With an impressive collection of heavenly beaches, Crete is maybe one of the best destinations in Greece for families with kids. Shallow shores, soft sand, and sunny days are key to making everyone happy.
Add tasty and healthy food plus endless attractions and Crete quickly turns into a great family holiday destination.
Not sure yet? Let me show you why spending your family holidays in Crete is a winning idea.
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Crete, a Family-Friendly Destination: Best Things to Do in Crete with Kids
ARE YOU PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO CRETE LAST MINUTE?
Be sure to book accommodation and tours in Crete ahead of time to ensure availability!
📍 Top tours in Crete:
– Full-day Samaria Gorge trek (#1 tour in Crete!)
– Boat cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa (another top-selling tour!)
– Boat Trip to Spinalonga with swim stop (most popular in Agios!)
– Ticket to Knossos Archaeological Site (top tour in Heraklion)
– Day trip to Elafonisi (a must in Chania!)
🛌 Top picks for places to stay in Crete:
– Lyttos Beach (top beachfront hotel in Hersonissos)
– SanSal Boutique Hotel (in Chania old town with a pool!)
– Grecotel Lux Me White Palace (the best resort in Rethymnon)
🚗 Looking for the best way to get around Crete? Check rental car rates for Crete now!
💳 Use WISE as a digital card and top-up from the app no matter where you are. Wise is one of the best cards for overseas travel!
Crete for Families: Frequently Asked Questions
So, the best way to get ready for a Family Holiday in Crete is to plan and organize every detail of your trip, let’s start by answering some of the most common questions I have received from you through e-mail:
F.A.Q.: Crete with Kids
The answer is yes, of course, it is! Crete is one of the safest places you can think of. There are plenty of shallow beaches for children to swim and for you to relax. No stress is always a good recipe for all the family.
Food is also incredibly healthy but super tasty as well. The massive use of fresh vegetables, olive oil, and other superfoods are a guarantee that children will be eating the right stuff. And they will like it.
There are plenty of activities that are great for the whole family, but there are also many others especially thought for children. You can take advantage of museums and archaeological sites, but you can also enjoy fun entertainment, such as theme parks or water parks.
Kids will also enjoy learning from activities dedicated to them, pottery or cooking lessons can be a great idea. It’s also possible to practice sports that put them in greater contact with nature.
In a nutshell, from outdoor adventures to feeding animals on a farm, the choice is endless.
On the island, life is simple and relaxed, while contact with nature is still a priority and a way of living.
Families that love adventure can easily camp and enjoy a stress-free stay as (moms will be happy to learn) there are no dangerous animals in Crete as well as no poisonous snakes.
If you are interested in more detailed information, check this useful list of tips for Holidays in Crete.
Families can go virtually anywhere as kids will always be welcome all over Crete. More than welcome, I’d say: Greeks tend to adore kids to the point of pampering them over the limit.
For those traveling with newborns and toddlers, they will be happy to know that it’s easy to find your favorite diaper brand as well as a good variety of baby food in any supermarket. That’s great news if you want to avoid packing extra stuff.
The best activities for kids are usually concentrated in the most popular cities, such as Heraklion, Rethymno, and Chania. Planning a stay within the reach of those urban areas is always a good idea when you travel with kids.
Crete has beaches for all tastes. Kids included. And if you are traveling to the beach for the first time with your baby, there’s no need to panic,
Dani, from Diapers in Paradise, got you covered with this dedicated article about enjoying a beach vacation with a baby.
Crete with Kids, Region Breakdown
In this section, find everything about Crete for kids, region by region…
Rethymnon with Children
As a mom of two, and despite how much I like Rethymno as a region, the coast of Rethymno has never been among my favorite for small kids since it offers open-sea beaches in the North, sometimes windy.
These three beaches are perfect for children.
Chania with Kids
If you are planning a stay in the prefecture of Chania, there are several safe coves and bays which are ideal for children in the Akrotiri peninsula.
Don’t forget to read this complete guide to the West Beaches of Crete if you want to learn more. You won’t find much wind, big waves, or rough seas.
Loutraki has, in fact, some pebbles, but it’s a good place for older kids to give their first steps in snorkeling.
Other safe beaches in the region are Paleochora, Elafonisi, and Falasarna, all of which kids can easily enjoy, but staying in Akrotiri is a great idea when you travel with kids and want to be close to the city of Chania.
It’s fairly close to the city center for a walk at night, but also peaceful and with all the comforts you might night if you prefer to stay home (supermarkets, taverns, pharmacies).
Heraklion with Children
In Heraklion, on the north coast and rather close to the city center, Ammoudara, Ligaria, and Sarandaris are good beaches for children.
This latter is half an hour away from the city. It has calm waters thanks to a cape that creates natural protection from the wind.
Sarandaris is fairly close to the coastal village of Hersonissos, busy and very popular but also offers entertainment for all the family.
Lasithi with Kids
The prefecture of Lasithi has good beaches for kids along Mirabello Bay. In this case, it’s a good idea to stay in Agios Nikolaos and explore the beaches in the area.
Being close to Heraklion, it’s easy to check numerous kid-friendly attractions located along the road between both towns.
Weather: When is the Best time to Visit Crete with Kids
Older kids are certainly able to manage the hot season. Instead, for smaller kids, May and June are milder months though hot enough to handle beach life.
There are fewer visitors as well, great to avoid queues and overcrowded places.
You can also plan your holiday for September. Local kids start school in the second week of the month. The same goes for most kids in Europe.
September is great to find better prices, fewer tourists, and more tolerable heat levels. There might be an occasional shower (not always), so pack accordingly.
Just a light raincoat will do, there’s no real need for warm clothes in Crete in September.
Holidays with Kids in Crete: Safety
Pediatricians are available in all major hospitals, but in more isolated areas as well. Pharmacists are usually very helpful too.
Most health professionals speak at least two languages, so it won’t be a problem to find a solution to your needs.
The main urban centers, such as Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Chania, and Rethymno count with hospitals and specialist doctors.
There are two general hospitals in Heraklion, one of them, the University General Hospital is the largest hospital in Crete and it’s in the area of Stavrakia, 8 km from the city. The second one is on the road to Knossos, about 4 km from Heraklion.
Other important centers, for instance, Ierapetra and Kissamos-Kastelli also have the necessary facilities for minor health issues.
And if you’re driving, almost every car rental company offers kids’ seats when you rent a car. Do not hesitate to ask for this feature whenever you are looking to book a car for your holiday.
Family Activities in Crete: Things to Do in Crete for Children
There are endless activities for the whole family and many others dedicated to kids. Here is a list of different entertaining things that families can do. These are Crete’s most fun attractions for children.
Outdoor Activities in Crete for Children
Plenty are the activities in Crete for the whole family, allowing parents and kids to enjoy time together.
Among aquatic sports, families can enjoy snorkeling, diving, and sailing.
In Crete, there’re experiences that kids can enjoy even if they are not designed just for them. Horseback riding is possible in Plakias, they also offer donkey riding and a visit to a mini zoo.
Crete is also famous for hiking and walking since there are many interesting gorges on the island. Older kids can even venture into the well-known Samaria Gorge.
For smaller kids who can endure shorter trails, Imbros Gorge, close to Chora Sfakion, in Chania is a great alternative.
Great for smaller explorers is also the gorge of Kounaviano, in Heraklion, fairly easy to walk and it displays impressive fauna to discover.
Many are the mountain paths that children can enjoy with their parents, always take the kid’s age into account when deciding on the level of difficulty of each trail.
Water Parks in Crete that Children Love… and Parents Enjoy!
There are a few water parks that children can enjoy if they are staying close to Heraklion. Let’s see them in detail:
Watercity is in the village of Anopolis, about 20 minutes from Heraklion. The park offers a wide range of water games also for adults.
There’re two pools and slides for kids, but also more than 15 other water games, some for older kids and adults. You can check an exhaustive list of water games here.
Watercity has special rates for kids, different food bars, and a mini-market. But most importantly, there’re fully trained lifeguards for any emergency.
Always in the area, Acqua Plus offers a wide selection of water games, with extreme slides for adults and areas safer for small kids. There’s also a special place to relax.
The park is a few minutes from the center of Hersonissos, between the villages of Stalis and Gouves.
There’re specially trained lifeguards, changing facilities, bars, and a restaurant.
Always in Heraklion, close to Ammoudara Beach, Bravo Water Park is smaller than the previous two and with fewer options for adults. It’s possible to check for fees and other services in this link.
Those staying in the prefecture of Chania should consider Aqua Creta Limnopoulis (a favorite of my kids), in the village of Varipetro.
It’s one of the biggest waterparks in Crete with endless slides and water games for kids. Limnopoulis employs dedicated staff for safety and a group of trained lifeguards. Water hygiene is constantly certified as well.
Other than pools and slides, pay a visit to their Lazy River, a green atmosphere made of caves and waterfalls. Tickets can be obtained at this link.
Amusement Parks and Themed Experiences in Crete for Kids
Another well-known attraction in Crete is the Cretaquarium, where kids up to 4 years old get a free entrance and older kids have a reduced fee.
The aquarium is located in Gouves, not far from Heraklion. It’s not as big as you would expect, but it has some impressive tanks with sharks that kids enjoy a lot.
There are also guided visits available as well as tours for “small explorers” and an exciting backstage tour. The full list of activities can be checked at this link.
We visited the aquarium several years ago and we enjoyed the experience as a family, it provided a different something to do on a very hot afternoon.
You might also want to read: Best hotels in Crete with water parks.
Very close to the Aquarium, it’s possible to visit Dinosauria Park, my kids loved it so much that I wrote a special article about it.
Upon entering, after checking a fossils museum, go through a time machine that lands you right in the era of dinos. Walking through the park, you will be seeing dinosaurs in the heart of prehistory.
The dino hospital offers a different perspective on the world of these impressive animals.
There’s a 5D cinema, a restaurant with menus for kids, and a playground.
Close to Hersonissos, Labyrinth Park is a great way to approach kids to the world of the Minoan Civilization. I’ve always thought it is perfect when combined with a visit to the site of Knossos.
The park’s main themes are Greek mythology and mazes, such as the Minotaur labyrinth, the laser maze, and others.
Minoan’s World is located in the city of Chania. It includes cinemas and reproductions inspired by Minoan frescoes.
Emphasis is also placed on the naval activities of the Minoans and their enigmatic language. Myths of Zeus, the Minotaur, and Icarus will fascinate kids. Tickets are available here.
Cretan Museums that Kids Love (and Parents Too!)
Some museums on the island are interesting for the whole family, but many others have been designed for children.
The Natural History Museum of Crete, in the center of Heraklion, is a fascinating museum for children. It includes different sections dedicated to animals and plants and dinosaurs. There’s also an earthquake simulator.
The Light Mysteries section includes optical illusion, holograms, and 3D images. Another special area is the Erevnotopos where they feel like real explorers. There, kids discover fossils in the sand and explore the local ecosystem.
The Homo Sapiens Museum is in the Lasithi Plateau, East Crete.
It’s an original museum-theme park focused on evolution from the times when men lived in caves until today. Kids go back thousands of years ago and learn about key inventions in history, such as the wheel. The zone dedicated to the Greek gods is also fascinating.
The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which I always recommend, is a fantastic museum for those interested in the history of Crete.
It’s interesting for older kids and the best visit to combine with the Minoan Palace of Knossos.
I’ve reviewed the visit to Heraklion’s archaeological museum with children, and written a detailed guide to exploring the archaeological site of Knossos as well as other archaeological sites in Crete.
If this is your kid’s first attempt at an archaeological site, Malia Minoan Palace has a smaller size and it’s quite easy to visit
Who doesn’t hate waiting in lines? Kids certainly do! Check this skip-the-line tour of Knossos.
The Open-Air Museum of Lychnostatis is close to Hersonissos. It’s a folklore museum about the island’s traditions and popular culture. The museum belongs to the Folklore and Educational Culture Networks of the Ministry of Culture of Greece.
The exhibitions include an ethnographic collection related to local customs and a pre-industrial technology collection.
In the museum, there’s a miniature building of the Cretan house and a mountain mitato (the shepherd’s shelter).
Other Experiences in Crete with Your Kids in Mind
For kids that love nature and are curious about the indigenous species, the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete, in Chania, are perfect for a morning in nature.
Kids will be able to see the curious Cretan wild goats (kri kri) as well as birds and butterflies.
There are gardens dedicated to vineyards, fruit, and endemic aromatic herbs. The facilities host a restaurant serving incredibly fresh food with ingredients from the park’s vegetable garden.
Creative tours targeted at the whole family are not missing in Crete. And when it comes to entertainment for the whole family, Chania Wine Tours has the answer.
What about tasting some (incredibly good) local wine and beer? And what if I told you that this tour is also thought for kids?
The experienced sommelier –but also a mom of two– Anna Maria, has thought about it, and she came up with this brilliant Mommy Needs Wine, Daddy Needs Beer Tour.
The genius proposal includes pick-up in a vehicle with booster seats, juice boxes, coloring books, and a kid-friendly menu.
The experience includes a visit to a local brewery, the oldest olive tree in the world, and wine tasting in one of the island’s best wineries.
Agrotourism activities flourish all over Crete. Kids can learn everything about life on a Cretan farm by experiencing bread or cheese-making and cooking lessons.
We enjoyed making bread and feeding the farm animals in Amari, in Rethymno, but there are also other exciting proposals all over Crete.
Another experience we loved was a visit to a ceramic factory in Anopolis, in the Industrial Park of Heraklion.
At Kaparounakis ceramic workshop we played with clay and made pots and cups (you can take them home!). Learn more on their Facebook page.
In the Cretan Olive Oil Farm in Agios Nikolaos, kids can have fun and learn at the same time. Other than a guided tour, there are ceramic lessons, cooking classes, and cheese-making lessons in which it’s possible to even milk the goats.
Check their website for a complete description of activities, schedules, and prices.
Snail Farm and Fun is in the village of Tyllisos, near Heraklion. There, both kids and adults can learn every secret about snail farming.
The bravest can even try them cooked in delicious Cretan dishes.
The farm owners honor Cretan hospitality and are very friendly with visitors. A must-see place if you are staying in the area.
Cretan Food for Kids
Usually, yogurt replaces mayo and kids love the taste combined with grilled meat.
Restaurants will always have rice, pasta, or fried potatoes to offer to the picky ones that would rather pass on vegetables.
Fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, locally produced honey, homemade cakes, and pies are available everywhere for snacks on the beach.
Where to Stay in Crete with Kids
Holidays with kids in mind should also cater for accommodation that even if it’s not dedicated to kids, it’s at least kid-friendly.
This guide has the best hotels and areas to stay with kids in Crete.
Many resorts on the island are great for families. A few of them have been built with kids in mind. One of these structures is Paradisio Baby and Kinder Hotel in Stavros, Chania.
The beach of Stavros is good for children since it’s a shallow lagoon. In the hotel, kids will find a special park and dedicated facilities, a 400-m² play area, a go-kart track, a tree-house, and ping-pong table, and an animal farm.
The hotel has beautiful gardens, and a kid-friendly beach, and offers entertainment, such as magic or games.
If your kids are a bit older and all into technology, Olive Green Hotel in Heraklion is also a good choice. This eco-friendly hotel wins over any kid who loves to spend time online.
There’s a tablet in every room that allows us to watch movies or play games. Their restaurant has a tasty child-friendly menu.
- Do you prefer the comfort of a home to prepare your meals, have your own time, or even enjoy a pool with your family? Stay at a rental home! There are plenty of rental homes everywhere in Crete
- Vacation homes in Chania
- Vacation homes in Heraklion
- Vacation homes in Rethymnon
- Vacation homes in Agios Nikolaos
- Vacation homes in Elafonisi
- Vacation homes in Gavdos
Essentials to Pack for Family Travel in Crete
Other useful things include swimming goggles, hiking shoes, or sandals for those interested in exploring the mountains, as well as water shoes specially designed for pebbles that you can wear on the beach or when you swim.
Many kids find walking on pebbles a bit of a nuisance.
Of course, swimming suits and flip-flops are a must, but also a good pair of sunglasses are handy for children.
Try to pack clothes that are easy to wash and dry, which can be ready overnight. Choose natural fibers such as cotton for comfort and clear colors to combat heat.
As a general rule, do not overpack, in every city, you can find good clothes, several international brands, and reasonable prices.
Bring with you any medicine prescribed as well as copies of all prescriptions with the generic names for medicines.
In Crete, it’s also easy to obtain over-the-counter medication as well as more specific medicines.
Read more about Crete with Kids
- Best Things to Do in Heraklion with Kids: The Labyrinth Park
- Things to Do in Heraklion with Kids: Dinosauria Theme Park
- Safest Beaches for Children in Crete: Insider’s Guide
- Cool Things to Do in Crete with Teens
🛌 Suggested Accommodation in Crete:
- Budget: So Young Hostel (Heraklio), Cocoon City Hostel (Chania) Matthias Hotel (Rethymnon), or Villa Galini (Agios).
- Mid-range: Capsis Astoria (Heraklion), Porto Antico (Chania), Archipelagos Hotel (Rethymnon), and Hotel Port 7 (Agios).
- Luxury: Galaxy (Heraklion), Hotel OFF (Chania), Avli (Rethymnon), or Minos Beach Art Hotel (Agios).
- Check more: Where to stay in Crete.
🗺️ More resources to book your trip to Crete
- 🛫 Search for cheap flights with CheapOAir.
- 🛥️ Find convenient ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
- 🚕 Book airport transfer with Welcome Pickups.
- 🚘 Rent a car in Crete with Discover Cars.
- 📍 Join adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide.
- Never leave without travel insurance Safety Wing.
- 💳 Carry the best credit card for travel with Wise.
Pin it Now! Best Thing to Do in Crete with Kids For an Awesome Family Vacation!
You might also want to read these posts about Crete’s regions:
- 52 Things to Do in Lasithi Region
- 52 Things to Do in Heraklion Region
- 52 Things to Do in Rethymnon Region
- 52 Things to Do in Chania Region
About my blog:
I moved to Crete in 2016. During these years, I learned much about the island.
In Crete, I juggle being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours, and writing for several travel blogs.
I’ve written for Greek Reporter, published travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.
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