Planning a family trip this summer? Local travel specialists from Slovenia, Iceland, and Greece share their favorite kid-friendly activities, family travel tips, and more.

Family Travel in Slovenia

Canyoneering in the Soca Valley (Photo courtesy of kimkim traveler Andrew Szalay)

Specialist: Miha Gantar
Based In: Ljubljana, Slovenia

What makes Slovenia a great choice for a family vacation this summer?
Slovenia is a great choice for a family vacation because of its convenience. In just a few days, you can explore most of the country, travel through different regions, and even experience different climates in one of the greenest and cleanest places in Europe. Most people in Slovenia speak English, so it's really easy to get around, and Slovenia is also one of the safest countries on the planet. 

What are a few unique experiences or trips that you recommend for families?
All nature-loving families should consider Slovenia for a summer trip. Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj at the foothills of the Julian Alps are amazing for kids of all ages—they are warm enough for swimming from June through September, and from March until October you can kayak, canoe, and hike or bike the nearby canyons.

Families can also spend a few days in Bovec, the center of Slovenian adventure activities. Go snorkeling, zip-lining, or whitewater rafting on rapids suitable for all levels. There are also beautiful hiking and biking trails next to the Soca River that will take your breath away—and if you're interested in fly fishing, the Soca Valley is the place to do it.

You can also get in touch with local people & culture by visiting a beekeeper or cheese maker. Regarding accommodation: have you tried glamping? Sleep in a tree-house!

What should families keep in mind while planning a trip to Slovenia?
Slovenia is a member of EU and uses the Euro. The main season starts in late June and ends in September. Since Slovenia is becoming a popular destination, its best to book your trip in advance and consider staying at least a week. It's also good to know that Venice, Itlay is only 2 hours away, and sometimes offers good flight connections.

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Family Travel in Iceland

Wild East Iceland (Photo courtesy of kimkim traveler Alexandra Lonergan)

Specialist: Sveindís Sveinsdottir & Caroline Bjarnason
Based In: Reykjavik, Iceland

What makes Iceland a great choice for a family vacation this summer?
With its unspoiled environment, Iceland is a spectacular destination that can help children develop a love of travel and adventure. Iceland offers a lot of child-friendly outdoor activities including horseback riding, kayaking, touring geysers and waterfalls, whale watching, glacier hiking, and more. There are often discounted rates for children on tours and some accommodations.

Iceland is conveniently located between North America and Europe. The average flight time from New York or Boston to Reykjavik is between five and six hours, and it's just a 2.5-hour hop from London—making Iceland the perfect stopover destination between Europe and North America. And you don't need to know the language; in Iceland, almost everybody speaks English.

What are a few unique experiences or trips that you recommend for families?
Whether your family has a passion for geography or curiosity for the weird and wonderful,  you'll find that Iceland is nature's ultimate playground—and classroom. Search for whales and the Northern Lights, track down trolls, soak in a geothermal pool, and walk across a lava flow all in the space of a few days.

Specialists: Halldor Bjarkason & Preeti Bhide
Based In: Isafjordur, Iceland 

What are a few unique experiences or trips that you recommend for families?
Depending on the age of the kids, you can explore the rift between the tectonic plates, discover the fascinating rock formations everywhere, kayak amidst icebergs, and visit a volcano or lava cave. Children also enjoy getting close to wildlife—cute puffins, finding seals on the beach, and meeting the arctic fox, to name a few. Hiking trails in Iceland are also unique, in the sense that the trails are largely unmarked and often you will be completely by yourselves in the midst of nature with unforgettable views (guided hikes are available, too!).

What should families keep in mind while planning a trip to Iceland?
Iceland is incredibly child-friendly, with lots of playgrounds, swimming pools, kid-friendly menus, and child discounts. It’s also very safe, especially in the countryside. The temperatures also surprise people, as the name "Iceland" conjures up unbearable cold—in reality, summers are beautiful, and even winter temperatures are manageable, hovering in the low 30s Fahrenheit. 

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Family Travel in Greece

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride on Crete

Specialist: Tasos Mylonas
Based In: Athens, Greece

What makes Greece a great choice for a family vacation this summer?
Greece offers a unique combination of beautiful beaches and landscapes, medieval castles and mythical places, and quiet family-friendly villages. All of these blend into each other in a very special way: ancient temples next to the sea, medieval castles next to modern towns and villages, and local hospitality throughout. Getting in touch with the culture, stories, and cuisine of Greece is the perfect way to make lasting family memories.

What are a few unique experiences or trips that you recommend for families?
Visit renowned sites like the Acropolis through a family-friendly guided mythology tour. Kids can also experience Greek mythology through comics workshops or mythology oriented games in the park. Or, try a family cooking activity with freshly-picked local organic ingredients: learn about the Mediterranean diet and the use of olive oil, follow traditional recipes, prepare a meal together, and enjoy it as a picnic.

Active families have probably seen pictures of crystal clear waters and pink sand beaches, but did you know about the mountains? Hiking in Greece means a changing landscape at every turn, like ancient monuments and cliffside monasteries. And check out the outdoor events that take place throughout the country during summer months—they can take the form of panygiri (music and dancing), open-air markets, historical reenactments with fireworks, concerts, and open-air theater.

What should families keep in mind while planning a trip to Greece?
Consider sticking to mainland Greece, which offers thousands of miles of coastline, amazing beaches, and cute towns. For families especially, this is a less crowded and more cost-effective alternative to traditional island-hopping. You might also want to rent a car and head inland—you can visit stone-built mountain villages, trek along wild rivers, and swim at the base of waterfalls.

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