Santorini is a popular destination for couples but what about visiting the Greek island as a family? We spent five days in Santorini during autumn half term and had a brilliant time exploring its unique geology and hilltop villages. Yes, some parts of the island are tricky to navigate with children but it is possible. I have compiled a list of pros and cons of visiting Santorini with kids.

Family holiday in Santorini, Oia

Pros

Black and red beaches

Why have yellow sand when you can have black, red and even white beaches! Santorini’s volcanic activity means there’s multi-coloured beaches to explore. Not something you get on your average beach holiday!

Black beach, Santorini, Greece

My daughters loved playing in the black sand at Perissa beach. As the particles are larger – and black – they are easier to see (especially when getting caught up in sandwiches). They also brushed off better than regular sand.

Mrs T at Perissa beach in Santorini

Picturesque villages

Santorini is famed for its hilltop villages with whitewashed buildings and blue domed churches lining the coast. The village of Oia (pronounced ee-ya) is the most popular and it absolutely lives up to expectations.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Make sure you have plenty of storage available for photographs when you visit. Oia isn’t the only stunning village though. Fira, Pyrgos and some of the lesser known villages such as Finikia, Emboreio and Megalochori are also worth a look.

Views

Almost everywhere you look in Santorini are stunning views. The volcanic activity which has shaped the island has left a legacy of rugged coastline and colourful rock formations.

Caldera in Santorini, Greece
The repeated volcanic eruptions of lava has also created the three islands in the caldera: New Kameni, Old Kameni and Thirassia. It is possible to get boat cruises to the islands including the crater of New Kameni (although I wouldn’t advise going with younger children). The good news is you can get incredible views all along the western coast and from its hilltop villages. On the east side of Santorini you can spot the islands of Crete and Folegandros.

View of the Santorini caldera from Fira

Sunsets

Where there are great views, there are fantastic sunsets. Santorini has some rather special ones.

Sunset in Pyrgos, Santorini

Educational

My daughter was fascinated by Santorini’s volcanic rock formations. One of our highlights was viewing the red beach and its towering russet rocks overhead. For older children, who are learning about geology, Santorini is a wonderful lesson on volcanoes and what they can create. Santorini is made up of several islands formed after a volcano collapsed into itself creating the current caldera.

The red beach, Akrotiri, Santorini, greeceHistory

Santorini doesn’t just have geological wonders, it also has a Bronze Age settlement. A powerful volcano which erupted in 1627 BC buried the town of Akrotiri preserving it until it was discovered in 1967. It is still being excavated but you can walk around what has been uncovered so far. It turns out the ancient town had plenty of modern touches such as  multi-storey buildings, colourful frescos, ceramics and a sewage system. Santorini also has a number of Roman ruins too.

Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece

All Day Eating

Greece’s restaurants stay open all day! Getting something to eat with children can be difficult in countries such as Spain and France where restaurants close after lunch and don’t open until 7pm. We were able to eat at our leisure and not worry without them falling asleep or getting cranky. Always a bonus. The food was very good too.

Cons

Hilly terrain

Much of Santorini’s appeal is its clifftop villages and their picturesque views over the caldera. Those views do come at a price though – it’s hilly. It was hard work at times with the pushchair and our eldest daughter had the odd moan. We managed though. If you have a young child, a baby carrier would be a good idea. It isn’t all steep though, the east side is a lot flatter and there’s plenty of other things to see and do.

Oia, Santorini, Greece
Steep drops

Oia is Santorini’s most popular village and one of its highlights is the walk along the cliff top to the ruins of the Venetian castle. The views from there over the caldera and rest of the village are spectacular.

Mrs T in Oia, Santorini, Greece

People gather there for sunset which is said to be one of the best in Santorini. However, it is a steep drop down and no real safety measures so do be careful! Hold onto those little ones. Personally I wouldn’t go there for sunset with children. It would get too busy and stressful. It may not suit those with vertigo either. We went in the daytime and got some great shots.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Lack of pavements

Although the centre of Santorini’s towns are pedestrianised, you have to walk on the road to get to them. Santorini is lacking in pavements so keep children close to you when walking on the roadside.

Few high chairs

Some of the restaurants in the less touristy places didn’t have high chairs. If you are going with a small child, be prepared for them to sit on your lap or take a portable booster seat. In Fira and Oia this wasn’t a problem.

Accommodation

A lot of the hotels, especially in Oia, are built into the clifftop and as such aren’t hugely family-friendly. Some hotels are for adults only. We went for an Airbnb apartment in the lesser-known town of Pyrgos which was cheaper and suited us very well. This was our view from the terrace.

Pyrgos, Santorini, Greece

Price

Parts of Santorini are tourist hotspots and this is reflected in the restaurant and bar prices. If you don’t want to shell out for a mediocre meal, do your research. We found restaurants a lot cheaper in Pyrgos and found an excellent bakery with reasonable prices (and delicious ice cream). Accommodation is also expensive in the main spots.

Santorini is a fantastic place to visit and is possible with children as long as you take care and manage expectations on what you can and can’t do. Enjoy!

Have you been to Santorini? Would you visit with children?

 Pin For Later

Pros and cons of visiting Greek island of Santorini with kids

18 Comments on Santorini With Kids: Pros And Cons Of Visiting As A Family

  1. Annabel
    November 21, 2017 at 11:33 am (4 weeks ago)

    Really useful post! When I was a travel agent, I never managed to send any families to Santorini, one of the reasons was the fear of hot black sand in summer time but I’d imagine this is less of a problem by October. My 6 year old would love the geology of Santorini and the restaurant opening tines are a big appeal too!

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      November 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm (4 weeks ago)

      That’s really interesting to hear Annabel. Yes, I am sure the black sand would get a bit in the summer but great in autumn – and May half term too.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 1, 2017 at 11:03 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Thank you. Greece is great!

      Reply
  2. Janet T
    November 30, 2017 at 4:51 pm (2 weeks ago)

    I would really like to see that bronze age town, what a discovery. I agree with you that it’s a great bonus that the restaurants stay open, unlike France. #Farawayfiles
    Janet T recently posted…Dark Sky Drives – Seeing Stars with the FamilyMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 1, 2017 at 11:05 pm (2 weeks ago)

      It was incredible!! Yes, the French and their opening times can be really tricky with little ones!

      Reply
  3. Hilary
    December 2, 2017 at 1:09 am (2 weeks ago)

    I’ve always wanted to visit Greece! I’m not sure about those steep drop offs though… The view from your airbnb looked so lovely! #farawayfiles
    Hilary recently posted…Faraway Files #56My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Greece is great – and so varied. Yes, you do have to be careful but not like it was everywhere.

      Reply
  4. Dawn
    December 2, 2017 at 7:45 am (2 weeks ago)

    Greece is on our radar for next year and so this was perfect timing. I am overwhelmed by all the choice of islands and am torn between choosing one of the most visited ones or a quieter island. We will be there in August if it works out so crazy busy! So glad to hear that Santorini was great with kids. It is absolutely beautiful and I would love to see it, just not sure if we will be able to brave the crwods in Aug! Thanks for sharing:) #fearlessfamtrav

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 9, 2017 at 7:51 am (1 week ago)

      There’s so many great Greek islands. It’s going to be hot whichever one you go to in August but perhaps choose a quieter one or do an island hot. Santorini is very close to Crete!

      Reply
  5. Katy
    December 2, 2017 at 10:24 am (2 weeks ago)

    Santorini is so beautiful and I think you have described the pros and cons wonderfully. Each family is different and you have to make allowances for your own situation don’t you? We decided to skip Santorini this year because I had premonitions of moaning and complaining and there was no way I was pushing a double buggy with a couple of four year olds around up those hills! My friend had a wonderful holiday there with her 9 year old daughter. I see it in my future. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 5, 2017 at 10:52 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Thanks Katy! You probably made the right decision! It was tough in places and with a double buggy probably not worth it. Definitely one to visit in the future though 😀

      Reply
  6. Vicky
    December 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm (2 weeks ago)

    I loved Santorini, I can see why it’s a great place to take kids! We stayed right by the black beach. And even as an adult I struggled with some of those hills! #farawayfiles

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 5, 2017 at 10:52 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Oooh I loved the black beaches! Yes, the hills were good exercise!!

      Reply
  7. Leona
    December 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm (2 weeks ago)

    id love to visit with my little. The hotels looks fantastic #fearlessfamtrav
    Leona recently posted…Fearless Family Travel #11My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 5, 2017 at 10:50 pm (2 weeks ago)

      It was a good choice!

      Reply
  8. Alex - My Life Long Holiday
    December 3, 2017 at 9:04 pm (2 weeks ago)

    I haven’t been at all, let alone with kids, but I like the way you’ve broken this downd – very handy for parents. My best friend attempted it with her two little ones last year, they did one week on the east, one on the west of the island and they absolutely loved it! #fearlessFamTrav

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      December 5, 2017 at 10:53 pm (1 week ago)

      That’s really great to hear. Glad they enjoyed it!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






CommentLuv badge