Greece holidays for most families mean sun, sea, sand and sunburn. Yet the mainland and surrounding islands are steeped in a rich and fascinating history just waiting to be discovered. The problem is, how do you get the kids away from the beach occasionally and interested in the story of Greece, without making them feel like they’re back in the classroom? Here are some great places where you can do just that.
The ancient city of Philippi is ‘the most important archaeological site of eastern Macedonia’, according to the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. But to the kids? It’s one big playground. You’re free to climb on all the ancient ruins of Philippi, which remains an important stop for Christians on pilgrimage tours of Greece. For more of a challenge, take all the family on a hike to the top of a small mountain to enjoy a picnic in the old acropolis. Here the kids can spot lizards, turtles and perhaps even a snake – so make sure you swap the flip-flops for trainers!
The capital of both ancient and modern Greece is packed to the rafters with ruins, churches and museums. A climb to the top of the Acropolis may seem exciting, but you may want to divide up the day so the kids don’t get bored to death by the endless piles of sun-bleached marble. When you reach the top, point out the National Gardens at Syntagma Square to the north-east and make that your next stop (after a lunch break). Here you’ll find a square mile of colourful tropical plans and flora, home of some very loud feathery friends. The kids can buy bird feed from the friendly Greek lady working there and will instantly be surrounded by a quacking (but harmless) crowd. Just keep an eye out for the handful of large geese wandering around, particularly if you have very small children.
You don’t have to wander far off the beaten track in Greece to find hidden cultural gems. Even in popular resort of Xanthi, there are plenty of ways to discover the real Greece hiding behind the tourist traps. Hire a car and head north to the mountain village of Paranesti where you take part in outdoor climbing and archery – all whilst enjoying amazing views. Or head south to the beaches of Eleftheres, where you can swim in the shadow of an ancient Byzantine tower, before taking a stroll along a glittering river running through a lush and peaceful valley.
Greece holidays uniquely blend ancient history, breathtaking beauty, and modern charm. From exploring the ruins of Athens to lounging on the beaches of Crete, there’s something for everyone in this Mediterranean paradise. And with so much to discover, it’s no wonder that Greece remains a top travel destination for adventurers and relaxation-seekers alike. So why not make your next vacation a journey through the land of the gods and goddesses? You won’t regret it!