Greece’s largest island, Crete, is a haven for family holidaymakers for various reasons. Not only is the island just a short flight away from the UK, but Crete is also home to some breathtaking beaches, interesting history, and numerous attractions that are suited for the entire family. Especially when you’re fully prepared with this list of the best things to do in Crete with toddlers.
Whether this is your first family holiday or if you’re experienced in the matter, it’s always useful to have a brief plan in place, so you’re never stuck wondering what there is to do. From beaches and gorge walks to water parks and pirate ship cruises, Crete really has it all, and you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable holiday that the whole family will love. From lively Hersonissos to quieter beach resorts, there is something for everyone, even on a rainy day.
Things To Do In Crete With Toddlers: Amazonas Park
The Amazonas Park in northeast Crete is a quaint little zoo that contains various south American animal species. Now, you shouldn’t expect to see elephants, giraffes, and your typical zoo inhabitants at Amazonas because the park is relatively small, however, you will come up close to parrots, monkeys, donkeys, and cockatoos, as the zoo’s main purpose is to reproduce rare and endangered species.
Address: Way to kourounes, Eparchiaki odos Kourounon, Neapoli 724 00
Aquaworld Aquarium and Reptile Rescue Centre
A combination of underwater animals and reptiles is a match made in heaven for toddlers, and at Aquaworld Aquarium and Reptile Rescue Centre, your little ones can come into close contact with the centre’s inhabitants, holding snakes, tortoises, and lizards while learning all about the animals and their natural habitats.
Address: Filikis Etirias 7, Chersonisos 700 14
Another fantastic aquarium on the island of Crete is the Cretaqurium which is more of a standard aquarium that is home to a wide variety of underwater species, including stingrays, tiger sharks, sea turtles, octopus, and jellyfish. I find aquariums are a great activity with kids, especially on rainy or exceptionally hot days, as they’re all inside and air-conditioned.
Address: Heraklion 710 03
Things To Do In Crete With Toddlers: Dinosauria Park
If you have a dinosaur lover in the family, you can’t not visit Dinosauria Park. The interactive dinosaur-inspired theme park takes you back in time to the Mesozoic era, making you feel like you’re actually walking amongst dinosaurs.
Throughout the park, there are interactive screens that teach you about the dinosaurs and how they once ruled this earth, and you can also participate in fossil digging activities, dinosaur egg hatchings, and care for sick and injured dinos in the park’s dinosaur hospital.
Address: DEKK, Gournes 715 00
The Dikteon Cave is one of Crete’s most famous caves, as it’s believed to be the birthplace of Zeus. One thing I will say is that the cave isn’t the most accessible activity on the island, as you won’t be able to bring your buggy. However, if you pack a bag full of snacks and have toddlers that don’t mind walking, the cave is a great indoor activity that lets you see a different side to the island.
Address: Psychro Cave 720 52
Hike Samaria Gorge
Families who enjoy a hike will love the walk through the Greek National Park of Samaria Gorge. Samaria Gorge is a 16km canyon that cuts through the White Mountains from Xyloskalo to Agia Roumeli, past the Unesco Biosphere Reserve, an abundance of unique vegetation and breathtaking views.
The hike is fairly long at around 6 hours and of a medium difficulty, so only tackle it if your tots are used to long walks. But, with that being said, if you do find yourself getting tired along the way, then there are guides with donkeys who will take you along the remainder of the route.
Address: Omalos 730 05
Things To Do In Crete With Toddlers: Labyrinth Park
There’s no better place to have an enjoyable day out and learn about Greek mythology than the Labyrinth Park in Hersonissos. The park has a wide range of activities that’ll keep your tots entertained for hours, from mini golf and horse riding to a 1300sqm maze and miniature quad bikes. They’ll truly have a blast running around, learning, and enjoying all the park has to offer.
Address: Hersonissos 700 14
For families with slightly older children as well as toddlers, then the 9D cinema experience at Minoan’s World is a must-do. The 9D experience takes you back in time and teaches you about Crete’s history while you sit and experience wind, lightning, rain, earthquakes, snow, and fog that are created by the theatre and special effects.
It’s a truly unique experience, and as kids of all ages can tune in for the show, it’s an excellent activity for families who are after something different.
Address: Ipsilanton 10, Chania 731 35
Natural History Museum In Heraklion
My family loves to visit museums no matter where we go, and the Natural History Museum in Heraklion has all of your usual museum exhibits, with the added bonus of The Stavros Niarchos Discovery Center.
The Stavros Niarchos Discovery Center is an area specially designed for children under 15 to help them learn about the natural environment of the eastern Mediterranean.
Address: Κόλπος Δερματά, Leof. Sofokli Venizelou, Iraklio 712 02
Paddle In Lake Kournas
If you’re after a break from Crete’s beaches, then Lake Kournas is the perfect option. Lake Kournas is the only freshwater lake on Crete, and with slopping banks into the crystal clear water, sun loungers lining the shores, and a walking trail around the lake, you can spend your day relaxing, paddling, and soaking up the sun in a peaceful and breathtaking setting.
Address: Apokoronas municipality of Chania
Sail The Seas On A Pirate Ship In Rethymno
Rethymno is one of Crete’s most popular tourist destinations, and if you’re staying in the area, then you should head down to the Venetian harbor and set off sailing on a pirate ship. Throughout the 5 hour journey, your little ones will not only get to live out their pirate dreams, but they’ll also get to explore caves, snorkel in the ocean, and visit the beaches surrounding Rethymno.
Things To Do In Crete With Toddlers: Splash About In One Of Crete’s Waterparks
There are a few different waterparks on Crete, with the top three being Acqua Plus Water Park, Limnoupolis, and Watercity Waterpark. Waterparks, in my opinion, are always a highlight of a holiday, and even if you have tiny toddlers, they’ll still be able to splash around in the little kids’ splash area.
Acqua Plus Water Park
Acqua Plus Water Park is the biggest and busiest waterpark of the three. The park is split into two sections, one for adults with large thrilling water slides and the other for children with shallower waters, smaller slides, and playgrounds in large grassed areas. Lifeguards are on hand at all times, and there are free sunbeds and umbrellas included with every ticket.
Address: Kastelli Road, Chersonisos 712 00
Limnuoupolis is a smaller waterpark, but it still features large slides, a lazy river, and a swimming pool for little ones that is fitted with smaller slides and splash areas. Throughout the park, you’ll also find free sunbeds and sunloungers so you can take a break from the water and relax in the Cretan sun.
Address: Βαρύπετρο 731 00
It may not be the biggest waterpark in Crete, but I personally think Watercity Waterpark is the best waterpark for families with little ones. There are numerous areas throughout the park suited to tots, like the Children’s Castle, Children’s Zoo, and Children’s Jungle, and there are also rides for the bigger kids, a lazy river for relaxing, and playgrounds on the grass.
Address: Anopolis, Heraklion 700 08
Visit One Of Crete’s Amazing Beaches
Visiting Crete’s beaches is one of the best things to for families who are visiting Crete with toddlers because not only are the beaches free, but they’re also truly breathtaking and tot-friendly thanks to their calm water and soft sand. I’ve put together an entire article on the best beaches in Crete for families.
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