Greece is often heralded as the cradle of Western civilization, a country imbued with history and culture, breathtaking landscapes, beautiful islands, and an incredible food scene.
While it may be easy to think of Greece as a destination more suitable for history buffs or lovers of ancient architecture, it is also an extremely kid-friendly destination, offering a wealth of experiences that are perfect for families, especially those traveling with teens.
In this post, we will explore the attractions, activities, and tips for visiting Greece with teens.
Greece’s Unparalleled Historical Attractions
For a start, there’s no better place than Greece to bring history to life. The age-old myths and legends of Greek gods and goddesses are sure to engage the imagination of your teens.
The Acropolis, Athens: The world-famous Acropolis is a must-visit for everyone, let alone teens. With the majestic Parthenon and other historical monuments, it’s like walking through a history textbook.
Delphi: Once considered the center of the world by ancient Greeks, Delphi is a vast archaeological site with a rich history. A guided tour here will undoubtedly provide an enriching historical perspective.
Knossos, Crete: Step into the world of the ancient Minoans at the Palace of Knossos. The mythical Minotaur and labyrinth story come to life here!
Fun Activities For Teens in Greece
Aside from historical sites, Greece offers various activities that will keep your teens entertained and engaged.
Adventure Sports: The diverse Greek terrain provides plenty of opportunities for adventure sports. Whether it’s rock climbing in Leonidio, windsurfing in Rhodes, or hiking the Samaria Gorge in Crete, there are ample ways for your teens to burn off energy.
Beach Days: Greek beaches are renowned worldwide, and there’s a coastline to suit everyone’s tastes. From the pink sands of Elafonisi Beach in Crete to the shipwreck beach of Zakynthos, your teens will love the opportunity to relax, swim, or even snorkel.
Cooking Classes: Participate in a traditional Greek cooking class. It’s a great way for your teens to engage with Greek culture, learn new skills, and have fun.
Navigating Greek Culture with Teens
The Greek people are known for their warmth and hospitality. Encourage your teens to engage with locals, learn a few words in Greek, and participate in local customs and traditions.
Greek Festivals: Time your visit to coincide with one of the many Greek festivals. Whether it’s the Athens & Epidaurus Festival with theater and music performances or the colorful Carnival season with parades and masquerades, these cultural experiences are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Greek Food: Greek cuisine is not just delicious but also varied and healthy. Encourage your teens to try traditional dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, or a Greek salad. They might discover a new favorite!
Practical Tips for Traveling in Greece with Teens
- Plan Ahead: While Greece is generally very safe and welcoming for families, it’s always a good idea to plan your trip in advance. Book accommodations, transport, and sightseeing tours before your arrival.
- Respect the Siesta Time: In smaller towns and on the islands, many shops close for a few hours in the afternoon for ‘siesta’. Plan your day accordingly.
- Stay Hydrated: The Greek summer can be scorching. Ensure everyone in the family stays well hydrated, especially when sightseeing.
- Pack Appropriate Clothing: If you’re visiting monasteries or religious sites, remember that modest clothing is required.
Santorini, Paros or Naxos for Families with Teens?
Each of these islands offers a unique experience and can provide a fantastic family vacation. Your choice ultimately depends on your family’s interests and preferences.
Santorini: This island is renowned for its stunning views, white-washed buildings, and beautiful sunsets in Oia. There are numerous archaeological sites, such as Ancient Thera and Akrotiri, which may appeal to history-loving teens. However, be mindful that Santorini can be quite crowded, especially during the peak summer season.
Paros: A slightly less crowded alternative, Paros, offers beautiful beaches, charming villages, and a more laid-back atmosphere. It also has excellent windsurfing conditions in certain areas, making it perfect for active teens.
Naxos: The largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos, offers a mix of history, culture, and nature. With the Temple of Apollo, Venetian castle in Naxos town, and plenty of hiking opportunities, it provides a variety of activities for teens. The island is also known for its stunning beaches.
Greek Islands with Two Teens
When traveling with teens, you’ll want to select islands that offer a mix of historical sites, outdoor activities, and downtime on the beach. Here are a couple of recommendations:
Crete: As Greece’s largest island, Crete offers a wide variety of activities that will appeal to teens. Visit the Palace of Knossos, hike the Samaria Gorge, or spend a day relaxing at one of the many stunning beaches.
Rhodes: This island boasts history, with the medieval Rhodes Old Town, and outdoor adventure, with windsurfing and water sports being popular. The Valley of Butterflies is a unique attraction that teens may find fascinating.
Greek Islands in June/July with Teens
The months of June and July are a great time to visit the Greek Islands with teens. The weather is warm, perfect for beach activities and water sports.
However, these months are also the peak tourist season, so the islands will be busy.
Mykonos: Known for its lively atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and water sports opportunities, Mykonos can be an excellent destination for teens. Visit the iconic windmills, explore the narrow streets of Mykonos Town, or take a boat tour to the archaeological site of Delos.
Corfu: The island of Corfu offers a mix of culture, history, and adventure. Visit the Old Fortress in Corfu Town, explore the charming villages, or try water sports on one of the many beautiful beaches.
Remember, regardless of when you visit, it’s essential to stay hydrated, use sun protection, and respect the local customs and traditions. Enjoy the magical experience of exploring Greece with your teens!
Exploring Greece with teens provides a wonderful blend of education, exploration, and adventure. With its diverse mix of history, culture, fun activities, and beautiful landscapes, Greece is sure to create memories that your family will cherish forever.