Greece is a very special place to my husband and me. Over our travels so far, we have spent a cumulative total of 2.5 months in Greece, both on the mainland and the islands. My husband proposed to me on the island of Crete and we returned a year later for our destination wedding. Several years later we spent one month on Rhodes with our then ten-month-old baby boy.
With the exception of a few islands such as Santorini or Mykonos, which have more of a reputation as a party island and are therefore much busier with a different type of crowd, most of the Greek islands are a peaceful sanctuary, perfect for traveling with families! In this post I’ll list 18 reasons why you should travel to a Greek island with your baby.
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1 – Greeks love babies!
Our baby is doted upon in Greece! (It helps that we gave him a Greek name because we got engaged and married on Crete, so we wanted an international name that was easy to pronounce in many countries), so locals get a kick out of that. One time we were at a taverna and our baby was fussy, and the owner, who barely spoke any English, came right up to me and took our baby out of our hands and proceeded to carry him around the restaurant whilst serving other tables and singing to him! It was one of the highlights of our trip and an experience I’ll never forget. Don’t be alarmed if strangers come right up to your baby and touch them, pinch their cheeks or rub their head. I love that at tavernas and restaurants, our server typically greeted our baby before greeting us. It’s not uncommon to see babies crawling around the floor of the taverna, or riding inside a shopping cart at a supermarket.
2 – The hospitality is unparalleled
Feeling welcomed in a country as a whole, especially when you’re traveling with your baby or small child, is a wonderful feeling. When you go out anywhere in public with your baby, in most places you will be the norm and not the exception. Babies are an important part of Greek culture, as they are often seen as the future generation who will carry on the family businesses (or so the parents hope).
3 – The air is clean
They’re islands after all! Pollution is not a concern on the Greek Islands so you can rest assured that your baby will be breathing clean and fresh air.
4 – It’s safe
As a female traveler, safety is always a high priority for me when selecting a destination to visit. Now that I’m a mama, it’s even more important. Greece is one of the countries that I have always felt 100% safe in – even more so than our home town in Seattle! Granted, we haven’t visited many Greek Islands yet, but during all our travels around Greece, we never saw a single homeless tent or encampment, nor witnessed any act of danger or violence. Sure, there is petty crime everywhere, particularly around the touristy areas, but generally the Greek Islands, especially in the more local parts, are very safe.
5 – Traveling around the Greek Islands is affordable, and you can rent a large private villa for your family at a reasonable price
Before we had a baby, my husband and I were quite happy to stay in a studio or a single-room flat since it was just the two of us, but having a baby requires a bit more space – especially if your baby is mobile, as they’ll want to crawl or walk around! Staying in a private villa was new for us, and now we’re spoilt for life! Not only is there ample space both indoors and outdoors, many of the owners have kids themselves or are used to families staying, so it comes equipped with baby toys, tubs and sleeping cots. You can find great deals on villas (we use Booking.com) that won’t break the bank.
6 – Electronic blackout shades are common in many accommodations, creating the perfect sleeping environment for your baby!
We’re not new to this amazing technological invention (that was probably created by a parent) – electronic blackout shades really need to be a thing in the states because it’s the only device I’ve ever seen that truly blocks out 100% of light (and consequentially keeps the room cool) – I’m talking, you can’t even see your own hand in front of your face! Pitch black! We’ve seen this design in Portugal and the Azores Islands, and in Italy, and it’s downright brilliant. Just press a button located inside the room, and you can lower the shades making it as light or as dark as you wish. Our baby had the best sleep of his life in Greece.
7 – There’s lots of open space, creating the perfect outdoor playground for little explorers
It’s very easy to find open space on a Greek Island, whether it’s a beach, a grassy lawn or a large taverna, you won’t feel crowded (unless, of course, you’re in a touristic part of the island such as the old town.)
8 – It’s easy to find uncrowded beaches or little slices of bays, inlets or the coast that you can have all to yourself, where the water is calm
I was raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where the ferocity of Mother Nature is apparent in the ocean, and it can be downright dangerous even for adults to swim during certain times of the year! One of the reasons I am so drawn to the Mediterranean Sea is that there is no immediate threat of deadly lurking sea creatures underneath. (ahem 🦈) Of course, the Mediterranean also has sharks, but they’re not typically found in the calm bays near the shore.
9 – Many beaches have sunbeds and umbrellas (often even for free!)
So you don’t have to lug a bunch of your own equipment around. Also a thing I wish that more beaches around the U.S. would offer.
10 – The beaches are generally quiet
(Save for the wonderful sound of kids laughing and splashing!); people are considerate and do not play loud music at beaches (with the exception of some beach clubs with more of a party vibe.) We spend winters in Mexico, where the culture is very different from Greece in that they love their loud music all day every day 24/7! Locals in Mexico bring their own speakers and blast music, or the beach clubs have the music at a party club level at nearly all hours of the day – you won’t find that as prevalently on the Greek Islands.
11 – Restaurants and tavernas typically stay open from breakfast or lunch through dinnertime, so you can eat supper early and have the restaurant to yourself
We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Italy, where they close up shop typically between the hours of 3 – 7 PM and then re-open for dinner, so if you’re hungry during that time, you’re typically out of luck unless you have food at home. Also in Spain, it’s customary to eat supper very late (typically starting around 8 or 9PM), which was great for us pre-baby, but all you new parents know that if you miss your baby’s sleep window, everybody suffers, so it’s nice to know that there are options for open restaurants before the rest of the crowd comes in.
12 – Greek food is great for babies!
Greek food is some of the healthiest cuisine I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. I always look and feel my best when we visit Greece because they generally don’t use preservatives in their cooking, and food is made from scratch, especially if you dine at a family-run taverna. Stews (stifado) are common, and the soft pull-apart-fall-off-the-bone meats are great for babies on solids, and also if you’re doing the BLW (baby led weaning) approach.
13 – Almost all tavernas have baby chairs, and many even have kids toys and even a kid’s corner!
We were delighted to find that at every single taverna we visited, baby chairs were available upon request. Also, because many of the village tavernas are family-run, they will have kids toys on the premises because they have 14 grandchildren! One restaurant we visited even had an entire dedicated kid’s corner with toys, a baby chair and table, and coloring utensils! Our little boy had a blast.
14 – Fresh fruit galore!
Particularly in the summertime, Greece is known for their delicious fresh fruit, especially stone fruit such as peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines. But I’m here for the melon! I’ve never tasted sweeter watermelon in my entire life, and if any of you parents out there have babies who are teething, watermelon rinds saved us! Our baby is always happy if he has a watermelon rind in his hands.
15 – Breastfeeding in public is acceptable
The general attitude towards nursing in public in Greece is friendly.
16 – The drivers in Greece are calm and considerate
Traveling in Italy really cracks me up; people are so chill and take their time everywhere, but as soon as they get on the road, all hell breaks loose and the roads are filled with drivers who are like bats out of hell. This is not the case in Greece, where people will ride your tail if they want you to pull over so that they can pass, or slower cars will move to the side to allow faster cars to pass. Generally the driving is very chill, especially since the smaller Greek islands have one main road rather than a massive multi-lane highway.
17 – The lull of cicadas, the sea and the calm breeze is a wonderful and sleep inducing environment for naps at the beach
Sometimes I wish I had a pram that I could crawl into and take a nap on the beach. What a lucky baby!
18 – There are lots of cats for your baby to marvel at and talk to
Just don’t pet the wild ones.
So there you have it! These are just a few reasons why traveling the Greek Islands with your baby is always a great idea! Happy family travels!
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