Greece is a favourite holiday destination for families in the UK and Ireland thanks to its stunning beaches, scenery and delicious food. There are plenty of activities for the whole family and older babies and toddlers will love playing on the beach and paddling in the warm Mediterranean and Aegean waters. If you are taking a baby or toddler, it might be worth booking a trip outside of the peak season, in May, June, September or October when the resorts will be quieter and prices lower. You can fly to Athens or directly to the islands from the UK and Ireland and there are buses which connect the main tourist areas on the islands and trains run on the mainland. The best way to see the country is to rent a car and you could also island hop using the many ferries that connect between the islands. Crete and Corfu are Greece’s most popular islands and Corfu is breathtakingly beautiful. Other favorites which are baby and toddler friendly include Kos and Rhodes.
The Sani Resort, Halkidiki, Mainland Greece (5 Star)
The Sani Resort overlooks Mount Olympus and is located on the Kassandra Peninsula on mainland Greece, near to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city. The resort offers suites which have a terrace balcony or their own private garden, a lagoon pool, an indoor pool, kids pool, a wide choice of restaurants, a spa, fitness studio and a fantastic 7 km pine fringed beach. The hotel has won a ‘Travellers Choice Award’ and Vogue describes it as Greece’s Monaco.
For kids – The resort can also provide kids food, baby food and cots on request. It also offers a creche (for babies and toddlers aged between 4 months and 3 years) and a mini kids club (for kids aged 4-11 years) run to UK Ofsted standards. The hotel also offers ‘Babe Watch’, a facility where a professional child minder plays with your child on the beach while you swim or sunbathe. There are also professional childminders available in the evenings.
Porto Elounda, Crete (Boutique Hotel)
The Porto Elounda Hotel overlooks the Bay of Mirabello and is ideal for younger children. The rooms are small but there are suites and interconnecting rooms available.There are also private 2 or 3 bedroom villas available with private pool, ideal for a family holiday. The hotel also has a a number of restaurants with kids menus, baby food and high chairs, a private beach, spa and golf course.
For kids – The hotel offers the Children’s Ark Kids Club (creche) which has an indoor and outdoor games area, shallow pools and vegetable garden. It costs €30 for half a day for kids aged between 6 months and 4 years. Over 5s are free. The creche opens 6 days a week (10 am – 6 pm) but is closed on Sundays.
Skiathos Princess Hotel, Skiathos Island (5 Star)
The Skiathos Princess is located on a long sandy beach and surrounded by hills which are covered by pine trees. this is a family hotel with lots of personal touches and there are a number of interconnecting rooms and family rooms available including ground floor rooms with private gardens. The hotel offers yoga classes and packages, spa and fitness club.
For kids – The hotel has an indoor playroom and outdoor adventure garden and children’s menus in all restaurants. There is a kids club run to Ofsted standards and babies and toddler from 6 months can attend for €30 per session and over 4’s are free. Evening babysitting services can also be arranged.
(Please note that Skiathos is an island in the Northwest Aegean sea and to fly there you will need to make 1 stop. The easiest option is to book a flight via Athens)
Daios Cove, Crete (5 Star)
The Daios Cove is a 5 star luxury hotel, set on a beautiful, private cove. It offers rooms, suites and one or two bedroom villas. There are a number of restaurants and bars offering high chairs, child friendly menus and baby food. The hotel also has an indoor and outdoor pool, yoga classes and a spa. You can also take a boat trip to the nearby Spinalonga island which has a large fortress.
For kids – There is a kids pool and outdoor playground in the hotel and a kids club which is run by an independent UK company which costs €22 – €33 per session for babies and toddlers and over 4’s go free. The hotel also offers 24 hour medical care.
Elies Hotel, Kardamili, Main Land Greece
For something a bit different, Elies Hotel has 10 stone houses by a communal beach. The guest house is 1 km away from the town of Kardamili. Each residence has a kitchenette, air conditioning and wifi. The hotel has plenty of kids equipment and there stunning views of olive groves and donkeys in the field outside. The hotel is a 45 minute drive from Kalamata and a 4 hour drive from Athens.
For kids – The hotel is ideal for toddlers and offers plenty of space to run around. The beach is a stone’s throw from the hotel and the water is perfect for paddling in. Cots and babysitting services are available on request. There is an extra charge for babysitting services. If you want to use a baby monitor while dining in their restaurant, you can ask for one of the cottages closest to it. However, you will need to bring your own monitor.There are some steps and balconies; if you’re concerned, request a 1-storey villa. Be sure to bring all your food, formula and nappies with you as you won’t find a big supermarket nearby.
(Please note that there is no pool in this hotel but it is close to the beach)