Ancient Greek sites to really amaze kids
Nowhere on earth comes more drenched in myth and legend than Greece. The tiniest islands are scattered with monuments, and you can barely walk three steps on some of the larger ones without running into an ancient temple or ruin. But, fascinating as the backstories usually are, quite a few of the sites can be a little underwhelming for kids.
So, to spare you the tricky task of funning-up an old pile of rocks that may, or may not, have been hurled by Hercules back in the day. Here’s a quick rundown of Greek sites where reality more than matches the myth for even the most reluctant young explorers.
1/5 Minoan Palace of Knossos, Crete
The origins of Minoan labyrinths are hazy, but the best tale by far is the story of King Minos commissioning an underground maze beneath his palace at Knossos on Crete, to be used as a prison for his son, The Minotaur.
There are dozens of ancient Greek myths linked to this half-man, half-bull, ranging from maze-architect Daedalus becoming trapped in his own creation to Theseus rescuing Ariadne from the monster, using nothing but a ball of twine.
The ancient palace at Knossos still stands in Crete and it’s prime territory for unravelling the mysteries, and one of the top Greek sites for kids. There aren’t any Minotaur relics, but the palace is vast and exciting. Plus, if they look carefully there’s even a labyrinth, of sorts: it’s actually a mosaic floor maze, but working it out isn’t as easy at it sounds.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Heraklion take four hours. Knossos is 20 minutes drive south of Heraklion city centre.
Where to stay: Stalida is a good family resort for older kids. 30km east of Heraklion, it sits on the Bay of Malia, close to waterparks, and overlooking a huge, sandy beach with great watersports and windsurfing.