It’s all about family in Crete. Expect to find families welcomed everywhere, even at late-night dinners! It’s a family paradise here, whether your clan is into outdoorsy active fun, learning about history and mythology, the animal kingdom or simply playing on the beach, you’ll find a huge amount of choice in Crete. If you can tear yourselves away from the pool at your luxury family villa, here are our top tips for the best family fun in Crete.
1. Get on the road with Hellas Bike
The reasons to explore Crete on two wheels are endless. For starters, it gets the whole family into the great outdoors and offers a new perspective on the island’s beautiful rugged coastal landscape. It’s also an activity all ages can get stuck in to, from mums, dads and teens, to tots in baby seats. Then there’s the fitness aspect, which comes in handy if there has been a recent surge in ice cream consumption. The Hellas Bike company goes one step further too, offering family tours with fun challenges for kids to complete along the way. They’re experts in family days out, with child-friendly routes led by experienced guides on mostly flat surfaces.
Location: Agia Marina, Chaniá 73014, Greece
2. Make a splash at Acqua Plus Waterpark
Kids will love scrambling to the top of dozens of different rides here and sliding, swooshing and splashing out the other side. The park has a prime hillside position and is set in pretty, established gardens, so it’s awash with creeping bougainvillea, swaying palms and scenic hilltop views. The best bit? They’ve mastered a system that does away with long queues for the rides, so youngsters can slide again and again without ever having to press pause on the action.
Location: 5th km Hersonissos to Kasteli, 71200, Greece
3. Learn to fish with Nostos Cruises
Salty sea breezes and panoramic ocean vistas make boat trips the ultimate kids’ adventure in Crete. Throw in the thrill of their first catch and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect family day out. Nostos Cruises has a fleet of stylish, modern boats that can carry the whole brood into the island’s richest fishing waters. Setting off from Agios Nikolaos harbour, you’ll cruise across pretty Mirabello Bay to the peaceful islet of Kolokytha and into the wider waters of Elounda, where the crew will kit you out with all the fishing gear and bait you need. Starting late morning and finishing early afternoon, with breaks for swimming and sunbathing along the way, it’s set at an ideal pace for little ones.
Location: Aghios Nikolaos, 72100 Ágios Nikólaos, Lasithi, Greece
4. Meet the birds at Amazonas Park
Youngsters with a thing for animals can meet some of the world’s most unusual and endangered creatures at Amazonas Park and get a handle on the risks they face out in the wild. The team at this lovely nature reserve specialises in caring for threatened birds, and children will come face-to-face with majestic feathered friends of all shapes and sizes, including colourful macaws and cockatoos. Special attention goes to dozens of breeds of endangered parrots and parakeets that are seriously under threat in the wild. Kids can meet and greet with the birds at this charming outdoor park while learning about conservation and the rainforests. And while they’re there, they’ll probably run into some friendly lemurs and donkeys too.
Location: Eisenbahnstraße 32, Achern 77855, Greece
5. Dive for octopus with Captain Nick
Trips offer swimming and snorkelling opportunities in the shallow waters of the tiny island of Lazaretta, where the boat anchors for sunbathing and picnics. The highlight for most is following the captain’s expert advice at diving for octopus, of which he is a seasoned pro. Don’t worry though, the creatures come to no harm – after everyone on board has posed for a photo with the catch, they are fed and returned to the sea.
Location: Chania Town, Crete 731 00, Greece
6. Take a ride on the Little Fun Train
Crete’s rugged landscapes and charming coastal villages are some of the island’s strongest assets, but it’s safe to say most kids won’t be terribly interested in taking in the scenery. That is of course, until they’re checking it out from a carriage on the Little Fun Train. This charming train choo-choos along the coast and through fishing towns, gorges and olive groves, taking passengers on various half-day tours of the island. Each one stops at a mix of local attractions and hidden gems that are off the tourist track, making it a unique way to see the very best of Crete where half the fun is in the journey itself.
Location: Platanias, Chania, Greece
7. Mastermind your way out of the Escape Rooms
For the unacquainted, the aim of the game is to put your heads together and puzzle your way out of a locked room, Crystal Maze-style, in under an hour. It’s essentially a board game brought to life, making it a dream activity for families.
Location: Perdikari 6 – Daidalou (Lions square), 71202 Heraklion, Greece
Book: Book online
If you’re sold that Crete is the place for your next family villa holiday, give our concierge team a call. They can recommend the best villas and locations in Crete for your needs, as well as give you the lowdown on any extras services you may need set up ahead of time. Once you’re all booked in, have a look at our local’s guide to get insider tips on places to go and things to do while you’re there.