There we were, in Athens, Greece, standing among the 2,000-year-old ruins at the Acropolis, when my 9-year-old son tapped me on the arm. He and his 12-year-old sister had been dutifully listening to our guide talk about Greek history all morning.
“Mom,” he said quietly, “Are we going back to the hotel pool soon?”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him we were on our way to an archaeological museum next.
Safe to say, my kids weren’t as in love with our summer trip to Greece as I was. Maybe it was the result of bad planning (or parenting?) on my part. Or maybe they’re so used to water parks! Disney! Digital and interactive everything! – that ancient ruins, romantic scenery, and leisurely meals at adorable tavernas didn’t do a lot for them.
Santorini’s Beaches are Quiet.
There isn’t much to do with kids in Santorini, aside from a 1/2-day boat ride/snorkeling trip out to the caldera and seeing excavated ruins in the new Museum of Prehistoric Thira. But we all loved Santorini’s beaches, even though they were pretty adult and quiet. Everyone was sleeping or reading books, and it was all couples. So I always felt like my kids were being rude anytime they splashed or yelled while playing in the water.
Our favorite beach, Perissa, was that way. But it had a beautiful view, a pedestrian-friendly shopping/restaurant area, water sports like parasailing and jet skis, and was lined with nice padded lounge chairs under umbrellas. If you ate lunch at the restaurant behind it, you could use the chairs for free. Otherwise, there was a per-chair fee.
Read More: Best Countries to Visit with Kids
Delphi is a Good Day Trip from Athens.
About a two-hour (each way) drive from Athens, up in a picturesque mountain area, you can walk up through the ruins in Delphi from the 4th century B.C. There’s also an adjacent museum, and a cute, small town nearby.
I still got the “Is it almost over?” face from the kids during the tour. But they seemed to learn a little more about Greek mythology from our Indus Travels guide here than they did at the Acropolis.
Be sure to stop in town to shop for the handmade rugs and pillow covers, which the area is known for (and definitely bargain your price).
Watch the changing of the guard ceremony
Share Entrees When in Greece with Kids.
Cats are Everywhere in Greece.
Moreso in Santorini than in Athens, it was common to have cats sit near your table at an outdoor restaurant, or even hang out in the hotel lobby. We had two that sunned on our hotel room patio in Santorini. We didn’t pet them without asking someone about them first, but they were harmless, fun visitors.