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Family Holidays to Santorini

Black sand beaches, ancient ruins and volcanic craters will intrigue young minds in Santorini. Water parks and museums provide fun for all, and adults will appreciate the picture-postcard towns and fine dining.

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A brilliant combination for family holidays in Santorini

Flying to Santorini takes four hours but once you're there, as it's a small island, the transfer is only 20 minutes to Perivolos and even closer to Perissa and Thira.

The island's capital Thira is the place to stay if you want to be in the midst of it all, but also retains its beauty with multi-coloured cliffs and whitewashed shops, museums and restaurants staggered into the hillside.

Or for traditional seaside fun, the beach resorts of Perivolos and Perissa share seven-kilometres of sand. Perissa is the busier end and has more family attractions like a waterpark, but as they're close by they share lots of facilities and there are ancient towns to explore nearby.

Best family friendly beaches

A seven-kilometre black sand beach runs from Perissa all the way down through Perivolos, with the rocky Mount Vouno at the Perissa end providing some unusual holiday scenery. Tavernas, beach bars and small shops are dotted along the beach throughout.

Watersports like stand-up paddleboarding and jet-skiing are in abundance all along the shore as well as tamer activities like snorkelling, inflatables and good old pedalos to take little ones out in the blue sea. Even if you just want to get into the water without a float, the shore slopes gently for paddling and swimming.

Best family activities in Santorini

There's no missing that Santorini is a volcanic island, and you can explore the volcanic calderas – or craters, part filled with water – on foot, by boat or even helicopter. Other fun family modes of transport can be found in Thira. If you descend the steps to the old port and wonder how you're getting up again, don't worry as there's a choice between cable car or donkey ride.

Thira wasn't always situated where it is now, in fact is used to be at the top of Mount Vuono, to the east of Perissa. The 2,400-year-old remains of ancient Thera include Roman baths and city ruins like the remnants of ancient shops.

Another archaeological site worth a visit is the ruins of the Bronze-age city at Akrotiri in the west, which is preserved inside a modern building with raised walkways and information signs. Or if you're in Thira, the Prehistoric Museum holds artefacts from Akrotiri.

Half an hour's walk from Perivolos is the medieval town of Emporio with old buildings, churches and a ruined castle to explore. But it's not all ancient activities, as Perissa has a small waterpark near the beach, with a few slides and pools and a pirate ship sporting smaller slides for the nippers.

Other popular holidays in Greece

If you're not sure where to take the family in Greece, other great options for family holidays can be found in Crete, Corfu and Zante. Or to find out more about holidaying in Santorini click to read our guide and check out the three great Santorini family hotels below.

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