Santorini is the most popular destination in Greece and one of the most iconic in the world. The famous caldera, cave houses and sunset views are highly sought after for a reason but how do you traverse this high, rocky island with a family and make the most of visiting Santorini with kids?
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When to visit Santorini
The best times to visit Santorini are April-June and September-October. The weather is mild and the crowds are lower than in high summer ( July & August).
The high season is late June to early September, and prices will reflect that as will the crowds, the number of cruise ships and accommodation availability.
Easter is a wonderful time to visit Santorini as it becomes very festive with church services, parades, parties, and magical lanterns lit up all over the island, especially in the town of Pyrgos.
Santorini is a bucket list destination for most people and for good reason.
Despite the cruise ships and the crowds, it remains one of those places that not only meets your expectations but probably exceeds it. The views truly are the stuff of legends and it is little wonder it is so popular with honeymooners.
It can get a bit crazy when the cruise ships come in each day so a room with a pool and terrace makes for a great escape for an afternoon siesta and sundowners. When you re-emerge for dinner most of the tourists will have floated away!
Visiting Santorini with kids however does have its challenges. There are a lot of stairs, its can be very hot in summer, the traffic can be crazy and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of kids to do. Or is there?
Quick tips for enjoying Santorini with kids:
- Research your accommodation thoroughly and book early.
- If visiting in Summer don’t go out in the middle of the day
- Stay on the Eastern side if you are budget conscious
- Don’t forget to book booster seats or restraints for hire cars and transfers
- Leave the stroller at home – cobblestone streets and uneven surfaces make them more work than worth it
- If your kids are school age get them into Percy Jackson books about Greek Mythology and adventures ( especially great for Athens)
- Don’t overschedule your calendar. The happiest families have lots of downtime and enjoy just soaking it all up.
How to get to Santorini
You can travel from Athens to Santorini by ferry or by plane. Return to Athens from Meteora either on your overnight tour, by driving or by train.
There are also many ferries each day, year round.
Most service either the Western or Eastern Cyclades Islands and on to Athens whilst some come from Crete. Book ferry tickets HERE.
NEED TRANSport FOR Santorini?
Book Ferry tickets HERE
Book Hire Car HERE
Book Airport Shuttle Bus HERE
Book Private Airport Pickup HERE
where to stay in Santorini with kids
It’s important to choose your accommodation in Santorini carefully. As one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world children are not so welcome in some hotels and in fact there are a number that are strictly Adults Only.
On top of that many cave hotels and Airbnbs are simply not safe for small children with low or no balustrade or perimeter walls and often many, many stairs. Places with pools also do not have pool fencing.
We also recommend Compass Villa in Oia which can sleep 6 people in a 2 traditional bedroom villa, plus there is an outdoor hot tub on the terrace which has a solid brick balustrade around it.
Katharos Pool Villas are also worth a look. These are up behind Oia on flat land and each villa has its own heated pool. The Villas can sleep 4/5 ( with 2 sofa beds) and there are 2 bathrooms!
Many families like to stay by the beach at Perissa or Kamari. This means they not only have easy access to the water and beach for swimming and play but the prices are much cheaper here than on the other side of the island on the Caldera.
Crystal Blue in Kamari is great or Damma Luxury Villas have a wonderful 4 bedroom beachfront villa that can sleep 8. Santorini Loft is also perfect for families that want 3 bedrooms, each with a big king-size bed, 3 bathrooms and only a short distance to both the beach and the airport.
Where to eat in Santorini with kids
Breakfast: this will likely be included in your hotel tariff. Otherwise, Our Corner in Fira and La Scala on Oia are great choices. There are also great bakeries across the island that sell wonderful meals and snacks like pies, cakes and many other delicious things.
Lunch: Lefkes Taverna in Oia is hard to beat for food or service. It often books out well in advance. Some of the Wineries such as Santos are great for lunch but be sure to book head there too. Other spots we love are Aeolos Taverna in Akrotiri or Akro Beach Bar at Black Beach.
Dinner: Santorini Mou in Oia or Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna in Ammoudi Bay are wonderful. Katina’s in Ammoundi Bay is also very child friendly.
Melitini, Thalami and Pelekanos are all great for traditional meals and all wineries are family friendly. Sigalas Winery seems to get especially strong recommendations in that regard.
Gelato: What kid doesn’t love ice-cream? Big adult kids too! If you are in Thira then Solo Gelato is the place to go. Sweet Cone and Zotos are also great. In Oia head to Lolita’s Gelato and in Kamari Angelato Santorini does amazing gelato in waffle cones.
Things to do in Santorini with kids
- do The Lost Atlantis 9D Experience – the #1 activity for kids on Santorini!
- explore the maze of streets in Oia including Panagia Platsani Church
- also explore the authentic villages of Emporio and Pyrgos. Kids love exploring the maze of alleyways.
- visit famous Atlantis Books for a unique bookshop experience
- walk down to Oia Castle or Skaros Rock ( these are short hikes but will require good supervision)
- a half day tour of the island
- watch a movie at the open-air cinema in Kamari
- go horseriding on the beach
- learn to paddleboard and do some snorkeling
- swim at Black Beach, Red Beach and Kamari Beaches
- do a sunset fishing trip with dinner and drinks
- attend a ‘traditional’ Greek wedding! The kids can dance and sing along.
- have a professional photographic session done – have your family memories captured forever