Traveling to Greece with Children

We’ve just returned from Greece. Jetlag, the unwanted traveling companion, is messing with us, and while it is so good to be home, we are all missing pieces of our travels. Lavish hotel breakfast spreads with olives, cucumbers, and chocolate croissants (a combo that more than works). 20,000 + steps a day. Little corner shops. The ancient world there and there and over there. Uninterrupted family time. Statues of Poseidon, Zeus, and Athena around every turn. A tour guide named Stella.

Can I just keep listing? The Aegean Sea, little winding roads, friendly folks, gelato stands, a new language, delicious food, a warm climate. There was so much to see and do. Two weeks and truly, we were just getting started.

Greece was the perfect beginning to our family’s overseas travels.

 Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

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If you are thinking about traveling to Greece with your family here are some of the things we loved and a few things you might find helpful.

Traveling to Greece with Children

Before You Go

      1. Read Greek Mythology– My children and I started reading Greek Mythology several months before we traveled to Greece. I attribute their sincere interest in so many of the places we visited to Percy Jackson and the other books and movies we used. 
      2. Make sure you get your passports with plenty of time to spare. It took us longer to fill out the forms for our passports than it did for them to arrive, but it could take a couple months depending on the season you purchase them. They aren’t cheap- $80+ for children $110 for teens. You’ll need to send in your child’s original birth certificate.
      3. You do not need any additional vaccines to travel to Greece.
      4. Greece uses the Euro. Their ATMs give the best rate, though like much of Europe it is steep. Make sure you inform your bank that you’ll be traveling. You can also use a debit or credit card with a pin.
      5. Most people speak English though clearly appreciate any attempts at speaking Greek. Our son took a Greek Outschool class (highly recommend). You can also use apps like Mango and Duolingo.

Places to See

Our family traveled in January from Athens-Delphi-Kalambaka-Noussa-Vergina-Thessaloniki-Athens. We also visited the island of Aegina. While you won’t get the beach experience in January, prices are considerably lower, the weather is mild, and there are very few tourists.

Our Family’s favorite places-

 

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

The Acropolis, Athens- The Parthenon, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Erechtheion with an important olive tree, the view, and the Theater of Dionysos were loved.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

The Acropolis Museum, Athens- Many of the original pieces from the Acropolis are held here. It’s a beautiful museum with lots to see. The Lego exhibit was a huge hit.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

The Ancient Athens Agora (public space for gatherings and markets) is a beautiful place to explore. You’ll find the Temple of Hephaestus.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

We also enjoyed walking around the Plaka. The winding streets are filled with smalls shops and restaurants. We highly recommend eating at Mikro Politiko and Arcadia.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

We took a day trip to Aegina It is a short (45 min) ferry ride from Athens. We visited the Temple of Aphaia, little shops, the sea, saw gorgeous views, and ate pistachio everything. We all wish we had more time here.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

The Sanctuary of Delphi– Probably my family’s favorite place, we loved learning about the Oracle of Delphi, the Naval of the World, stray cats, climbing up to the Gymnasium and stadium, and the view. Oh, the view!

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

Thessaloniki- We loved walking along the sea and enjoyed the many fun coffee shops and restaurants around Aristotelous Square, the open markets, and a pirate ship.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

The Meteora Monasteries were one of my favorite places. Perched on top of giant rock formations, from the 14th-16th centuries, it took monks years to carry the building supplies up to the peaks using only ropes, folding ladders, and baskets.

Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.Mount Olympus- a place my children couldn’t wait to see, it is the highest mountain in Greece and home to many in Greek mythology.

Sightseeing Tips

  1. Kids under 12 get into museums and ancient sites for free. There was an entrance fee for adults everywhere we went. Bring small bills and change.
  2. Most everyone we saw was part of a tour or had a guide. This may have been because of the season (winter). Most places had brochures and signs in a couple different languages.
  3. Because many of the artifacts in the museums are quite large, they are not under or behind glass. Museum docents are everywhere, as are alarms if you get too close. My kids learned quickly to keep their distance. (Took a while longer for some of the adult tourists 🙂
  4. If you have climbers like I do, watch for signs that say no climbing, unless you’d like to have loud whistles blown at you. Ruins look like a giant playground. (Funny enough, it was again adult tourists who had the hardest time following this rule).
  5. Like Usborne? Almost all of the museum gift shops had Usborne books. Read them before you go.
  6. Games always save the day! If you’re part of a group or tour, while interesting, they can be longer than a child’s attention span. I found games like I SPY, Guess that Statue, and See How Many Athenas You Can Find made the museums a lot more enjoyable for all of us. Usborne’s Travel Game Pad also saved us more than once.

Food

If your family is like mine, finding food your kids will eat and enjoy isn’t always easy. My children tried a lot of new foods. They liked some and weren’t crazy about others. We ate at a lot of traditional Greek restaurants and enjoyed finding a few places that reminded us of home.

  1. Greek Food- A Meze table is common. Small plates that are shared are brought out one at a time. The entire experience takes a couple of hours. Sometimes they include live music and dancing. Our meals almost always consisted of warm bread, a Greek Salad (my favorite), Kolokythokeftedes (Friend Zucchini Balls- also my fav), Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt Dip), Tiropites (Phyllo cheese triangles), Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)Dolmathakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves), Keftethes (Greek Meatballs- my kids favorite) and Baklava. Sometimes a main dish of either chicken or beef was also served. Needless to say, we were always stuffed!
  2. Many places also served Pastitsio, beef, chicken, or lamb Souvlaki (my kids’ favorite), and almost every meal came with fries (also loved). 
  3. Also available in the bigger cities- Pizza, the BEST hamburgers, veggies burgers that are actually roasted veggies on a bun (so good), and hot dogs.
  4. We found that even at “fast food” places, food was fresh and cooked on site. The rest stops and gas stations also have freshly made food. One gas station had its own flock of chickens outside. Fresh! We did not see many pre-packaged foods (other than chips and chocolate).
  5. Desserts, pastries, ice cream and gelato, Kinder eggs, and an assortment of candy and chocolate are also everywhere. (This is not the place to watch what you eat or count calories!)

Traveling in the Summer

Here are a couple of other ways to explore Greece with your family.

Rad Family Travel’s Best Family Resort in Greece

Greece with Kids- Santorini Dave

If you are looking for a unique vacation, a place to play, learn, and explore, add Greece to your travel bucket list and see the ancient world with your family.

 Traveling to Greece with children? Here are our favorite ways to play, learn, and explore.

 

About Kelly Sage

A writer, teacher, mother, homeschooler. Seeker of time, space, and resources to help foster the love of learning.

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