- Enjoy a family vacation in Greece, from ancient Athens to beautiful Santorini
- Hike to ancient ruins; swim and kayak in the warm waters of the Mediterranean
- Make Greek bracelets, cook local cuisine, and learn about ancient history
- Share quality time together while immersing yourself in Greek culture
From its archaeological wonders to its beautiful islands, Greece is the perfect destination for a family vacation. Starting in Athens, our journey climbs the famous steps up to the ancient ruins of the Acropolis. Speeding off to the island of Mykonos, we hike by the amazing UNESCO world heritage site of Delos, said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. On Santorini, world famous for its dramatic crater and connection to the lost city of Atlantis, we kayak, swim, and play.
Learn how to make famous Greek specialties like tzatziki sauce and enjoy fun activities to learn about Greece's culture, alphabet, and history. We even make our own Greek worry bead bracelet to take home as a souvenir.
Leave the hurry of our daily lives behind and embrace the Greek "siga siga"—slow, slow—approach to life. Share quality family time together in a land with unforgettable scenery, charming culture, and magnificent historical riches. Immerse your family in the mythological land of Greece!
Kids get an REI day pack — Kids traveling on our Family Adventures will receive an REI day pack for their adventure! Kids age 8-17 will receive the REI Flash 18 Pack (while quantities last, colors may vary). Learn more about REI Family Adventures.
Not traveling with kids under age 18? Check out our Greek Island Hopper trip or inquire about a private departure of this itinerary.
- Day 1 - Walking tour of Athen's historic Plaka and dinner at a Greek taverna.
- Day 2 - Explore the magnificent Acropolis; high-speed ferry to Mykonos Island.
- Day 3 - Hike at Delos, mythical birthplace of Apollo; swim at Mykonos Beach.
- Day 4 - Kayak past Santorini's towering cliffs; Greek barbecue on the beach!
- Day 5 - Swim in warm volcanic waters and hike along Santorini's caldera.
- Day 6 - Hike to Ancient Thira; make a begleri (Greek bracelet).
- Day 7 - Say our farewell to Athens and depart for home.
Trip Itinerary and Details
Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.
Day 1 - Walking tour of Athen's historic Plaka and dinner at a Greek taverna.
Arrive in Athens, Greece by 4:00 p.m. We provide one group transfer from the airport to our hotel near the Plaka. Early this evening we meet in the hotel lobby for a group orientation followed by a short walking tour of the Plaka, the shopping district located in the oldest part of Athens. Our guide will give each child a booklet for keeping souvenirs from their Greek adventure, as well as recording Greek words or phrases they'll practice throughout the trip with their guide. Learning about Greek language, the historic alphabet and culture will be part of every day's schedule. Dinner tonight is at a Greek taverna serving delicious family-style meals, where we can listen to traditional music and get to know our fellow family adventurers. Note: Consider arriving into Athens a day or two early to allow for more time to explore this fascinating city prior to leaving for the islands. All meals included.
Day 2 - Explore the magnificent Acropolis; high-speed ferry to Mykonos Island.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading out to visit the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum. Climb the steps to this majestic site with its spectacular views over the city below. At the top we enjoy hearing some of the stories about these glorious monuments which will bring ancient Greece to life. With our guide we will explore some of the key sites such as the Parthenon and Erechtheion. In the museum, we'll get to see the real items that were used in the everyday lives of Athenians. Seeing the museum after our visit of the Acropolis really helps bring meaning to the place where the people of ancient Greece could retreat to when under invasion. After lunch by the port of Rafina, an area that specializes in delicious, fresh seafood, we travel by high-speed catamaran to the island of Mykonos. First stop, the beautiful Tinos Island and then on to Mykonos. This famous island is known for its striking Cycladic capital full of whitewashed houses and blue domed churches, along with its beautiful sandy beaches and famous snow-white windmills. After arriving on Mykonos, we transfer to our hotel with views of the crystal blue sea. Time for a refreshing dip in the pool before meeting up with our guide around 6:30 p.m. and walking to a local restaurant for dinner. All meals included.
Walking tour of Acropolis and New Acropolis Museum: 3-4 hours; High speed catamaran to Mykonos: approx. 2 hours.
Day 3 - Hike at Delos, mythical birthplace of Apollo; swim at Mykonos Beach.
After breakfast, we walk down to the old port of Mykonos and depart for a half hour boat ride to the Island of Delos, the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. The five islands of Mykonos, Tinos, Paros, Naxos, and Syros form a circle around the sacred island of Delos. The island is now home to one of the most remarkable archeological excavations in Greece and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our trek around the island will include the highlights of the island such as the famous Lion Avenue, the ancient theatre and the temple of Apollo. View fascinating artifacts from the 6th century BC in the museum. We take the short boat ride back to Mykonos where we enjoy a great lunch by the sea. After lunch there is time for swimming in the beautiful deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Some families might like to try stand up paddle boarding off Kalafatis Beach which our guide can arrange. Tonight we have a chance to sample the local cuisine at a traditional taverna. Kids love trying the most famous pastry in Greece- baklava- for dessert! All meals included.
Walking/hiking: 2-3 hours; Optional stand up paddle boarding: 1+hours (additional cost for transfer and activity).
Day 4 - Kayak past Santorini's towering cliffs; Greek barbecue on the beach!
For early risers there is the chance to enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool or sea before breakfast! Transfer by catamaran from Mykonos Island to Santorini. Santorini, made famous by Jules Verne and speculation of its ties to the mythical lost city of Atlantis, differs from the other islands due to its unusual geological history. Around 1600 B.C. an eruption submerged the central part of the island, and the thriving civilization was destroyed. A huge underwater crater, called a caldera, was left behind carving the island into its famous crescent shape. Arriving on Santorini in early afternoon, we proceed to our hotel which is just 100 feet from the stunning black sands of Kamari Beach, and close to a marvelous coast line full of restaurants, cafes and all kind of shops. We'll walk with our guide to one of the local seaside tavernas for another delicious Greek lunch. Later in the afternoon we board our sea kayaks to explore the world famous Red and White beaches of Santorini. Our guides give us an introduction to our equipment, a safety briefing and tips on the basics of sea kayaking. Once on the water be ready for stunning rock formations, towering cliffs and tranquil beaches. Keep your eyes open for sea turtles, kestrels and falcons! After our sea kayak tour, we enjoy a Greek barbeque dinner on the beach. Everyone gets involved in the dinner preparation, which will focus on the local products and traditional Greek recipes. We will learn how to make the famous "tzatziki" sauce, Greek salad, and a Greek dessert. All meals included.
High speed catamaran to Santorini: 2 ½ hours; Actual Sea – kayaking time: ~ 2 hours – Estimated duration of activity: ~ 3 ½ hours.
Day 5 - Swim in warm volcanic waters and hike along Santorini's caldera.
Today is all about soaking up the Aegean. In the morning, transfer to Fira where we take the cable car to the old port of Fira. Board our boat and first stop is on Nea Kameni, where we discover the impressive geological phenomenon of this historical, and still active, volcano. We have the opportunity to swim in the natural warm waters of Palea Kameni. Then we motor to the beautiful and traditional island of Thirassia where we can have our lunch and discover the village of Manolios. Our last leg of this fabulous boat ride brings us to the port of Oia, north of Santorini, where we will walk around the picturesque village. Some of us might like to partake in a hike following the trail from Oia to Fira. Set high above the sea, our guide leads us on the trail following the edge of the caldera, rewarding us with tremendous views! Others might prefer to return to the hotel for some downtime or lounging by the pool, or stay in Oia to enjoy dinner while watching the famous Oia sunset (return to the hotel on your own via taxi). Chicken souvlaki is always a favorite amongst kids but there are also plenty of pasta and pizza options. Kids with more adventurous palates might try the fresh squid (aka calamari), eating it grilled, sautéed, breaded, fried or stuffed! Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.
Boat tour: 5 hours total (with stops and lunch); Walking/sightseeing/swimming: 2 hours; Optional Hiking: 3-4 hours, approx. 6 miles (or it's possible to shorten hike to 2-3 hrs and ~ 3 miles).
Day 6 - Hike to Ancient Thira; make a begleri (Greek bracelet).
We enjoy our last morning in the enchanting Cyclades and linger over breakfast and the best yogurt in the world. Time to swim in the pool or learn to make a "Begleri" or Greek bracelet. Others can take an optional hike up to Ancient Thira with our guide. The intriguing ruins of Ancient Thira are located on a high rocky headland called Mesa Vouno, from which there are spectacular views down to the sea. Another great lunch by the sea before heading to the Santorini airport to catch our flight back to Athens. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and in the evening meet our guide for a farewell dinner celebrating our wonderful adventure and newfound friends in the beautiful Greek Isles. All meals included.
Optional Hike: 3 miles; 3 hours; Flight to Athens: ~ 50 minutes.
Day 7 - Say our farewell to Athens and depart for home.
The trip concludes after breakfast. One group transfer is provided to the airport, or continue your stay to explore more of Greece. Breakfast included.
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
All accommodations and meals as noted in the daily itinerary; all transfers on the islands by private bus or taxi; half day sightseeing tour of Athens with entrance fees and a professional guide; skilled bi-lingual trip leader; high speed boat and ferry tickets; one group arrival and one group departure airport transfer based on the majority of trip members' flight times.
Airfare to Athens Greece; airport transfers if not arriving and departing with group; flight from Santorini to Athens (mandatory internal flight); optional side trips; optional taxis; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; trip cancellation insurance; dinner on Day 5; alcoholic beverages; soft drinks or snacks; laundry; optional gratuities to guide(s) and items of a personal nature.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
Summer on the Cyclades Islands is sunny and warm. The daytime temperatures average in the 80s. However, temperatures in the 90s are possible in the summer months. Nighttime temperatures cool off slightly to the 70s. Water temperatures average in the mid 70s. Rain showers are rare, but it's often breezy on the coast.
This trip is rated Easy Active . Trip members should be experienced walkers/hikers in good physical condition. A typical day will consist of 2-5 hours of activity be it touring, swimming, kayaking or short hikes. Terrain is often uneven with some rocky and steep sections. The trails are well maintained, but can have loose and/or sharp rocks. No experience is needed for the kayaking portion of this trip – this paddle is appropriate for novices. You should expect to be in a sea kayak for between two to three hours on Day 4.
If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.General Information
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Greek Islands Family Adventure Gear List
The key to staying comfortable on safari is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation. This gear list is provided to help you in choosing your equipment and clothing for this trip. Try to bring only what is necessary.
- Valid passport
- Airline tickets
- Luggage, wheels and retractable handle are recommended
- Daypack to carry camera, water bottle, sunscreen, etc.
- Luggage lock and luggage tags
- Passport pouch or money belt
- Bring a few casual, lightweight, easily washable items for city and island wear
- Midweight fleece sweater or light jacket
- Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable (unlikely to be needed in Summer months)
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Hiking pants, synthetic, quick drying
- Hiking shorts, synthetic, quick drying
- Hiking socks
- Liner socks
- Swimsuit cover-up
- Sun hat
- Walking shoes, broken in, good ankle support
- Casual, comfortable shoes or sandals for evening and travel
- Beach sandals (sport sandals with heel strap are recommended)
- Sunscreen and lip balm with high SPF
- Personal first aid kit
- Sunglasses and leash
- 1-quart water bottle or hydration system
- Toiletry kit
- Trekking poles or walking stick
- Camera, memory and batteries
- Reading and writing materials
- Electrical adapter plug / converter
- Watch with alarm or travel alarm
- Travel pillow
- Spare contact lenses or glasses
- Motion sickness remedies for high-speed catamaran rides
- Beach towel
Things to Consider
- Always pack essential items such as your passport, REI Adventures trip final bulletin, money, eyewear, medications and a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage in case your luggage is delayed.
- This is a vehicle supported tour; your luggage is transported for you. Please pack your gear and clothing into one piece of luggage (plus daypack).
- Make sure your hiking boots (or walking footwear) are broken-in, and bring moleskin Second Skin® or Blister Block® for foot treatment. Wearing thin liner socks made of silk or synthetic fibers under your regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters.
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.