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Family fun in the sun – Summer in Greece

Being an unconditional lover of antiquity, Greece is a natural holiday destination for me. Add to this beaches, mountains, woods, olive groves and vineyards, an endless variety of different landscapes on the islands and the mainland, and you can see why you can have a lot of family fun in Greece.

My private tips: the island of Naxos, history from antiquity to Venetian, great food, lovely beaches and an interesting interior. And the canal of Corinth with a side trip to Mycene.

Causeway on Naxos

Canal of Corinth

Tombs Mycene

See what else Greece has to offer:

When it comes to the best family-friendly destinations in Europe, Greece takes centre stage. All-inclusive hotels and resorts are perfectly placed to cater to visitors, fine sand beaches stretch for miles on the edge of the sea and thousands of years of history blend the old with the new in a fascinating way.

With sunny summer weather and mild winters that offer a break from the cold, damp grey of the UK, Greece ensures the whole family will be comfortable throughout the year. Here are three suggestions to get you started…

 

Explore Crete, the “Great Island”

As the largest Greek island, Crete is a great place to start exploring. The Romans, Ottomans and Italians have all left their cultural stamp here in the form of architecture and archaeological sites.

Be sure to visit the Fortezza in Rethymno, a 16th-century Venetian fortress overlooking the sea and town. Rethymnon is right in the centre of Crete, so it’s an ideal base to explore the picturesque gorges and villages of the mainland and the exotic beaches of the Libyan Sea in the south. You can also take day-excursions to all major sightseeing spots on the island.

Travelling with family means your hotel needs to be located within easy reach of attractions. Just three miles from the city of Rethymno, Grecotel Creta Palace is a 5-star resort with a private sandy beach, 2 landscaped pools, 10 restaurants and bars, plus ultra-spacious and supremely comfortable accommodation on the waterfront.

Kids aged 7–14 years can take part in Discovery Adventures, a fun club offering creative crafts, culinary lessons and outdoor activities that inspire them to create awareness of the environment, culture and healthy eating.

Families with children aged 0–3 years need not worry: Grecobaby offers babysittingand gives parents the opportunity to order all manner of baby items prior to arrival.

As well as enjoying crafts, competitions and celebrations, kids will love playing farmer for the day at Agreco Farm, where they can learn about the organic production of the island’s simple and healthy food.

And what’s more: guests at Creta Palace have access to the aqua park at Club Marine Palace, an award-winning Grecotel property with fun slides and pools for all ages.

 

Discover Athens, the capital of Greece

There’s plenty of room for families in Athens, the capital of Greece and its cultural heart. Start with a visit to the Acropolis to be intrigued by the glory of the world’s oldest civilisation. Relax on the coastline before a family dinner at chic restaurants in the town centre.

Wander the cobbled streets and pastel-coloured buildings of Plaka, or splurge in the markets of Monastiraki. For nature lovers, a catamaran cruise to the Athenian Riviera is sure to hit the spot. Meanwhile, the Temple of Poseidon at dusk is the prime location for the prettiest sunsets you’ve ever seen.

Just opposite the Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio, part of the Grecotel portfolio of luxury resorts and hotels, features spacious villas and family bungalows with fully-furnished balconies overlooking Sounio National Park. There are also seven restaurants, two secluded beaches and a seawater pool.

Children will love playing in the Grecoland Kids Club, splish-splashing at the pool and frolicking around the beaches and multi-coloured gardens. The best part: Kids up to 14 years old get to enjoy free dining at the Tasty Corner and stay free in the parent’s room.

Full of art, glamour and genuine hospitality, Pallas Athena is ideal for short stays. Kids will love the comic-themed graffiti rooms!

 

Live the island life in the Peloponnese

If you really want to experience Greece’s natural beauty, look no further than the Peloponnese. Here, you will find far-reaching valleys and forested mountains peppered with citrus, cypress, olive and plane trees, plus plenty of family-friendly activities.

Don’t miss Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of Olympic Games, just 45 min away by car. Or take a half-day cruise to the nearby islands of Zakynthos and Cephalonia. Go shopping in Patras, or explore the natural reserve and Forest of Strofilia.

Enjoy the best of the Peloponnese at Grecotel’s Olympia Riviera: a mega beach resort comprised of 4 amazing hotels, 20 uniquely appointed restaurants and bars and a multitude of resort facilities, all on a 5 km beach of fine white sand gently sloping to the Ionian Sea.

New this year is the Riviera Olympia Aqua Park, the largest mega-waterpark in a Greek resort. 12,000 m² of adrenaline-pumping water slides, rides and aqua towers provide the ultimate day out for the family in a safe setting.

On dry land, families can take part in everything from tennis academy and mini-soccer to basketball and archery, mountain biking and horse riding to trekking and paintball.

While the kids play, why not take a parents’ day off at the Elixir Thalassotherapy Spa Centre? This 4,500 m² spa facility features columned porticoes, open-air whirlpools and domed massage rooms where trained therapists perform modern wellness treatments.

 

The best resorts of the South Caucasus for family holidays

The journey through the South Caucasus is full of bright impressions.

Your journey will pass through the ancient countries of the Caucasus – Georgia and Armenia. You are welcome to visit historical sights and the most beautiful corners of the Caucasus. If you are planning family holidays, we would like to offer you the best resorts of the South Caucasus.

Tsakhkadzor

Tsakhkadzor is considered the most popular destination in Armenia, especially in the winter season. The natural attractions of the area are ideal for skiing, thаt is why Tsaghkadzor has turned into one of the most visited ski resorts in the South Caucasus.

Modern ropeway and slopes with levels of difficulties attract not only lovers of active sports, but also professional skiers and snowboarders. The highest point for skating is 2819 meters.

Tsaghkadzor is a modern tourist center in Armenia. The resort center is equipped with all the amenities for both a luxurious holiday in a five-star hotel and an affordable guest house for a budget tourist. To get a room in hotel or guest house in high season it is advisable to book in advance.

In the summer, Tsakhkadzor is a beautiful place where you can hide from the unbearable heat of the Ararat valley and Yerevan.

Dilijan

Dilijan is a pearl of Armenia and a paradise, hidden in dense forests and high mountains. Nature is truly generous to Dilijan; the resort has the cleanest mountain air, coniferous forests and mild climate. All these natural qualities are ideal for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Dilijan is ideal for a quiet family holiday. The “Old Dilijan” district represents the whole life and architecture of medieval Armenia. In addition to the beautiful city and nature it is worth to visit Dilijan for historical attractions. Two important monasteries of Armenia – Goshavank (XII century), and Hakhartsin (X century) are located not far from Dilijan. To admire the beauty of Armenia’s nature it is worth to visit lake Parz not far from Dilijan. It is also considered a popular attraction of the region. The itinarary from Lake Parz to Goshavank monastery is an ideal choice for hiking and trekking in Armenia.

Jermuk

The resort town of Jermuk is known for its miraculous water and pristine nature. The most popular sanatoria of both Armenia and CIS are located in Jermuk town.

The resort town is located in Syunik region, in the most picturesque region in Armenia. The purest mountain air and mineral springs turned the city into an ideal sanatorium place. Every year guests from neighboring countries and Europe come here for health improvement and reinforcement.

The mineral water of Jermuk is chemically identical to the Karlovy Vary mineral water in the Czech Republic. The only distinctive quality of mineral waters in both resorts is the relatively low prices in the Jermuk resort. The resort city offers not only high-class hotels with a wellness program, but also very affordable resorts for guests with a minimum budget.

Adjara

Dip in the warm waters of the Black Sea coast, and enjoy the hot sun in Adjara, in the resort region of Georgia. The resort towns of Adjara are Ureki, Kobuleti, Batumi, Sarpi stretching along the Black Sea coast. The most popular destination is the capital of Batumi that has transformed into a beautiful modern city.

Adjara attracts not only with clean beaches and warm sea, but also with lower prices even in high season. This factor attracts visitors from neighboring countries.

Borjomi

You have certainly heard about the mineral water of Borjomi. It’s not just the name of a soda, it’s a visiting card of Georgia, which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Borjomi is hidden in the high mountains and coniferous forests, but once you discovered Borjomi you will love it forever. Throughout the world Borjomi is known for its unique healing mineral water. In addition, a warm and mild climate has a beneficial effect on health.

Of course, the main attraction of Borjomi is mineral water and indescribable beauty of nature. However, to attract tourists of different interest in the area, ecotourism was also actively developed.

Once you have enjoyed the beauty of Borjomi and tried its magical water you can visit the historical sights of the region – the monastery of St. George, the fortress of Sali and the fortress of Petra.

Bakuriani

The ski resort of Bakuriani is especially popular among fans of active sports and extreme tourism. The resort is located on the slope of the Trialeti Range, at an altitude of 1700 m. Slopes are divided into two routes with different levels of difficulty. The ski lift leads to the tops. Slopes are quite difficult and they are suitable for professional skiers and snowboarders, but there are several tracks on the slope for beginners.

In Bakuriani, you can arrange a luxurious vacation in one of the best five-star hotels, or spend time in one of the small guest houses at affordable prices.

After rafting on the slopes it is worth visiting attractions near Bakuriani – Lake Tabatskuri, the monastery of Timotesubani (X century), the mineral resorts of Tsagveri and Mitarbi. The itinarary from Kareli town to Bakurian is an ideal choice for trekking in Georgia.

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