As an amateur photographer, I’ve always wanted to visit the island of Santorini. The gorgeous sunsets, vibrant blues, and black pebble beaches look so inviting, and I’ve dreamed of seeing them in person. On our recent Adventures by Disney trip to Greece, we spent two nights in the middle of the trip in Santorini. So, how is Santorini with kids? Is this gorgeous island one for honeymooners, or can kids have fun there too? My kids had a great time – here’s a little of what to expect when you visit Santorini with kids.
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Santorini With Kids
After a huge volcanic explosion formed a caldera, Santorini is now the main island of Santorini, the smaller inhabited island of Thirasia, and a few tiny and uninhabited islands. When people refer to Santorini, they usually mean that larger island. Although most photos you see of Santorini are of the beautiful blue waters, the island itself is quite arid from the volcanic eruption. It is a very unique landscape, and combined with the gorgeous buildings, it is definitely a beautiful spot to photograph.
We arrived at Santorini via plane – on a flight from Athens to Santorini. The flight took less than an hour, and we arrived in the tiny Santorini airport. There’s also a port in Santorini where you can arrive via passenger/car ferry.
Towns in Santorini
The main town in Santorini is Fira, which is where our hotel was located. Fira is filled with shops, restaurants, and boutique hotels. During our free night during our trip, we walked down to Fira (about 10 minutes from our hotel), and ate at a restaurant with beautiful views of the sunset. Fira is also where you’ll find the doctors and other services you may need on your vacation (although pharmacies and grocery stores could be found throughout the island). If you take a ferry or book watercraft to explore the caldera, you’ll likely board in Fira.
If you are familiar with photos of gorgeous white buildings with deep blue accents, those pictures were probably taken in Oia. Oia is a small town filled with beautiful boutiques, restaurants, and luxury hotels. It was extremely hot during our visit, which surprised us, because we expected the islands to be a bit cooler than the mainland. But I couldn’t stop taking photos of the gorgeous views – it really is like nothing I’ve ever seen.
While both Fira and Oia are stunning and fun, there isn’t a ton for kids to do there. After eating, getting ice cream/sorbet, and visiting a few shops, my kids were all set. My daughter and I did visit a fish spa in Fira, which was such a unique experience. I’d definitely do that with older kids, because younger ones may not be ready for that many fish touching them.
On our last day, we spent the afternoon in Kamari, which is home to Kamari Beach. This black pebble beach is a fun place for kids to visit. Dine at one of the beachfront restaurants, and you’ll be able to use their lounge chairs and umbrellas. We had a delicious meal of souvlaki and pizza (for the kids), and our kids enjoyed spending some time on the water. Keep in mind that it is definitely rocky, so you’ll want to bring along water shoes. You’ll also need to bring towels. Waterfront gift shops sell these items, if you forget them.
Activities in Santorini
In addition to the beach, there are other family-friendly activities in Santorini. During our trip, we had a private boat tour of the caldera, including a hike up the volcano.
Parents may enjoy a winery and/or brewery tour in Santorini. The volcanic terroir lends itself to some unique wines, and the Donkey Beer brewery is also centrally located.
During our trip to Greece, we wanted to expose our kids to as much history as possible, so I was thrilled that our trip included a visit to Akrotiri. This Minoan settlement was destroyed with the volcanic eruption, and its thought to perhaps be the inspiration of the story of Atlantis. It’s similar, but much smaller than Pompeii, but unlike Pompeii, it’s located indoors. Our trip guide provided us with a guided tour of Akrotiri.
Although my kids enjoyed these various activities in Santorini, I think they had the most amount of fun at our hotel pool. It was absolutely beautiful, and since we were at a small hotel, it wasn’t crowded at all. The weather in August was hot, despite the island location, so the pool was so refreshing.
When I first learned that our trip to Santorini would only be two nights, I was surprised. However, after spending two nights, and almost three full days, I felt like we had done almost everything there was to do. You could definitely spend more time exploring the beautiful towns and enjoying the pools/beaches, but three days is definitely enough time for the basics.
Have you been to Santorini with kids?