Crete with kids: 13 top activities

A vacation to Crete with kids is top notch! Especially in the summer months it is wonderfully warm and you can really have a top vacation with the family if you love the sun and beaches. You fly to this Greek island from the Netherlands in 3.5 hours, and there are plenty of things to do with kids besides the sun and the beach. We list the best activities you can do in Crete with kids below!

Crete with kids
Crete with kids

Flying to Crete with kids

Most Dutch tourists go to the Greek island of Crete by plane, and this plane trip takes about three and a half hours from the Netherlands. You have daily flights to Crete from the Netherlands. These flights vary quite a bit in price and times, so always carefully compare in advance the different airlines flying to Crete. We always book our flights through Skyscanner because it’s a really super nice comparator of prices.

For a list of all flights to Crete, take a look here.

Crete with kids: car rental

If you go to Crete with kids, it’s also fun to explore the Greek island. For various activities you can do with the family in Crete, it does come in handy if you have a rental car at your disposal. You can rent a car right at Crete’s Heraklion airport, giving you the freedom to go wherever you want throughout your vacation. We actually always rent a car through Sunny Cars because they have the best insurance package and the best service and also in Crete it is possible to rent a car through this organization.

For an overview of all rental cars in Crete, take a look here.

Crete with kids: package tour

Most Dutch families who go to Crete on vacation book a package tour. That is, the hotel and flight are in one. Sometimes this then includes food and drink. In Crete, you have some very cool family-friendly hotels where you can spend your vacation. We list the most popular hotels among the Dutch below.

The Village Resort
: This resort has two swimming pools and a pool for kids. At this kid’s pool, four different water slides also exit the pool. There is also a lazyriver, where you can enjoy bobbing through the water with a tire. During the day there is an animation team and in the evening you can enjoy live music and shows.

You can take kids to the mini disco in the evening at this Crete hotel, and the resort also has a mini club, where kids are entertained during the day. There is also a playground for kids at the resort. The resort uses the all inclusive formula, which means all food and drinks are included in the price. Flights to this Crete hotel depart from Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

For more information about The Village Resort, take a look here.

Lyttos Beach
: This hotel is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete: Analipsi. The hotel has no less than five different pools and also a pool for kids with several slides in the pool. There is a daytime mini-club for kids ages four to 13, and a teens club for kids ages 14 to 17.

You can take kids to the disco at this Crete hotel and there is also a playground for kids at the hotel. The all-inclusive formula also applies at this hotel. You can fly to this hotel in Crete from Amsterdam and Eindhoven.

For more information on Lyttos Beach, take a look here.

Minoa Palace Beach Resort
: This resort also has several pools at the resort (four of them), including a pool especially for kids. You can walk right from the hotel to the beach, and this hotel also has a playground for kids. You can choose from several options here in terms of food and drink, including the all-inclusive formula.

For more information about Minoa Palace Beach Resort, take a look here.

Crete with kids
Crete with kids

Crete with kids #1: beaches

Most families with kids who visit Crete go here for the fine beaches the island has. It is fun if you are in Crete with kids to rent a car and drive to different beaches with the rental car all the time. By the way, make no mistake about the distances on the island. From the western tip to the eastern tip of the island, you will easily drive about 4.5 hours by car anyway. Of course, you can also choose to stay in two to three places on the island and take trips to the various beaches from these places.

Of course, you have dozens of beaches you can explore in Crete with kids, but we focus in this blog on the ones that are in most of the lists of most beautiful beaches on the island and those that are suitable for families with kids. We circle the island and go clockwise.

North Crete

In the north of Crete you have a number of beautiful beaches. For example, in the northwest you have Platanias Beach lying. This beach is located near the village of Platanias and has a good sandy beach with lots of nice restaurants near the beach. You also have fine sandy beaches in the resort town of Bali. In total, this resort has four different beaches, the largest of which is Livadi Beach. Here you also have most of the facilities and the seabed slopes gradually, making the beach very suitable for families with kids.

East Crete

In the east of Crete, there are somewhat fewer options in terms of beautiful beaches. You do have the famous palm beach lying here: Vai Beach. This beach does look very beautiful with many palm trees lining the beach.

South Crete

You can also go to several beautiful beaches in southern Crete with kids. For example, you have Preveli Beach, which is also known for its palm trees along the beach. In addition, you have two family-friendly beaches located near each other. Ammoudi Beach and Plakias Beach both have enough amenities for a nice day at the beach with the family.

Matala Beach is famous in Crete for its white chalk cliffs. This looks spectacular from the beach and you also have a beautiful sunset to watch here. You can also visit a beautiful island with golden beaches in southern Crete with kids. Boats leave daily for Chrissi Island, but keep in mind that it is quite touristy and prices on the island are high.

West Crete

In the west of Crete you have some beautiful beaches. For example, here you have the famous Balos Lagoon lying. Balos beach is considered the most beautiful beach in Crete. The beach has white sand and the water a turquoise color. You can get here by rental car via a dirt road. In addition, a little further south there are two more beautiful beaches and they are Falasarna beach and Elafonisi beach. Again, the beaches are very white and the water of the sea has a beautiful color.

You can combine the western beaches in a day trip during your Crete vacation with kids. Go to Balos beach in the morning when it is still quiet and then drive 15 minutes to Falasarna beach, where you can also have a great lunch.

Crete with kids
Crete with kids

Crete with kids: water parks

You can also go to several water parks in Crete with kids. We briefly list the island’s best ones below.

#2 Aquaplus: This water park is a five-minute drive from the resort of Hersonissos. A bus also runs from this resort to the water park twice a day. The water park is open mid-May through early October. It is by far the largest water park in Crete. Of course, here you have many spectacular slides you can go down. In addition to these slides, there is also an area with slides for younger children, as well as a pool with a play island for kids.

#3 Waterpark Star beach: this is perhaps the most famous pool in all of Crete. Especially among young people! Star Beach is free to enter, but you do pay separately for things like a chair with umbrella or if you want to go down the slides. That way you can decide what you want to pay for oand what you don’t. Of course, in this part of Crete there are also many young people and there is music on, which is danced to. By the way, there is also plenty to do on the beach such as the famous banana boat and you can also rent things like a jet ski here.

#4 Watercity: Located between Hersonissos and Heraklion, this water park also has several spectacular slides. You can take kids for a spin in the Lazyriver at this water park in Crete, as well as the Crazyriver. In addition, you have a slide where you can race against each other in a tire (Hyper Race). There are also two sections for smaller kids with various play equipment (Children’s Castle and Children’s Zoo). There is also a pool that produces artificial waves. In short, you can also have a great time in this water park for an entire day!

#5 Limnoupolis: this water park is located near the town of Chania. Here too you have several slides that kids can go down, but this water park is a lot smaller than the water parks described above. This water park also has a lazyriver where you can take a tire ride around the water park. There is also a pool for the smaller kids with a large playground with several slides in the middle.

As you can see, there are plenty of water parks to visit on the island of Crete with kids!

Crete with kids
Crete with kids

Crete with kids: admiring animals

You can also go to different places in Crete with kids where you can admire different animals. We briefly list the most important places below!

#6 CretAquarium: this large aquarium is also located between the capital Heraklion and Hersonissos. It is not a super big aquarium and in an hour you will have seen it too. Of course, you can admire many colored tropical fish here, as well as sharks, rays, turtles and jellyfish. You can park your car in front of the door for free, but the aquarium is a bit in a run-down neighborhood.

#7 Aquaworld: this aquarium and reptile house is located near Hersonissos about six minutes away by car from this resort town. It is a place where animals are taken in and they try to release the animals after this. Kids also get to hold different animals if they want to including different snakes. The reptile house is not super big and reviews of the Aquaworld are very mixed. You have to take into account that your maximum stay here is an hour at this reptile house in Crete with kids.

#8 Amazonas Park: this animal park is located east of the island and you have a number of animals to admire here. Amazonas Park is thought of as a zoo, but that’s a bit too much! The highlight of this animal park is feeding the Lemur monkeys that roam there. In addition, there are several birds you can view here. Count on spending an hour (or two) walking around here with your kids.

Crete with kids
Crete with kids

Crete with kids: beautiful cities

You can also visit some nice cities in Crete with kids, despite there are not super many cities worth visiting. We name the two nicest ones below!

#9 Heraklion: this is the capital of Crete and, of course, the largest city on the island. Heraklion’s biggest attraction is the Palace of Knossos. In addition, the center of Heraklion is a great place to grab a bite to eat and a drink. There is also a natural history museum in the city that you can visit with your kids, and you can also take a tour on the Hop On Hop Off bus if you want to see a lot of the city quickly.

Heraklion is also the place if you like shopping. You have the most shopping streets in Crete in this city. However, it is difficult to visit the city by car. Parking spaces in the city are very scarce and fill up pretty quickly. Of course, you can also take public transportation to the city.

#10 Chania: This town located in the northwest of Crete is perhaps the most beautiful town on the island. It is the second largest city (by population) on the island and has many cozy spots around the old Venetian harbor and the Old Town. During the summer months, it can also be quite crowded here with tourists coming from the various seaside resorts and those visiting the town from the cruise ships. Visit the city in the morning when it is not yet so crowded and hot or visit the city towards the end of the afternoon when the sun is about to set.

Crete with kids
Crete with kids

Crete with kids: other activities

You have a number of other activities you can do in Crete with kids. We list them briefly below. 

#11 Samaria Gorge: one of the most beautiful pieces of nature in Crete is this gorge and you can also hike this gorge. However, the entire route is 16 kilometers long, so this hike is not suitable for young kids. You can take the bus from Chania to the gorge that will drop you off at the northern point and then when you have hiked south, you can take the boat there that will take you to Sougia. You can go organized, where they bring and pick you up. 

The gorge is open only during the summer months and you pay a few euros entrance fee at the park itself. The hike takes a few hours, and it depends a bit on how well-trained a hiker you are exactly how long it will take you. Expect to spend almost an entire day in the gorge. There are nine freshwater springs along the way on the route, where there are plenty of places to rest. The hike is not super strenuous, but it is obviously quite a hike. 

#12 Dinopark Crete: This park is also located between the seaside resort of Hersonissos and Heraklion. You will find fifty different types of dinos that make sounds and move. In addition to the various dinosaurs, there is also a 5d cinema you can visit. There is also a playground at the dino park where the kids can play. The park is geared toward young kids. 

#13 Labyrinth Park: this park is also a few minutes’ drive from the town of Hersonissos. The labyrinth is one of the things you can do here, which is about half an hour of entertainment. In addition, at this park you can play miniature golf, horseback riding, archery, pottery and there is a mini farm. There is also a miniature village, but it does not amount to much. 

Crete with kids
Crete with kids

Where to stay in Crete with kids?

You can stay in Crete with kids just fine! There are plenty of family-friendly options where the hotels have family rooms. We have listed the best options on the island with pools and very high ratings in different price ranges. Click on the blue link for more information!

Budget hotel: RODI BLUE apartments

Mid-range hotel: Sapphire Blue Suites

Luxury hotel: Hyperion City Hotel & Spa

For a list of all accommodations in Crete, take a look here.

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