No country does culture with quite the same ease as Greece, making it a natural solution to the family holiday puzzle of how to balance fun and horizon broadening for kids. Because of course Greece also has sensational beaches, islands to spare and the sort of bold sense of adventure which comes from having invented the Olympics and birthed most of the world’s original superheroes.
But how much can you realistically fit into one holiday, even in multi-faceted Greece? According to the experts at Visit Greece, if you pick the right region you can do more than you ever thought possible without rushing one bit. Put their wisdom to the test with a quick look at Athens and the Saronic Islands in the fabulously cultured and well connected Attica region, the epicentre of history and modern culture with the glamorous and cosmopolitan Athens Riviera.
© Monastiraki, Athens
If you want to introduce kids to a bit of culture cunningly disguised as a classic Greek beach holiday, Athens is the place. Not only is it the most historic city in Europe, and one of the oldest, it also has a Riviera. Which basically means huge beaches and fun seaside resorts within easy reach of the monument-rich historic centre: perfect for that dip-in-dip-out potential that works wonders with kids.
Although, once teens have visited the ancient heart of the city, it might be a struggle to tear them away. Even the most nonchalant are awe-struck by the might of temples like the Parthenon and Olympian Zeus. Climbing the Acropolis rock is almost a rite of passage for teenagers and all soulful types can expect to fall head over heels for the heritage charms of delightful districts like Plaka or Thission. And as for museums: start at the stunning Acropolis Museum and you won’t have to do much work to persuade kids into exploring dozens of other incredible Athenian collections.
When you want a breather from antiquity, the city’s public gardens make lush and lovely pockets of peace for younger kids. And colourful Downtown Athens is a complete contrast to the historic centre: always lively and a great vantage point for admiring the floodlit Acropolis by night. Though, if you want the ultimate look at the city - to the Aegean and beyond - take the cable car up Mount Lycabettus. It’s the tallest hill in Athens and the views are jaw dropping.
© Athens - Olympeion Temple Of Olympian Zeus