Walk, climb, ride, dive, eat, beach, shop and follow in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks, there is so much to do in Crete, making it an idyllic destination for families. We were hard pressed to pick 5 things to do on such a big island, but there is something unforgettable for all families to dip their toe into here (and wine for the grown ups at the end of the day). You will be guaranteed some very special memories. James Villas asked us to find the best of Crete, so once you’ve picked your activities, do check out their amazing villas in Crete, located all across the island.
1. Hit the Blue Flag Beaches
There are endless Blue Flag, beautiful sand and coloured pebble beaches bordering Crete’s coastline with great family friendly facilities like lifeguards, sun umbrellas and waterfront tavernas to indulge in all those amazing Greek treats. Or maybe you fancy escaping to a more secluded cove with a picnic?
2. Visit Theseus’s Labyrinth
Any child (and grown up) who has studied the Greeks at school is going to love a visit to King Minas’ Palace at Knossos to see where Theseus made his way through the labyrinth to slay the legendary half-man, half-bull monster – The Minotaur. If they haven’t encountered the ancient Greeks yet – my son is tackling it in Year 4 – make space on your phone or in your case for audio books or children’s book versions of Greek Myths.
2. Tackle Samaria Gorge
Go hiking and take in the breathtaking scenery at Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe packed full of stunning scenery and nature. It’s a long and challenging day’s walk, advertised at 4-6 hours, so not suitable for younger kids and only for those who are fit and used to walking, but well worth the effort. You can take organised tours which start early in the day to avoid the heat, with kids this is definitely one to tackle in cooler months. If your kids aren’t ready to walk the gorge and you have a hire car, consider driving to the plain of Omalos to see the spectacular entrance to the gorge instead as suggested by Kids Love Greece.
4. Dinosauria Park
More than 50 species of dinosaurs of natural height, combined with sound and motion, you can watch the nursing and birth of a dinosaur in the one of a kind dinosaur hospital, there are 5D and 7D Cinemas, a playground and shop.
Dinosauria Park 10 Euros for adults, 8 Euros for kids 4-12
5. Wine o’ Clock?
Every parent needs to let their hair down a little on holiday. Join in the celebrations at the Rethymno Wine Festival in late July and witness spectacular Greek dancing and free-flowing wine. Just drink responsibly please folks, hangovers and family holidays don’t mix so well. We love the look of this pretty Sicilian style harbour too (pictured top), so you’re going to want to stay for dinner too.