When you imagine the perfect vacation spot for your young children then Greece should be the top country you consider, as no one adores children more than the Greeks do. They will be guaranteed a warm welcome and made a complete fuss of, and everywhere you go will be child friendly. There is no need to even think of babysitters for special dinners out as you can simply take them along to enjoy the evenings, and for most of the year all dining will be al fresco anyway.
Families with children do tend to vacation in the summertime, which is the hottest time of the year in Greece. Although your children may bug you to stay on the beach all day this is not a good idea, as the sun is too strong. Enjoy the beach in the mornings, have lunch, and then take a family siesta before strolling back to the beach in the late afternoons.
Greek beaches are often perfect for children as many times the sands shelve gently into the sea, meaning they won’t be out of their depth too soon. The waters are crystal clear and they’ll have lots of fun watching the small fish swim between their legs. Always remember to put plenty of sun screen on them and make them wear hats.
Make water their beverage of choice as it is important that they stay hydrated in the heat, and at all costs avoid any pleas for sugary beverages which are dehydrating. A combination of coca-cola and sunshine will likely leave you with a trip to the local clinic with a lethargic, miserable child.
Greek food is extremely easy for even the fussiest young eater to manage, but don’t expect to see chicken nuggets on the menus. Try ordering a selection of mezes which are small mixed appetizers and be surprised at just what your children will actually try. Squid rings which look like onion rings usually go down well, and boys will soon develop a fondness for the tentacles. There are always pasta dishes available in Greece, and the little ones will probably fall for small spinach pies and cheese pies, which you can supplement with fried egglants and keftedes (famous Greek meatballs).
If you aren’t used to mosquitoes and don’t know if your children will attract them, be sure to buy a plug in mosquito device from the local shop, which should keep them out of the bedroom. Carry a good mosquito repellent with you to apply in the evenings, and a tube of toothpaste is handy to take the itch away if they do get bitten.
As Greeks eat very late, never before 9pm, if you want to join in the ambiance then head out to dinner latish, and it is perfectly acceptable for toddlers to fall asleep in their strollers. Most small resorts are safe for children to play as you eat, often closing promenade roads to traffic in the evenings. Although it won’t be the same as their home routine, taking them out later is better as much of the intense heat of the day will lessen at sunset. The local children will be outside until midnight, having not wanted to play outside in the hot heat of the day.
If your young children are still at the toddler stage then worry not, Greece is a modern country and all the paraphernalia associated with infants is readily available in the shops. You may have a difficult time though explaining that they really can’t put paper down the toilets.
With sensible precautions taken regarding the heat, you will be able to relax and enjoy a safe and stress free vacation in magnificent settings. Your children will love it and may even get some free history lessons if you take them off to see the famous Greek spots.
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