What to Know Before You Go
Greece is an ideal country for a beach holiday. There are many beach resorts to choose from, and the weather is usually great. In fact, the Greek beaches are world-famous and exceedingly popular because of their crystal-clear waters. You can find sandy or pebbly beaches stretching over many kilometres. Did you know that Greece has one of the longest coastlines in the world? For a beach holiday with young kids, it is important to take some precautions. That is why we have listed our best tips. So follow our suggestions and enjoy a relaxed and worry-free family beach holiday in Greece!
1. Choose your destination wisely
Greece has an endless number of beach resorts. But not all beaches are suitable for young kids. When you plan your travel, it’s best to go to destinations with sandy beaches. These can be found on the Greek islands, in Halkidiki, Pelion and the Western and Southern Peloponnese. More specifically, toddlers and young kids will love the beaches in Crete, Rhodes, Naxos, Sifnos, Mykonos, Corfu, Paros and Antiparos. Be aware that the islands in the Aegean can be windy. Their meltemi winds are seasonal northern winds that blow in summer. They can affect the beaches on the Cyclades islands, the Dodecanese, and other Aegean islands. On the meltemi days, it’s best to avoid northern beaches but go to the southern beaches instead.
2. Visit the beach in the morning or afternoon
Greece has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers that start in May and end in October. July and August are the hottest. During these months, the sun is very strong and high temperatures are commonplace throughout the summer. That is why we recommend going to the beach early in the morning and leaving before noon. Or arriving in the late afternoon and staying at the beach until the early evening when the sun and heat are less intense. Afternoon beach bonus: the crowd disappears shortly before the sun does, so the kids will have more space to run free while parents can enjoy the beautiful sunset with cooler temperatures. In between, do as the Greeks do and have a midday nap to avoid major meltdowns, both figuratively and literally!
3. Be prepared for the Greek sun
With daytime temperatures at an average of 32°C, and often of 35/36 °C, you should be well-prepared for the Greek sun. Always bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat. Make sure that your stroller or baby carrier is made of light and cool materials. Don’t use a blanket to shade a stroller. While it might keep the sun off, it will also keep the heat in and lead to the baby getting too hot. Instead of a blanket, use a large canopy, a mesh, or a summer UV protector, specifically designed for strollers. Dress your baby in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. A beach tent is too hot for Greece. Instead, opt for shade under an umbrella or tree. In Greece, you will find trees growing near the water, such as the tamarisk, the mastic tree, and the pine. You can also choose an ‘organised” beach or beach club with sunbeds and beach umbrellas.
Besides shade, you also need mosquito netting for your baby to cover its crib, stroller, and baby carrier. Make sure that there are no mosquitoes trapped inside the mosquito net. In Greece, there are some sporadic mosquito species that can transmit certain diseases if they are infected. So even though most mosquitoes around you are harmless, it is recommended to protect your family from itchy mosquito bites by wearing appropriate clothing in the evening (light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants) or using skin insect repellents.
4. Stay hydrated
Give your baby more fluids than usual, to keep him hydrated. And do the same for yourself and your children by carrying a bottle of water. In Athens and most beach destinations on the mainland of Greece, tap water is perfectly safe to drink. But on the Greek Islands, it is better to drink bottled or filtered water, which is readily available and very cheap. And do not forget fruits and vegetables for keeping hydrated at the beach. The best Greek summer fruit that is cheap and can be found everywhere throughout the summer is the watermelon. Watermelon is very healthy and one of the most hydrating foods you can eat!
5. Safety first
Generally speaking, Greece’s beaches are safe for young kids. The Greek sea is usually calm in the morning hours, and as a rule, the afternoon breeze brings some waves of varying sizes and intensity, depending on your location. The Greek shores are among the world’s cleanest according to the 2022 Blue Flag quality award list for beaches. Water temperature is also important when visiting the beach with kids. Babies are more comfortable when the seawater is on the warmer side. The Greek sea is at its best temperature during the summer months of July and August. The warmest seawater can be found in Attica and Corfu.
Speaking about safety, the Mediterranean Sea hosts several innocent sea creatures such as sea urchins and jellyfish. Sea urchins only live on rocky surfaces, that is why you will not encounter them on a sandy beach. Jellyfish are typically harmless except for the purple jellyfish (in the central and northern Aegean Sea, in the Saronic Gulf off Athens, and the islands in the Ionian Sea). The sting of the purple jellyfish can be painful and that is why it is recommended you go to the beach with a small kit containing first aid items such as anti-allergic gel or cortisone cream. Most organised beaches and hotels have lifeguards posted with a first aid station during the high season to help you keep safe.
Enjoy the summer in Greece!