The Best Places To Visit On A Family Holiday To Crete



Crete is one of those places that few people think of when visiting Greece. There is one thing you should know about this island paradise – it’s a must see in Greece.

Imagine taking in the views of breathtaking turquoise waters as you stroll through Rethymnon’s Old Town.

The white sand beaches begin to reveal themselves as you admire the Venetian architecture that makes up this beautiful city.

Family Holiday to Crete, Greece, best things to do in Chania, Falasarna Beach, young girl with view of the beach.

Can you picture it? Well, at Crete, this and so much more await you. Stick around to learn about the best family holiday to Crete, from where to stay to what to do.

By the end, you’ll understand why this is one of the top coastal family destinations in the world.

So grab your beach towels and get ready to explore Crete.

Things To Know For A Family Holiday In Crete

Before diving into the top destinations on this iconic island, you need to know a few things.

Which Part Of Crete Is Best For Families?

From our experience, we recommend the cities of Chania, Rethymnon, and Agios Nikolaos.

All these destinations have a vast range of fun activities to do with kids, and they are usually slightly quieter than other major cities.

Is Crete Safe For Families?

Crete is an extremely safe destination for families. It’s one of the safest islands in Greece, making it a fantastic destination for everyone.

Best places to visit in Crete, Greece, Chania Old Town, Turkish Quarter, Mother and daughter with a flower

That said, we also recommend staying on the side of caution, especially when visiting a new country.

Is Crete Good For Toddlers?

The short answer is yes, it’s the perfect destination for families with toddlers. It’s relatively quiet compared to other Greek islands and has plenty of gentle beaches for children.

Best Time For Crete Family Holidays

The best time to go on family holidays to Crete is in June. There are fewer people as the peak holiday season is from July to August, and the waters are lovely and warm.

Blue Marine Resort and Spa Review - Crete Greece - Pool view towards the beach

Top Tip: While planning your ultimate trip, find the top hidden gems of Greece that you must add to your itinerary.

Chania: A Fantastic Crete Family Holiday Destination

This is the second largest city on the island – after Heraklion – and provides a fantastic starting point for lovely holidays in Crete.

What To Do In Chania With Kids?

Time to start exploring the eternal city of Chania, from the historic Old Town district to the breathtaking beaches.

Explore Chania Town

The first thing you need to know about Crete is that it gets really hot during the day. So we recommend exploring the city around late afternoon or early night time.

Family Holiday to Crete in Greece, Chania Venetian Harbour, mother and daughter, horse carriage, church

There are some amazing things to see here, but our top pick is the Venetian Harbor. It dates back to the 14th century and has a lovely promenade with loads of eateries.

The Aroma Cafe is a particularly nice restaurant we recommend visiting.

Family Holiday to Crete in Greece, Chania Venetian Harbour

You can also find the iconic 19th-century Lighthouse that dominates the city’s coast.

A walk to this lighthouse will take around 15 minutes, but it’s a fantastic way to get panoramic views of the Venetian Old Port.

Family Holiday to Crete in Greece, Chania Venetian Harbour, sunset view

Next, you should wander through the glorious pedestrian streets and admire Venetian-style architecture in Old Town.

There are four distinct regions in Old Town – Kastelli, Topanas, Jewish District, and Splantzia District – each with a unique charm.

Family holiday in Crete, Greece, Chania Old Town, man in the alley, restaurants

For an exciting way to learn about the history of Crete for kids, visit Minoans World 3D Museum.

You won’t just be learning about Greece, but you and the young one will have a particularly thrilling experience in a 9D movie.

Top Tip: A great way to see the town is on a horse carriage for roughly £20 ($19.97).

Beaches To Visit In Chania

The most noteworthy beach in Crete is Elaphinisi, with its light pink sand and azure-blue water.

Family holiday to Crete, Greece, Elafonisi beach, Best beaches in Crete

Elaphinisi gets very busy during the day, and it’s a one-hour and 37-minute drive from Chania.

Abalos Lagoon is another stunning beach that Chania is well known for. It’s a one-hour drive or boat ride from Chania, but – like Elaphinisi – it gets incredibly crowded.

Although these are beautiful beaches, they aren’t necessarily the best for families.

We spent some time at Falasarna Beach, which has more accessible parking and is an hour’s drive from Chania.

Family Holiday to Crete, Greece, best things to do in Chania, Falasarna Beach

The sun loungers here are affordable, and there are food services on the beach. Strong waves mean it’s ideal for older kids but too rough for little ones.

Another fantastic option near the city (a 20-minute drive) is Kalathas Beach. The beach isn’t as mesmerizing as Falasama, but the shallow waters make it great for families.

Crete Family Vacation, in Greece, Kalathas Beach near Chania, view from the top

There are also sun loungers available, and we suggest going to Lena Beach Restaurant for a bite.

Top Tip: Take a short 8-mile drive to the Botanical Gardens of Crete for a fun day outing.

Where To Stay in Chania

There are some amazing resorts in Crete for families, but picking the ideal one can be challenging. Here is a list of our top options in Chania, so you can have a relaxing family vacation.

Casa Anthos

We stayed at Casa Anthos, and trust us when we say it was a fantastic choice. Casa Anthos is in the center of Old Town, so you’re never far from the city’s top attractions. You can also admire the city from the apartment’s patio.

Check prices for Casa Anthos here!

Arkadi Hotel

The Arkadi Hotel is a beautiful lodging no more than 650 feet from the Venetian Port. The hotel also has a kid-friendly buffet.

Check prices for Arkadi Hotel here!

Odos Oneiron Boutique Hotel

Odos Oneiron is in an old 17th-century Venetian building in the heart of Chania. It’s close to all the main attractions and has everything from a sun terrace to car hire services.

Check prices for Odos Oneiron here!

Rethymnon: A Top Family Holiday Crete Has To Offer

The next destination on this list is Rethymnon, a quaint town with plenty of soft sand beaches.

What To Do In Rethymnon With Kids

Although Rethymnon is a small coastal town, there is still plenty for you to see and do.

Family Holiday in Crete, Greece, Rehymnon play park, playground, young girl smiling at the playpark

Explore Rethymnon Town

Possibly the best part of town to wander through is Old Town. The pale pastel buildings paint a pretty picture, and the serene Venetian Harbor adds to the magical feeling of Rethymnon.

Family Holiday to Crete, Greece, Rehymnon Old Town, shops and old street, young girls arm up

Built in 1626, the Rimondi Fountain is one of the city’s highlights in Petichaki square.

Family Vacation to Crete, Greece, Rehymnon Old Town, alley view of restaurants and trees with pink flowers

We also highly recommend walking to the Venetian Fortezza for an unforgettable sunset opportunity.

Family Vacation to Crete, Greece, Rehymnon Old Town, Venetian Harbour

For a fun day out with your loved ones, you can also visit the Limnoupolis Water Park, which is only an hour’s drive away. This is a seasonal activity open in summer between May and October.

Another fantastic thing to explore in the city is the Arkadi Monastery, a UNESCO European Monument of Freedom.

You can discover breathtaking architecture and Arkadi’s participation in the Cretan Revolution of 1866.

Click here to book your tour from Rethymnon to see Arkadi Monastery.

Day Trip To Lake Kournas

For a fun family day trip, take a short 37-minute drive to Lake Kournas. This beautiful inland body of water changes from turquoise to a deep blue the deeper the water gets.

Family vacation in Crete, Lake Kournas Crete, Greece, man standing next to the lake, pedal boats

You can rent pedal boats for €7 ($6.99) per hour or a canoe for €4 ($3.99) per hour.

This is a great way to experience this serene lake. The water is very calm and shallow, so it’s perfect for families with toddlers.

There are plenty of eateries along the beachfront, but we recommend The Beautiful Lake. They serve divine food at a very reasonable price.

Overall, Lake Kournas is a great place to visit for the day. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Click here to book your tour from Rethymnon to Lake Kournas.

Beaches To Visit In Rethymnon

Rethymnon is a beach paradise, so you can imagine there are plenty of places to wind away the day. Matala Beach is one of the top spots, but it’s an hour and 30-minute drive from Rethymnon and can get very busy.

Best beaches in Rethymno in Crete, Greece, family holiday to Crete

We recommend Plakias Beach, as it’s only a 47-minute drive from town. The waters are very calm, so it’s perfect for toddlers.

We recommend you visit Beach House Plakias for food, as you can also use the complimentary sun loungers when you order from them.

If you have older children that can handle a fair amount of steps to get to the beach, then Preveli Beach is an excellent option. It’s a 50-minute drive from Rethymnon, and the water is slightly deeper, but the views at Preveli are magical.

Where To Stay in Rethymnon

Here are some of our top choices for where to stay in Rethymnon

Orestis Downtown Home

We stayed at the Orestis Downtown Home in the heart of Rethymnon Old Town.

It has everything, from a balcony with city views to a large lounge and dining area, so it’s ideal for large families.

Check prices for Orestis here!

Aegean Pearl

This inclusive resort is perfect for families looking to relax in Rethymnon.

It’s 1.7 miles from the city center and has two kids’ pools, a play area, a lovely buffet, and spacious rooms.

Check prices for Aegean Pearl here!

Archipelagos Hotel

For a lovely stay right on the Koumbes beachfront, we recommend the Archipelagos Hotel.

The rooms have lovely modern finishings, and the terrace with a sun lounger is a fantastic spot to end your days.

Check prices for Archipelagos here!

Agios Nikolaos: The Best Resort In Crete For Families

Last but certainly not least, we have the lovely town of Agios Nikolaos, a short hour’s drive from Heraklion.

What To Do In Agios Nikolaos With Kids

Let’s jump right into the top things to do in Agios Nikolaos for an enjoyable vacation.

Explore Agios Nikolaos Town

Agios Nikolaos is a wonderful town to explore, and the best way to start is with a gentle stroll around Lake Voulismeni.

Family holiday in Crete with kids, Greece, Agios Nikolaos Town, luxury hotels and harbour

This is a prime part of town to explore, with steep rocky cliffs on one side and picturesque cafes on the other.

But if you’re searching for a fun day with the family, we recommend going to the Lasithi Plateau, just inland of the city.

It’s a gorgeous array of green fields. Another hidden gem is the Dikteon Cave, which has magnificent stalactites and stalagmites.

Another great thing to do with the family is to spend the day on Kitroplatia Beach.

It’s one of the best beaches in the city, with umbrellas and a breathtaking view of the rolling Thripti mountains to the east.

Click here to book your tour from Agios Nikolaos to Diktean Cave.

Day Trip To Star Beach

This is a great idea for a fun-filled day with the kids, as the Star Beach Waterpark has everything you need and more.

It’s also only a 40-minute drive to Agios Nikolaos.

While you relax, the kids can play in the pools and enjoy the water slides and sports, or you can all mozy down the lazy river.

The restaurant is also great, with local ingredients making some delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

Day Trip to Vai Beach

Another fantastic option for a day outing is relaxing on the palm-lined beach of Vai.

Family holiday to Crete, Greece, Vai Beach Crete, view from the top

It’s an hour and 45-minute drive from Agios Nikolaos, but it’s one of the best beaches to visit when in Crete.

It’s not a super-developed beach, so we suggest packing a nice lunch, but the waters are calm, and it’s lovely to visit for a day.

Enjoy The Resort

We stayed at the Blue Marine Resort and Spa, which is one of the best all-inclusive family resorts in Crete.

Blue Marine Resort and Spa Review - Crete Greece - Girl in next to the pool

It has a beautiful pool and an adorable beach for relaxing between exploring the city.

Although you may choose a different resort, we highly recommend you spend a day or two just enjoying the luxuries of your resort of choice.

Where To Stay in Agios Nikolaos Town

Here are our top choices for where to stay when in Agios Nikolaos.

Blue Marine Resort and Spa

This is possibly the best family resort in Crete, with its quaint fish-shaped pool and all-inclusive package.

Blue Marine Resort and Spa Review - Crete Greece - Men at the beach

The rooms are lovely, and the restaurants on-site provide delicious meals for the whole family.

Check prices for Blue Marine here!

Daios Cove Luxury Resort And Villas

For a luxury stay in Agios Nikolaos, look no further than Daios Cove. This is another one of the top Crete family resorts that offer private access to Vathi Kritsas Beach.

Check prices for Daios Cave here!

Miramare Resort And Spa

If you’re looking for a cheaper resort option that still offers fantastic services, stay at Miramare.

Private access to Almiros Beach is a bonus, and the kid’s pool means you can relax during your vacation.

Check prices for Miramare here!

Final Thoughts On The Best Family Holidays In Crete

We hope you have plenty of inspiration for your family holiday to Crete. Greece is honestly one of the most kid-friendly places in Europe that we have visited. And Crete is probably one of the most family-friendly of the Greek Islands.

Best places to visit in Crete, Greece, Chania Old Town, Turkish Quarter, young girl with a flower

Now that you have all the answers to pressing questions and know about the best locations and must-visit attractions, it’s time to finalize your bookings for an unforgettable vacation.

Here is a list of the best beaches in Europe for families if you are inspired to book a beach holiday.

Additional Information for Greece Vacation

Check out what else we have about Greece here:

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Andrzej Ejmont

Andrzej believes life to be a never ending adventure. Originally from Poland, he is a devoted husband and father. Dedicated and enthusiastic to chase all his dreams. Storytelling to entice other families to travel.