Kefalonia is the top of the list of best Greek islands 2023. Turns out it’s one of our favourites too, especially for family activity holidays. See which other islands in Greece we think your energetic kids will love this year.
Kefalonia is one of the all-round best Greek islands
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionians and home to Myrtos Beach, one of the most photographed in Greece and a paragliding legend.
Skala Beach is another Kefalonia beauty, this time famous for water sports. Although doing nothing is tempting here too, just pick your lazy patch of sand carefully: areas of Skala are designated to protect Caretta-Caretta Turtles’ nests.
Kefalonia is also home to Ainos National Park. The only national park on a Greek island it’s prime territory for hiking with kids, remember to keep a look out for the wild horses. If you want beach games make for Ai Helis beach and when you feel like sailing, take a boat trip to the Cave Lake of Melissani. It’s not an official wonder of the world, but it should be.
What active families love about Kefalonia
- Myrtos beach is one of the best paragliding locations in Greece.
- Kefalonia is great for diving or snorkelling and known for marine life ranging from Caretta-Caretta Turtles to rare Monk Seals.
- Mellissani underground lake was considered sacred in ancient times, take guided boat tour by boat and it’s easy to see why.
- Centred around dramatic Mount Ainos, Ainos National Park features hiking trails graded in order of difficulty. So even younger kids can take a walk.
- Visit pretty Assos near Myrtos beach. Between colourful houses and its bay strewn setting it’s one of Kefalonia’s many strong Instagram players.
Windsurfers in training should pick Paros
Paros is known for its charm and good looks. You’ll find it right at the heart of the Cyclades and for whitewashed houses and pretty harbours, you want the island capital Parikia. Although the sweet village of Naoussa in the north is all that too.
You’ll never run out of history here and the beaches are beautiful beyond belief. If your kids are keen to try windsurfing or kitesurfing, Paros is a great place to learn. Or they could just watch: Windsurfing World Championships are held at every year at Chrissí Aktí on the south east coast.
Why Paros is one of the best Greek islands for outdoorsy kids
- Try lovely Santa Maria beach for kayaking or go surfing at Pounta beach on the strait of Antiparos.
- Each year, Al Giannis on Paros hosts the Pan-Hellenic Wakeboard Championships.
- Horse riding is a fun way to explore and tours are available around the Paros’ coast and inland too.
- Walk the well marked Paros’ ‘strates’: hiking routes repurposed from tracks created by local farmers.
- Spa for free on Kalogeros Beach. Just cake yourself in clay, dry in the sun and jump in the sea to rinse.
One of the best Greek islands for surf beaches
Put Limnos on your list for surfing and kid-bewitching myths. It’s known as the island of Hephaestus: the mythical blacksmith responsible for forging the weapons of the Gods, and it’s also where you can see the remains of Europe’s oldest Neolithic city.
Although these days, it’s the island’s surf beaches which are the real legends. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are big on Limnos too and it’s also the island to try Wind Wings. Think windsurfing and kitesurfing with a hydrofoil twist, then just add the Aegean.
What sporty families love about Limnos
- Three kilometre wide Keros Bay makes Limnos another of the best Greek islands for learning to wind or kitesurf.
- Sandy underfoot with consistent surf and a mix of waves the island’s beaches build confidence quickly for first-time surfers.
- Don’t miss the phenomenal 15m high Kaspakas waterfalls: great excuse for a walk.
- Climb up to the Byzantine Castle in Myrina for the most spectacular views. A stroll round the charming town is impressive too.
- Explore Neolithic Poliochni and make time for the strangely wonderful Petrified Forest near Moudros.
Kalymnos the Greek island for climbing thrills
Kalymnos isn’t just one of the best Greek islands for rock climbing, it’s one of the best places in Europe. You might not want to brave some of the more daring ascents, but there are plenty of mini-challenges that are just right for kids.
Not up for climbing, then what about diving? Kalymnos is well known for that too. In fact, it’s one of the few remaining Greek islands with a thriving sea sponge industry. Again, plumbing the depths might be a dive too far for kids, but snorkelling in the Aegean can be just as amazing.
Why kids love the high excitement on Kalymnos
- Kalymnos features over 1300 rock climbing tracks, ranging from beginner to technical.
- If 1300 climbing tracks seems like a lot, but that’s really only about 10% of the island, so new tracks are constantly being discovered.
- Grande Grotta is at the heart of the international Climbing Festival held on Kalymnos each year.
- Dive centres on the island welcome beginners right through to certified. If you’re in the latter category, look forward to underwater caves, wreck diving and more.
- If caves are your thing, Kalymnos has many, but the Cave of Kephalas is the one for stalactites and a fun boat trip.
- For sandy, lazy day beaches head to Masouri on the west coast. And windsurfers love Emporios beach in the north
Come exploring on walkable Naxos
Naxos has to be the best of the best Greek islands for walking. Which might come as a surprise, considering it’s also the largest of the Cyclades. But warm spring and autumn temperatures mixed with an amazingly green landscape make this one hiker heaven. Although it’s great for cycling and water sports too.
Well marked trails let you plan walks from beach to beach or even tour round the island’s pretty, traditional villages. Older kids could even climb Zas Mountain, it’s the highest in the Cyclades, and worth the effort for a glimpse of the famous Zas Cave on the way up.
Why Naxos should be your Greek island pick
- Walking round Naxos’ villages never gets tired. Don’t miss Apeiranthos for no fewer than five museums and architecture that’s unchanged since its Venetian Empire days.
- Follow the Emery Mines walking trail from Apeiranthos and you’ll come to a view of the entire Cyclades archipelago.
- Etesian winds make the north west coast of Naxos a magnet for windsurfers all summer long – great spot to learn too.
- Go snorkelling at tranquil Panormos Beach on the south east coast.
- Make time for the capital, Chora and its iconic Portara; this one time gateway to the Temple of Apollo is as good as a symbol of Naxos these days.
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