Alternative Things to Do in Santorini with Children

Greece - Santorini - Oia - Santorini with Kids

Santorini island is magical, inspiring, and majestic. Is it captivating, alluring, and mesmerizing? It definitely is. It’s also more than just a ridiculously gorgeous island. Parents, though, are often forced to gear down since it’s been labeled “for couples only”. So what do we do with the kids? … For couples only? There’s a lot for kids to do in Santorini… and for adults too. For instance, you can spend a day with the family outside Fira!

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Things to Do in Santorini with Kids

What to do in Santorini with children

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Santorini with Children
Best Things to Do in Santorini with Kids

Alternative Santorini for children - The foundations of the settlement at Ancient Thera are clearly visible.
The foundations of the settlement in Ancient Thera are clearly visible.

Discover Ancient Thera

The ancient city of Thera once prospered here, looking at this precise view. Alternative Santorini for Children.
The ancient city of Thera once prospered here, looking at this precise view.

This region lies on an elevated headland that divides Perissa from Kamari: Meso Vouna (or between mountains). The flatness of the plateau and its height from sea level results in a phenomenal 360° panorama. A visit to Ancient Thera is a must-do if your kids love all that’s ancient. And it’s a must from the beginning.

A drive on one of the most spectacular roads on Earth, the Kamari Serpentine, with 22 hairpin switchbacks, takes your breath away (not always in a good way!).

The settlement is on the east side of Santorini and offers a very different observation point. Important ruins are the Temple of Dionysus, the Sanctuaries of Artemidoros and Apollo Karneios, The Terrace of the Festivals, and ancient graveyards that will certainly move you.

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Santorini with Children

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Alternative Santorini for children, a day with the family outside Fira. Buildings tended to have this shape to protect them from the strong winds.
Buildings tended to have this shape to be protected from the strong winds.

If the Kamari Serpentine is too much for your vertigo, reach Ancient Thera on foot, the hiking trail starting in Perissa takes about an hour and rewards you with spectacular views of the Aegean.

Explore the Akrotiri Excavations
(One of the Top Things to Do in Santorini with Children!)

An alternative afternoon in Santorini: The Prehistoric Town of Santorini.
An alternative afternoon in Santorini: The Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri.

Santorini’s Pompeii, if you will, lies in Akrotiri which is on the southernmost tip of the crescent-shaped island. With remains that date back to the 2nd millennium BC, the Bronze Age has left a permanent mark on this side of the Cycladic island.

The ruins are incredibly well-preserved and you can almost walk inside the two and three-story buildings that were part of the original settlement; once adorned with colorfully vibrant wall paintings and frescoes.

Alternative Santorini for Children: A Day with the Family Outside Fira
Pithoi (ancient vases).

You’ll find pottery and clay decanters still very much intact. The remains of this advanced civilization will astonish you.

So as not to miss any important detail, we opted for a professionally guided tour of Akrotiri. It was excellent to get a well-rounded insight into the most prominent areas of the island and in a reasonable time.

Alternative Santorini for Children: A Day with the Family Outside Fira
The exhibition is perfectly organized for small children to see even places with otherwise difficult visual access.

Back to Base: Fira

This particular tour was flexible in terms of pick-up as well as tour hours. In fact, it began as soon as we were ready, it’s them who adapted to our schedule, not us! (Yes, they know you are on holiday!).

It is perfect if you are spending a few days in Santorini but I also think it can show much of the island if you’re a cruise passenger.

In that case, they pick you up from the port of Athinios, at the base of the Caldera, they take you to Akrotiri and show you Oia.

And you finally return to Fira, Santorini’s beating heart.

If you are staying in Santorini for more than a day, can I suggest you three things to do?

Try Fava!

Fava is probably the best-known dish from the island, and when it’s cooked by the book, it’s heaven. Fava has nothing to do with fava beans, it’s a dish mainly made of yellow split peas, and a must in Santorini.

Taste Santorini Wines

I’ve already talked about wines and kids in Santorini… and our experience was awesome. And third..?

Choose the Right Hotel for the Family!

As much as you can. Santorini is a treat to the senses, enjoy sunsets, tastes, experiences… and choose a ravishing hotel in Fira, Fira, such as the lovely Kalisti, (which, by the way, means beautiful in Greek; and the Kalisti honors its name!). We were lucky to manage our time quite wisely and to return to the hotel in time for some relaxing downtime. Kids included!

We all took in all those beautiful cultural images experienced during the day and enjoyed a memorable dinner overlooking the Caldera… romance does not mean kids forbidden. In a way, that’s how kids are started sometimes!

For those of you interested in museums, check these:
Official website of the Archaeological Museum of Thera
Official website of the Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Have you thought about traveling to Santorini with your kids?
Let me know in the comments below!

Read more:

Where to Stay in Naxos, Greece: Best Areas & Hotels on the Island
How to Get to Mykonos: Best Ways to Travel to the Greek Island
Sublime Things to Do in Patmos, Greece
Perfect Things to Do in Aegina, Greece
Discover the Beautiful Hidden Gems in Greece You Can Visit Right Now

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Pin this Guide to Santorini with Children

What to do in Santorini with children

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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46 thoughts on “Alternative Things to Do in Santorini with Children

  1. Jona Bering | Backpacking with a Book says:

    Hi there, Gabi! I do not have kids yet, but I’m looking forward to traveling with kids and seeing the world through their eyes. Kids are naturally curious, and I know for sure adults can learn a thing or two from them! Your kids are lovely and lucky to have you as their mother!

    • Gabi - The Tiny Book Family Travel says:

      Hi Jona! Thanks… I was reluctant at the very beginning, but not that much to be honest since they both got on a plane much before being one year old 😀
      Thanks for the comments about my kids, it’s hard work, but so rewarding!!

  2. findinglala306 says:

    What a great place for your children to visit – beautiful photos for your family to remember forever. Also great to see Santorini from a different perspective and great education for your kids.

  3. Inka says:

    What a nice change to the regular Santorini Photographs and things to do. I never knew there where these cool ruins on the other side of the Island. Of course kids would like it but even Adults with a small curiosity in ruins would love to visit this spot, I know I would.

    • Gabi - The Tiny Book Family Travel says:

      You are right! This is a place to be enjoyed by everyone, not only children!! I am very happy I could show you a different Santorini!

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