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Seven Reasons to Vacation in Greece with Your Kids. I smile when I think of Greece. It is definitely a family-friendly, kid-friendly destination.  Although I am not an expert on vacationing in Greece I do have a terrific source with insider information for parents that will make planning a family vacation in Greece easy.Temple of Athena near Athens Greece
 
Here’s the scoop. My family vacation source - www.KidsLoveGreece.com. I asked Katerina Makatouni, one of the moms who has created the clever website with oodles of great information about Greece, to share with us her “insider” perspective. She knows for a fact that the myths perpetuated by the mass media sources to be untrue. The country is not populated with disgruntled street people and airlines, hotels and transportation services function just fine. According to Katerina the signs of economic recovery are everywhere. Katerina's thoughts are as folows.
  
Do not hesitate to visit Greece on your family vacation, despite the occasional negative publicity. I can think of six excellent reasons why Greece should be at the top of your family holiday destination list.Beach time on Crete Kids Love Greece 

1. Enjoy two powerful elements – sand and sea. The beaches and tranquil coves of Greece offer splashing around, swimming, snorkeling, and diving. From the Ionian Sea to the Aegean Islands all the way to Crete you’ll find gorgeous beaches – some with smooth white sand, and others with pebbles in all shapes and sizes. Most beaches are set up with umbrellas and deck chairs to make your experience as comfortable as possible. 

For the adventure-seeking families there are stunning, rugged beaches dotting the Greek landscape. Anywhere you go, you’ll find secret places known only to locals but waiting to be discovered. You’ll feel like a modern-day Robinson Crusoe while the kids fill their pockets with seashells and incredible memories. My favorite secret spots may be found on the southern side of Crete where the beaches are much less crowded and the relative lack of tourist activity has kept the waters crystal clear.Acropolis City View of Athens
 
2. Share the ancient history. Greece is truly a ‘living museum’, where monuments and other legacies of earlier times are always just around the corner. When you consider the far-reaching impact of the ancient Greek civilization, you can understand why this ancient heritage is still so vivid after thousands of years.
 
Don’t forget to visit the local sites and museums with your children – they will thank you (sooner or later). It always helps to lay some groundwork before the trip to help the kids fathom just how impressive these ancient structures and artifacts really are. And it’s just breathtaking to see up close what you’ve seen on TV or in books.  So, wherever in Greece you choose to go, spend a little time researching the local history to make the trip so much more rewarding for everyone. My favorite museums and archaeological sites for the kids include Acropolis in Athens, Knossos Palace on Crete and Delphi. 

3. Experience traditions and folk culture.
Greeks certainly love their folk culture and traditions perhaps more than anyone. Maybe not so much in the city anymore, since fast-paced urban living seems to trample tradition everywhere, but rest assured, tradition is alive and well in most of the countryside. Even city folk look forward to going “home” (anywhere in the countryside they might have roots) for important celebrations, just to relish their heritage.There are always opportunities to experience the local culture and create wonderful, genuine memories that your children will cherish.

Traditions vary with the season, so check to find out what is happening locally. In the fall there are harvests and pressings where the locals pick and preserve grapes, olives and pistachio nuts. During the celebration of a patron saint or the commemoration of an important event, there will be family-friendly fairs, shopping bazaars, and street carnivals with the accompanying traditional music and dancing.  You may see loaves of bread baking in wood ovens or learn about how raki (a Greek liquor with many local variations) is made in big cauldrons. Finally, winemaking is very significant in Greek culture. Why not visit a local winery to find out how fresh, juicy grapes turn into an intoxicating drink? Families are always welcome.Tomatoes in the Sun in Greece Kids Love Greece

4. Taste what it means to be Greek. Authentic Greek food is incredibly popular for a reason. It’s fantastic. This is real food is always prepared with the freshest of ingredients, olive oil, and lots of love and care. Anywhere you go, you will find a local specialty – you just need to look for it.  But the best part is kids also love this simple, tasty, real food. And they’re going to love the local “fast food” – nutritious and delicious.  Makes you wonder how they can sneak so many (real, fresh) veggies into their diet. I suggest souvlaki (small skewers of pork), tyropita (cheese pie with feta and other cheeses) and hortopita (wild greens pie).
 
Foreign travelers tend to associate Greek cuisine with lots of meat and dairy. And while meat-eaters won’t be disappointed, there’s something delicious for everyone. Vegetarians and vegans are in for a wonderful surprise. Greeks know how to make the simplest legume or veggie into a mouthwatering dish. And if the menus in any Greek restaurant is all Greek to you, no worries at KidsLoveGreece.com you will find two comprehensive articles on a guide to ordering kid friendly food in Greece and the Guide to vegetarian and vegan food in Greece.
 
5. Visit with new friends. There is a long standing tradition of hospitality in Greece going all the way back to Olympian Zeus, the patron god of hospitality and protector of strangers. Perhaps it’s imbedded in the collective cultural DNA of the nation. Greek hospitality is legendary. From the most posh hotel to the most remote village, the locals will make you and your family more than welcome. You’ll find genuine warmth everywhere you go. A delightful example of this generous hospitality is the “treat” offered after a meal. Whether it’s seasonal fruit, homemade sweets, or a local drink, this custom will surely grow on you. Discoveing Greece with Kids

6. See Mother Nature at her best. Greece boasts a singular natural beauty. The deep blue hues of the sea and the sky dominate the coastal and island scenery. The landscape is relaxing and invigorating at the same time. The sunsets with their brightly painted copper skies are simply enchanting. On the mainland, you’ll find new and exciting landscapes at every turn. Unique plant life dots the countryside and quaint villages are always waiting to be discovered as if you were travelling through a work of art. Each season has its own special beauty to share.
 
7. Celebrate the delightful weather. Last but not least, I don’t want to boast but the weather in Greece is unbeatable.  The celebrated summer sun and heat, perfect for beach vacations, is common knowledge. But you may not know that the weather in the spring and autumn is wonderful as well offering warm sunny days and wild flowers. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit because it is cool enough to visit the archaeological sites and explore nature, but warm enough to swim in the sea. Although Greece is not a popular winter destination, the winters are quite mild with sunny days, more common than not, warming things up nicely. 

Make it happen. For more authentic family vacation ideas in Greece the best source is www.KidsLoveGreece.com

Editor’s note: Two years ago I spent six days in Greece during the ‘off season’. The locals we met in Athens, Rhodes and on Crete all want things to be better for their families and were busy doing what they could do to make it so.  The information found at Kids Love Greece is spot on and ideal for creating a family vacation plan for Greece.  

Content provided by Katerina Makatouni one of the founding moms of a clever and authoritative website www.KidsLoveGreece.com. Additional comments by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Copyright updated 2017. Images provided by Kids Love Greece and theFamilyTravelFiles.com.

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