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Athens, Mykonos & Santorini- Safe/Good for children?

Athens, Mykonos & Santorini- Safe/Good for children?

Old Apr 4th, 2002, 01:17 PM
  #1  
Gigi
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Athens, Mykonos & Santorini- Safe/Good for children?

I would appreciate comments on travel safety for young kids (4 1/2 yrs. old) in the cities of Athens, Mykonos & Santorini. I've heard that there's a lot of walking (uphill)to see the Acropolis. Athens is also very busy with a lot of traffic. Are there ways to get to the main sites easily and avoid some of the traffic? Or is it better to wait until a child is a little older? Also, is Mykonos non-stop partying or is there any respite from the club noise, etc. How are the beaches there?-- are there any families with kids? Is Santorini mainly all cliffs and impractical for kids or are there hotels on the beach? I've heard that Paros and Hydra are also beautiful islands and would they possibly be better for families with small children? If so, how far is Hydra from Athens and what's the best way to get there?
 
Old Apr 4th, 2002, 01:26 PM
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CJ
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Okay, I may take some heat for this, but as a mother of a 2 year old, I think I can see things the way you do. I would wait a few years until your kids are a little older. (We were in Greece in 1999, a few months before I got pregnant.) We went all over Santorini and I did not see any hotels on the beach. The only hotels I saw were cut into the cliffs and cave-like. Walking up and down the narrow cobblestone and dirt paths was difficult for ME, even though I am a fairly fit 30 something woman. I loved Athens, but there is a lot of walking there, and it is a hike up to the Acropolis. I assume your kids are too big for the stroller too. I think Greece would be a great destination for kids because of the history (so much to learn) and the beautiful culture, but if I were you, I would wait until they are at least 6. You don't want them to be whiney and cranky and demanding that you carry them everywhere.
 
Old Apr 4th, 2002, 01:29 PM
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CJ
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I should add that I don't know what your price range is, but if you are still set on Greece, I would recommend the Elounda Mare in Crete. (If you do a search, you will see my posts on this hotel.) It has its own private beach, and I did see a few families with small kids there. You can hire a motorboat to take a tour of the island by sea. You can take a day trip to see the ruins of the Minotaur palace of Knossos, which would not be hard for a 4.5 year old. The town of Elounda is NOT great and touristy, but you can take an easy cab ride to Agios Nikolaos, the next town over, and it is charming and has lots of cute restaurants, cafes and ice cream/dessert shops.
 
Old Apr 4th, 2002, 02:35 PM
  #4  
T
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There is all kinds of hotels on the beach in Santorini, there are in the towns of Kamari and Perissia. Perissia is fairly quiet and there is a couple of hotels that are geared towards children. Hydra is about an 1.5 hours from Athens by hydrofoil, it's fairly hilly but should be manageable. Spetses which is next to Hydra has more sandy beaches and is not hilly also without cars. The Villa Marina in Spetses is nice, close to restaurants and shops next to the town beach. There is quiet areas in Mykonos I just wouldn't stay right in Mykonos town. I love Greece and would hate to discourage someone from going!
 
Old Apr 4th, 2002, 06:11 PM
  #5  
Sue
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I agree that Crete would be a good place with young children but liked the area to the west of Heraklion better than Elounda, Agios Nicholaos, which I found to be very touristy. Chania, with its Venetian influence, is my idea of charming on Crete. There is a lovely beach area on the western coast.

I can imagine doing Mykonos with children if your hotel were not in town, which can get very congested and noisy in high season. Recommend Princess of Mykonos, about a mile from town, with its own beach and pool, wonderful restaurant, beautiful rooms, and friendly staff.
 
Old Apr 4th, 2002, 09:31 PM
  #6  
Gigi
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Thank you for your responses-- very helpful & thoughtful! -I also had thought that a child be at least 6 yrs. to see Greece. -Crete also does sound very interesting. -And from the pic's & from what I've heard, Santorini is not to be missed- with spectacular scenery. T- Do you know what the distance Perissia is from the main area of Santorini? Also, any info. on how long it takes to walk up to see the Acropolis in Athens would be appreciated.
 
Old Apr 5th, 2002, 05:30 AM
  #7  
Susan
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One island that might be good for kids is Naxos. I know it wasn't on your list, but I prefer it to Santorini (which is absolutely beautiful, but very very touristy). I haven't been to Mykonos. We found lots of nice beaches on Naxos and it seemed popular with families. The port town is also really interesting, with an old Venetian area. It's a relatively large island with some interesting areas to explore. Car rentals are quite inexpensive as well.
 
Old Apr 5th, 2002, 12:54 PM
  #8  
Gigi
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Susan- Thanks for your response. Naxos Island sounds really nice. Do you know anything about Summerland Complex or Iliada Studios on the Island?
 
Old Apr 5th, 2002, 07:02 PM
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Susan
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Gigi, I'm not familiar with either of those hotels. We stayed in a hotel more or less in the port town. That worked out well for us - we both like to walk and explore the town, and we rented a car for 2 days to explore outside of town. Wtih kids, you might be looking for something else. I booked the Greek part of our trip (most of it anyway) through a Greek travel agent in Toronto where I live. I know that when I was doing my research, I found our place on the internet, but it was also offered through my travel agent.
 
Old Apr 6th, 2002, 02:42 PM
  #10  
Gigi
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Thanks- Susan. I think that those two hotels are a little remote for us- they looked pretty, but the location is out of the way, anyway-- and, while Naxos does sound nice, we're looking a little more again at Mykonos & Paros. I'd appreciate feedback on differences between these two islands. I've also heard that cruises are really the best/easiest way to see the islands-- any comments on this would be appreciated--and info. on how long the ships stop at ea. port, etc.
 
Old Apr 6th, 2002, 06:52 PM
  #11  
Sue
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Hi,

I think Greece would be fine for children. I have been there several times at the end of June and the beginning of July and did not find it that crowded, even Santorini. It can be very hot. On time when I was there it was about 85 and lovely and the next year it was 114 and unbearable. The islands are cooler, so if it is hot, get out of town. It takes about 10 minutes to climb to the top of the Acropolis. There are some things to see on the way, so it can take longer and go slowly and enjoy the walk. The stones are worn and therefore can become slippery. I remember thinking that you could just sit by the Partheon and watch people fall. Becareful. I do think with young children, that staying on the flat side of Santorini would be better than staying on the cliffs. Mykonos is charming and there are hotels on beaches away from the center of the town. There are so many wonderful Greek islands. The new issue of National Geographic Travel has an article about several of them. Buy it and have fun in Greece.
 
Old Apr 8th, 2002, 01:28 PM
  #12  
Gigi
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Thanks Sue-- that was very helpful. It sounds like spring is a better time to see Athens and summer is perfect for the islands. The way you described Myconos makes it sound great. I'm still trying to get a better sense of what it's like though, with the driving (if staying outside the main area of town) and the overall atmosphere in the center of town (if there's partying in the daytime, as well as all night and if it's mainly partiers that go there or a variety of people). Also, if anyone could give comments on cruises visiting the islands and their own experiences, it would be appreciated.
 
Old Apr 8th, 2002, 02:35 PM
  #13  
Rob McCoist
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Gigi

Mykonos town in the morning tends to be quietish apart from a few visitors strolling through the narrow streets and some local folks making deliveries to the various shops and restaurants. It is my favourite time. In the afternoons many but not all of the little shops close for a few hours but most of the tavernas and small coffee houses remain open but overall the town centre remains peaceful. Relax and take some time sitting outside one of those cafes particularly in the harbour area and watch the world go by. Mind and take some shade though as it can get deceivingly hot. The town again becomes busy just after 7pm when folks return from the beaches and then head out to eat. Around 11pm the partying starts, it can be very cosmopolitan and the place has a real buzz about it.
 
Old Apr 11th, 2002, 08:40 AM
  #14  
Gigi
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Thanks Rob for your comments. Mykonos sounds great. Do you know of any hotels close to and in walking distance to the center of town?
 
Old Apr 11th, 2002, 02:07 PM
  #15  
Rob McCoist
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Gigi

Our preference is the Rochari district of Mykonos town. Regarded as a quiet area you are still only a five-minute walk to the restaurants and buzz of the town itself. We have lodged at two places in this district and have returned to each a few times. The first is Hotel Rochari (www.rochari.com) a ‘B’ class hotel and the other is the Elena Hotel, ‘C’ class (www.mykonos-accommodation.com/elena.htm).

If you prefer apartment-style accommodation, we have some friends who loved their stay at the Andromeda Residence also in Rochari (http://www.vacation-cyclades.com/hot...nos/andromeda/).
One other hotel I’ve seen people here comment on is the Ilio Maris (www.hit360.com/iliomaris/en/). This is located in the Despotiko district of the town (about 5 minutes walk from the Rochari area and at a slightly higher elevation). It is close to one of the major crossroads and the bus station plus there are a number of motor-cycle shops there. Noise may be a problem. Perhaps some folks here, if they have used the hotel, could give you information.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 06:29 PM
  #16  
Gigi
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Rob: Thanks so much. We'll have to try one of these hotels-- it sounds just like what we're looking for!
 

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