Sea & Sand in the Cyclades 12 Day Family Journey
Athens- (flight to Paros) Paros - (ferry to Naxos) Naxos – (ferry to Santorini) - (flight to Athens) Athens
Sea & Sand in the Cyclades 12 Day Family Journey
A family-friendly adventure, dive into the sea and sand of the stunning Cyclades, while getting an entertaining and educational history lesson in ancient Athens and beyond. Marvel at a 13th-century Venetian Castle on Paros, explore some of the country’s most beautiful beaches and visit a cheese farm on Naxos, enjoy full-day sailing excursions and plenty of opportunities for sailing and snorkeling along with delicious traditional Greek meals and fine local wines (of course soft drinks are provided for the kids).
At a Glance
|Land at Athens International Airport where you’ll be taken into the city by private transfer||Athens|
|Join an expert child-friendly guide for a tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon||Athens|
|Catch a flight to Paros and enjoy the island at your leisure||Paros|
|Cruise the dazzling turquoise waters that surround Paros in a luxury catamaran||Paros|
|Ferry to Naxos, enjoying its delights on your own, from sandy beaches to ancient sites||Naxos|
|Join a tour to visit a Naxos cheese farm and enjoy candy and ice cream tastings||Naxos|
|Sail the Naxos seas on an elegant yacht, using a GoPro to capture memorable moments||Naxos|
|Take the ferry to Santorini to explore some of the world’s most breathtaking views||Santorini|
|Embark on a sailing excursion around Santorini’s caldera cliffs||Santorini|
|Return to Athens by plane, enjoying the rest of the day as you wish||Athens|
|Take a guided day trip to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon||Athens|
|Return to Athens International Airport by private transfer|
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Day by Day Itinerary
Welcome to Athens. You’ll be met by private transfer for the drive to your Athens hotel where you might want to take some time to relax before doing a bit of exploring. With a tour of the Acropolis on the agenda tomorrow, take it slow, perhaps wandering the narrow streets of the historic Plaka to check out the unique items and souvenirs in the shops and unwinding at one of the sidewalk cafes – for more energy, Greek coffee always seems to do the trick. If you’re looking for a kid-friendly café, the Psiri neighborhood hosts Little KooK, a fairytale-themed café that everyone in the family is sure to love, complete with mouthwatering treats like cakes and crepes.
Explore history in a family-friendly way that’s sure to appeal to kids and adults alike. Journey back through time in the ancient heart of Athens with a visit to Acropolis Hill and the Acropolis Museum. Your guide is specially trained to ensure little ones are entertained as you’re taken to notable sites like the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike and other iconic landmarks that date back to the 5th-century BC. You’ll get to explore the antiquities, artifacts and sculptures at the museum while learning about the impressive achievements of ancient Athenians too. Expect plenty of interactive games and storytelling throughout the excursion that will keep everyone interested and engaged.
Return to Athens Airport where you’ll catch a morning or mid-day flight to the island of Paros. Once there you can enjoy the day as you wish, perhaps exploring Parikia, or Paros Town as it’s also called. The island’s capital sits along the waterfront on the west coast, framed by high hills. Here you can discover many interesting sites like Market Street and the old quarter just behind the main square, a 13th-century Venetian castle, ruins of ancient residences and temples too. If you’d prefer relaxing on the beach, Paros beach is considered one of the most stunning in the Cyclades with its unique formations and rocks that are smooth as silk.
Look forward to a half-day of cruising aboard an elegant catamaran, sailing south to view the dazzling turquoise lagoons that lie on islands between Paros and Antiparos. Journey on to magnificent sea caves carved out of volcanic rocks that are ideal for a refreshing dip, and then explore the history and beaches on the archaeological island of Despotiko. If you’d like lunch can be arranged at one of the two taverns there. More stunning beaches that can only be accessed by water will be visited on Antiparos’ wild west side, and on its north side you’ll visit the rock of Saint Spyridon which hosts a lovely church. Enjoy soaking in the warm geothermal waters of Fira Island before returning.
Hop aboard the ferry to Naxos from Paros. Upon your arrival you’ll notice the Portara which marks the entrance into Naxos port. As you’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure, you might want to take time to visit it. Also known as the Great Door, it’s essential a massive marble doorway leading to nowhere, yet it stands proudly as the island’s jewel. There are lots of fun shops to explore along the waterfront, along with fabulous eateries serving plenty of delicious Naxian cuisine. As Naxos is home to vegetable farms, citrus and olive groves, cheese farms, vineyards and more, you’ll find plenty of tasty local eats (and outstanding wine) to sample too.
Specially designed for families with children, today you’ll enjoy an excursion in a luxurious vehicle that’s aimed to please all ages, although we admit the kids are likely to be especially excited about this tour. Led by an inspirational guide, you’ll get to visit one of the island’s cheese farms, and even meet animals like goats and sheep that are producing the delicious items made here. Afterward, head into beautiful Naxos Town for some non-alcohol related tastings: homemade ice cream and candy. All food and drinks are included so there are no worries about having to pull your wallet out at every stop.
Get ready to sail the seas aboard a sleek yacht for a full day out on those beautiful aquamarine waters. You’ll have plenty of time to jump in for a swim or snorkel, or to paddle around on an SUP. Your cruise will take you to explore secluded coves and glistening bays, postcard-perfect beaches and one of the most stunning sea caves in the Cyclades. Filled with emerald-hued waters, it makes for an especially unforgettable swim. Along the way enjoy a variety of refreshments and a full lunch with drinks. You’ll even be able to use an onboard drone and GoPro camera to get especially memorable shots, sharing them as you go as the vessel comes with Wi-Fi.
While it’s always hard to say goodbye to beloved Naxos, the bucket-list of Santorini makes farewells a little easier. Hop on the ferry to the island and then go exploring to discover its most breathtaking views. If you’re up for a hike, the route between Oia and Thira is one of the most popular for gazing at the caldera cliffs and the sparkling blue Aegean. The village of Oia itself is wonderful to roam around with its whitewashed buildings, cafes, restaurants and shops. Thira offers some outstanding museums, including the Museum of Prehistoric Thira and the Archaeological Museum which holds many impressive archaeological finds from Santorini.
One of the highlights of this Greek vacation comes today – a 5-hour sailing excursion in a deluxe catamaran. You’ll get to enjoy the stunning sights of Santorini from a perspective on the water, cruising alongside the caldera while enjoying several memorable stops. Take a dip in the warm springs of the volcanic crater and enjoy both the red and white sand beaches which provide many great photo opportunities. In between, you’ll be able to snorkel and swim through the Aegean, perhaps discovering interesting underwater life as well. The journey includes a full Greek meal paired with soft drinks, Greek wine or beer as well as snacks to ensure you have plenty of energy for all the fun.
Prepare to return to Athens, catching a morning or mid-day flight back to the capital city. The Museum of Ancient Greek Technology is almost always a hit with kids who can see, touch and even operate inventions from the ancient Greek civilization. Watching the changing of the guards at Parliament, with the ceremony taking place every hour, is another option. The National Gardens are right behind it, and inside is a farm with farm animals, a pond filled with ducks and turtles, as well as colorful flowers, impressive rare plants and trees. It also includes a children’s library, café and a botanical museum.
On your last full day of this family adventure through Greece, you’ll journey to Cape Sounion along the Athenian Riviera. A private half-day excursion, you’ll get up close to the God of the Sea at the 5th-century Temple of Poseidon, the perfect spot to take in a magnificent view of the endless expanse of the sapphire Aegean. Your first stop will be a visit to the unique saltwater/freshwater Lake Vouliagmeni, with its mix providing a rich environment for life. Afterward, you’ll journey to the majestic temple perfectly timed for watching a magical sunset with a myriad of colors splashed across the sea.
The most difficult day of your Greek vacation has arrived, departure day. While no one likes to see it come, it’s time to prepare for pickup by private transfer. You’ll return to Athens International Airport for your flight back home, but if you really can’t say goodbye just yet, contact our travel experts to find out how they can help.
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