio

One of the Many Beaches Near Nafplio
One of the Many Beaches Near Nafplio

No trip to Greece is complete without a designated beach day. With some of the best beaches in the world, Greece has options for every taste. There are plenty of beaches near Nafplio town, including the following:

  • Arvanitia: If you stay in the old town, you can easily get to Arvanitia by foot. Although it's small, it's a favorite amongst locals and offers incredible views of the famous Palamidi and Acronafplia Castles.

  • Karathona: Another local favorite, this beach is a great option if you want to totally de-stress. It's a bit more remote, with a crescent shape that offers shallow water and an exotic turquoise hue.

  • Tolo: Due to its long list of amenities, such as bars, restaurants, sunbeds, and water sports, Tolo is an ideal beach for families. It's also fairly long, so although you'll have everything you need, you can still get some quiet space to yourself. 

  • Kastraki: This smaller, quiet beach near Tolo is a great place to relax. It's set in a more rugged cove, creating calm and shallow water. 

  • Plaka: Just about a half-mile (700 m) from the village of Drepanon, Plaka Beach is easily accessible by car, bicycle, or even on foot. It's a bit busier than some of the others, but the sand is soft and fluffy.

In the early evening, wander around the historic center of Nafplio, enjoying views of the majestic Bourtzi Castle. This fortified castle is considered a landmark for the city, set at the entrance of Nafplio Bay, making it accessible only by boat. Enjoy dinner in the center or near the port.

Day 6: Visit the Ruins of Nemea with a Storytelling Tour

Ancient Temple in Nemea
Ancient Temple in Nemea

In the morning, you'll have free time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and stroll about the town of Nafplio. You can also arrange a transfer to a beach for a morning of swimming, snorkeling, or even sea-kayaking.

After lunch, you'll start your adventure to the archaeological site of Nemea where Hercules famously killed the lion. You'll learn all about the ancient myths surrounding Greece's gods and heroes, all told by a dedicated story-teller and writer who will lead your family through this fascinating tour.

You'll engage in interactive sessions and debate variations of the details of myths in a magical setting of ancient temple ruins. During the tour, you'll enjoy an organic picnic featuring locally-sourced and traditional Greek food. Return to Nafplio in the evening, just in time to grab a fresh seafood dinner.

Day 7: Transfer to the Majestic City of Heraklion

Heraklion's Harbor Lights at Dusk
Heraklion's Harbor Lights at Dusk

After breakfast, you'll start your journey to the beautiful island of Crete, Greece's largest and most populous island. You'll venture by either boat or plane, arriving in the incredible port city of Heraklion. 

Once settled into your accommodation, head out into the city to enjoy its outstanding sites. These include the famous fortification walls that guard the “old city”. The first fortifications were built by the Arabs, and later reinforced by the Venetians in the 15th century. From the seven original bastions along the walls, only the Martinengo bastion survives to this day. Here, you'll find the tomb of the renowned writer Nikos Kazantzakis overlooking the city.

From the original gates to the city, only the New Gate and Chanioporta Gate, with the characteristic winged Lion of Saint Marc, still survive today.

Next, head to the market of Heraklion, one of the richest in the Mediterranean. You'll find all sorts of modern products, as well as traditional Cretan products, like the famous Cretan olive oil, raki, local wine, honey, herbs, and more. Grab dinner at the market or along the port.

Day 8: Discover Heraklion's Archaeological History with a Private Tour

Ruins of the Palaces in Heraklion
Ruins of the Palaces in Heraklion

Enjoy breakfast at your accommodation, then get ready to explore all that Heraklion has to offer with your own private guide. You'll start with a visit to Knossos, the largest and most famous of the Minoan Palaces, the residence of the mythical King Minos and the monster Minotaur. It's a multi-acre complex of royal apartments, elaborate staircases, and storage areas, plus the first European theater and a room featuring an original Bronze-Age throne. Enjoy gazing at the many replicas of frescoes that grace the palace.

Next you'll discover the cradle of the Minoan civilization. This evocative Bronze-Age site is believed to be Europe's oldest city. Learn about its history and mythology, including the story about the labyrinth, the mythical Minotaur, and the trick Theseus used to kill the beast with the help of Ariadne.

End your morning with a walking tour of Heraklion itself. Crete's largest city abounds with buildings, monuments, and churches that mark its centuries-old history, among them being the Morozini Fountain, the Venetian Loggia, St. Titus Church, and much more.

After lunch, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, one of the greatest museums in the world. It hosts the unique Minoan art. Then head back to your hotel for a little rest after such a busy day. Emerge in the evening for peaceful strolls along Heraklion's harbor and a delicious Cretan meal.

Day 9: Transfer to Chania - Enjoy a Guided Walking Tour of the City

Discover the Secrets of Chania's Streets
Discover the Secrets of Chania's Streets

It's time to move west to Crete's other main port city, Chania, which is one of the most scenic spots on the island. Life in this former Venetian city revolves around its charming 14th-century harbor, narrow streets with winding alleys, and colorful architecture influenced by past Ottoman and Egyptian eras.

After settling into your accommodation, take some time to explore the city with a guided tour. You'll visit the neighborhoods of Topanas, Splantzia, Kolombo, and Kasteli, all popular spots to admire the panoramic view of the harbor, the traditional Cretan taverns, and the magnificent buildings. You'll also see the ruins of the great Minoan city of Kydonia and high walls of former Venetian moats now integrated into the city.

Once you've worked up an appetite, visit the Municipal Market of Chania and neighboring Municipal Garden to enjoy a coffee and lunch amid the shade of the trees. Meander to the amazing Botanical Gardens and Park of Crete to enjoy Cretan nature at its finest. The special micro-climate formed at this specific area allows plants from three different climate zones to grow: alpine, Mediterranean, and tropical. You'll enjoy searching for gorgeous flora, settling into the Park's cafe for some authentic Cretan gastronomy for dinner.

Day 10: Day Trip to the World-Famous Elafonissi Beach

The Incredible Beauty of Elafonissi Beach
The Incredible Beauty of Elafonissi Beach

No visit to Crete is complete without a stop at the world-famous Elafonissi beach, set in the southwestern part of the island. It's one of the most beautiful and beloved beaches in Greece, featuring shallow water and a small island so close to the beach that you can walk there from the shore. To top it off, the crystal-clear, turquoise waters in combination with the white-and-coral-hued sand create a landscape of unparalleled beauty. A day at Elafonissi is certainly a memory your family will treasure forever.

A private driver will transfer you to the beach via a very scenic route. You'll drive through small, traditional villages and cross the Topolian Gorge before stopping at the cave of Agia Sofia. The cave features incredible stalactites, stalagmites, and a small chapel at its entrance.

Upon arriving in Elafonissi, you're free to relax on the beach and enjoy the lovely scenery surrounding you. You'll stay here for about 3-4 hours.

On your way back you'll make a stop at the village Elos, where you get the chance to dine at a traditional tavern and try Cretan dishes.

Day 11: Join a Family Excavation and Mosaic Workshop in Crete

The Gorgeous Venetian Streets of Chania
The Gorgeous Venetian Streets of Chania

On the final full day of your trip, enjoy unforgettable experiences on Crete. In the morning, opt for a leisurely morning strolling the town of Chania, a transfer to the amazing olive groves of Western Crete, or another beach adventure swimming and snorkeling.

In the afternoon, your private driver will transfer you to an archeological site on the northern coast of Crete. Here you'll engage in an excavation simulation and participate in a mosaic workshop, taking home your creations.

You'll start with a dig into a Minoan house. Using a combination of Minoan artifacts and fossils buried in the sand, you'll reconstruct history and learn about excavation techniques. Afterward, learn about the history of mosaic art in Crete and make your own masterpiece. Together with a guide, you'll pick a picture, set your surface work, cut the stones, and lay out your creation. 

In the evening, you'll return to Chania in time to stroll its harbor, enjoy one last sunset in Greece, and devour a delicious dinner with your family.

Day 12: Depart Greece via Athens

Aerial View of Athens
Aerial View of Athens

Sadly, it' s time to say goodbye to Greece. A private driver will transfer you to the airport where you'll catch a flight back to Athens. From there, you can enjoy some more time in the city on your own, or catch a connecting flight home.