By Rebecca Miles – 6th August 2020
We love the Greek islands for their laidback way of life, unspoilt beaches, unpretentious food and easygoing nature. And of course they’re utterly gorgeous and very family friendly – children are welcome pretty much everywhere.
But with over 200 inhabited islands to choose from, picking the right Greek island for your next holiday can be overwhelming. And while islands like Santorini and Mykonos may grab the headlines, there’s plenty of brilliant alternatives waiting to be discovered.
Do you want lots of water sports and activities, or is it all about simple days on the beach? Do you seek out ancient ruins and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or hip hotels and classy cocktails? Do you like to feel like you’ve stepped back in time, or do you prefer to keep it modern?
Whatever your preference, there’s a Greek island for you.
The largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos is across the water from Paros and a firm favourite of Lyndsey, Girl About’s founder, for its laidback good value and friendly beauty.
Often windier than others, don’t let that deter you as it’s a great spot for sailing, windsurfing and kite surfing. It’s unpretentious and authentic and despite being relatively big, has plenty of quiet corners.
Also try: Lefkada, in the Ionian Sea
It might be a bit of a trek to get to Antiparos but it’s totally worth it. With a similar vibe to Formentera, a short ferry ride from Ibiza, Antiparos is a short hop across the water from Paros and is very much under the radar.
There’s an unexpected cosmopolitan feel to Antiparos in its waterfront bars and restaurants in Chora, its capital, and it’s heavenly to spend the day on golden beaches, swimming in crystal-clear waters, before heading to a dinner of fresh fish as the sun sets.
Also try: Hydra, one of the Saronic Islands in the Aegean Sea
Give the teenagers a sense of independence at the long-established Peligoni Club, on the quieter northern side of the island. Stay at one of its villas and tap into the members-only benefits (join for a week when you arrive), which include a beach-shack-style teens-only bar and plenty of activities and excursions that they’ll actually want to do.
Top of the list would be turtle spotting on Gerakas beach, and shipwreck exploring in Shipwreck Bay.
Also try: Paros, in the Cyclades Islands
Quite possibly the Greek island to really have it all, Corfu has the spectacular coastline and beaches you expect in the Greek islands, but it’s also packed full of history with lots of ancient ruins to explore.
Younger children will love roaming through the maze of narrow streets in the Venetian-style Old Town, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, while older children will be fascinated by the old forts of Néo Froúrio and the Paléo Froúrio, and discovering the tales of its inhabitants, who have been on the island for over 3,000 years.
Also try: Crete, in the Aegean Sea
An up and coming island, Milos is a volcanic island in the South Aegean Sea, full of caves and rocky outcrops plus over 70 beaches, so there are plenty of options for the kids – whether it’s snorkelling around the cliffs or splashing in the sandy shallows.
Paliochori is the liveliest beach on the island but don’t just expect golden sands. There are bubbling springs and colourful rocks, and the whole place is lined with easygoing tavernas.
Also try: Kefalonia, in the Ionian Sea
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