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Athens & Crete for Families

12 Days / 11 Nights

Athens, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Chania

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This easy-going family-friendly itinerary is designed to keep everyone entertained and happy. You'll mix the energy and ancient historical sites of Athens with some laid-back island sightseeing on Crete in this customizable private tour itinerary. There's ample beach time allowed for, with all the water-borne opportunities for fun you can imagine, combined with some hands-on activities to engage curious minds. We've included some suggestions for kids of all ages, and we've got plenty more ideas besides.

The services that we include as a part of our comprehensive travel package include small and boutique accommodation, exciting historical custom-tailored city, and day tours and more. We take care of all the transportation, from the moment you land to when you step foot on the plane to head home.

In addition to the tours included we can arrange a number of excursions based on your own interests. All of our tours are custom, and this is just a sample meant to give an idea of what our trips are like, and the opportunities our destinations provide.

One of our team members in the region will be available to you leading up to and during your trip to answer any questions and arrange local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival, we will provide you with a local cell phone that you can use to reach your local JayWay contact (who you will meet in person) throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique hotels, charming B&Bs, and spacious apartments. With our first-hand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambience.

Route for Athens, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Chania tour

3 Nights in Athens

3 Nights in Athens

4 days in Athens
4 days in Athens

3 Nights in Athens

Although it's hard to not keep craning your head to take in the spectacle of the Acropolis at the center of town (especially when it's lit up at night), there's more to Athens than its dense concentration of ancient ruins. Athens is a center for contemporary art, with modern galleries sitting beside museums stuffed with art dating back millennia. This combination of the old and new is especially clear at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a spectacular open-air theater that has hosted concerts and plays for nearly 2,000 years. The city's culture is also reflected in its diverse food and drink, which combines traditional Greek favorites with influences from across the Mediterranean, and the world, as fitting Athens' deep history as a humming harbor hub. While Athens' variety is enough to keep you busy, from the hidden back alleys of the center, to the city's showy coast, the city works well as a base for day trips, whether down the coast, or to the Peloponnese. Head to oracular Delphi, or hunt for where Lord Byron's carved his name into the monumental Temple of Poseidon at the tip of Cape Sounion.

Although it's hard to not keep craning your head to take in the spectacle of the Acropolis at the center of town (especially when it's lit up at night), there's more to Athens than its dense concentration of ancient ruins. Athens is a center for contemporary art, with modern galleries sitting beside museums stuffed with art dating back millennia. This combination of the old and new is especially clear at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a spectacular open-air theater that has hosted concerts and plays for nearly 2,000 years. The city's culture is also reflected in its diverse food and drink, which combines traditional Greek favorites with influences from across the Mediterranean, and the world, as fitting Athens' deep history as a humming harbor hub. While Athens' variety is enough to keep you busy, from the hidden back alleys of the center, to the city's showy coast, the city works well as a base for day trips, whether down the coast, or to the Peloponnese. Head to oracular Delphi, or hunt for where Lord Byron's carved his name into the monumental Temple of Poseidon at the tip of Cape Sounion.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Athens

Upon your arrival in Athens, a driver will meet you and drive you to your centrally located accommodations. The drive takes about 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Love at First Sight

Suggestion to explore on your own

Taking advantage of the opportunity for views of the Acropolis shining in the night, Athens has plenty of rooftop venues, which have become popular hubs for nightlife among locals. One of our favorite rooftop bars is POINT a - the only bar that provides views of both the Acropolis and the modern elegant lines of the Acropolis Museum, lit beautifully at night. POINT a has a relaxed vibe and Greek cuisine with a twist. It’s perfect for couples and even families or groups of friends. If you happen to stay around the Monastiraki District, you should definitely visit A for Athens, a popular venue among locals. Hytra and GB Roof Garden are full-on luxury restaurants and bars that perfectly provide romantic evenings. We guarantee that if you spend your first night dining at one of those places, you will quickly fall in love with the mind-blowing views and lively city.

Love at First Sight

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Athens

Acropolis for Families Private Tour

Acropolis for Families Private Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Enjoy an unforgettable family tour of the Acropolis and gain intriguing insights into the fascinating tales that surround the world-famous Parthenon temple. Follow your family-friendly guide through the secret pathways of history, while keeping your little ones engaged through entertaining puzzles and animated story-telling. Marvel at the famous masterpiece of the Acropolis for a fascinating experience that every family member will enjoy!


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 2 hours

A Family-Friendly City

Suggestion to explore on your own

Whether your little ones are big or small, they will love the activities Athens has on offer. Start your day at 10:30 in front of the Hellenic Parliament, where you can watch the changing of the Evzones guards dressed in their traditional colorful outfits featuring kilts and pom-poms. After lunch in one of many family-friendly restaurants, you can observe animals in the zoo, enjoy a ride in the red hop-on hop-off train that offers tours of the city center, or explore and learn in the Hellenic Children's Museum. If your kid has an adventurous soul, they're love Allou, Greece’s largest amusement park. We guarantee that you and your kids will love Athens!

A Family-Friendly City

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Athens

Sounio Half-Day Private Tour

Sounio Half-Day Private Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Are you thinking of escaping the bustle of Athens for a few hours or even a whole day? Let us take you on an unforgettable trip to Cape Sounio! Get ready to feel the unique vibe the Temple of the God Poseidon gives off, while enjoying a magnificent sunset and a panoramic view of the sea. This tour will leave you with delightful images engraved in your memory. If you choose so, you can also stop and enjoy the healing properties of a natural spa in Vouliagmeni lake along your way to Sounio.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 5 hours

Athens for Teens

Suggestion to explore on your own

We realize that traveling with kids, especially teenagers, can challenging. However, if you happen to be in Athens, your children will enjoy the trip as much as you. Eugenides Digital Planetarium offers shows that combine education and entertainment. The Allou Amusement Park is the biggest in Greece and we guarantee every adrenaline lover will have a lot of fun there. The Acropolis Museum offers several family tours led by experienced tour guides who will make your stay in the museum unforgettable. Exploring the George Averoff Battleship isn't just for those interested in military history. The Lycabettus Funicular ride up the highest mountain in Athens and amazing views is the activity that both youngsters and adults will love. Explore and enjoy!

Athens for Teens

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Heraklion by Airplane

From Athens to Heraklion the best option will be to take a flight on one of the low cost airlines. On your day of departure, a driver will pick you up at your accommodation and take you to the airport for your flight. Suggested Flight: Departure: Arrival:


Please note that the flight included in your package is non-refundable. In case you would prefer more flexibility, we can check the flexible fares for you and let you know about the price difference. In addition, the price of the flights is subject to change until we receive your deposit.

2 Nights in Heraklion

2 Nights in Heraklion

3 days in Heraklion
3 days in Heraklion

2 Nights in Heraklion

Visitors to Heraklion, Crete's capital, are greeted by the imposing Venetian Koules Fortress, a reminder of the importance of this historic gateway to the rest of the island. A vibrant university town, Heraklion is home to some of the island's most important landmarks, such as the Knossos Palace, with its striking Bronze Age ruins, complete with colorful, stunning frescoes. Heading to the center, the bustling Old Town has many markets and cafes, along with neoclassical buildings and a 10th century church with impressed stained glass. Heraklion is a great base for exploring the island, but before you hit the road, take the time to stroll along its Venetian harbor, lined with traditional fishing boats and offering spectacular views of the Koules Fortress.

Visitors to Heraklion, Crete's capital, are greeted by the imposing Venetian Koules Fortress, a reminder of the importance of this historic gateway to the rest of the island. A vibrant university town, Heraklion is home to some of the island's most important landmarks, such as the Knossos Palace, with its striking Bronze Age ruins, complete with colorful, stunning frescoes. Heading to the center, the bustling Old Town has many markets and cafes, along with neoclassical buildings and a 10th century church with impressed stained glass. Heraklion is a great base for exploring the island, but before you hit the road, take the time to stroll along its Venetian harbor, lined with traditional fishing boats and offering spectacular views of the Koules Fortress.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Heraklion

Upon arrival to Heraklion airport, our driver will meet you and drive you to your centrally located accommodation.

Keep the Kids Busy

Suggestion to explore on your own

Heraklion is one of those places your family with love. Just outside the city you can find a lot of activities that will keep all children busy from toddlers to teenagers. A 20-minute's drive will take you to the Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos, a well-stocked aquarium. On the way back to Heraklion ,you can have a lot of fun at the Watercity theme park, which features Europe's largest wave pool, and water slides and pools for all ages. The nearby Dinosauria Park is a much safer take on Jurassic Park. For a fun introduction to Greek mythology, head to Labyrinth Park. Kids will love solving the maze's educational puzzles, as they try to escape from the Minotaur! If you're worried your kids may find Knossos boring, download the site's mobile app, which has a series of exciting audio stories about the place.

Keep the Kids Busy

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Heraklion

Knossos Palace, Archaeological Museum, and City Food Private Tour

Knossos Palace, Archaeological Museum, and City Food Private Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

One of Greece's most vibrant cities, Heraklion, once known as Kastro, has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. Take a private tour of Heraklion and get to get to know the city not just as it is now, but also as it was centuries ago, uncovering remnants of occupations by the Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Turks, and, yes, pirates. You will then continue your tour by visiting the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, where you can admire Minoan treasures. You'll then hit the backstreets and hidden pathways, checking out the highlights, sampling local treats, and discovering the forces that combined to make Heraklion the city it is today. 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 6 hours

Day 6

Day 6 - Traveling to Agios Nikolaos by Private Transfer

Today you will be traveling from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos. A driver will pick you up at your accommodation in Heraklion and bring you on a journey to Agios Nikolaos. The transfer takes around 1 hour. Please note this is a non-guided transfer.

3 Nights in Agios Nikolaos

3 Nights in Agios Nikolaos

4 days in Agios Nikolaos
4 days in Agios Nikolaos

3 Nights in Agios Nikolaos

The heart, soul, and capital of Lassithi (Crete's easternmost region), Agios Nikolaos ("St. Nicholas") has attracted celebrities like Walt Disney since the 60s, but remains small and humble. The town's crown jewel is Voulismeni Lake, a lagoon that has served as an inner harbor since Napoleon's men connected it to the sea. Surrounding Voulismeni are numerous restaurants and cafes, offering charming views and romantic ambience. Agios Nikolaos enjoys a prime location within close proximity to the Lassithi's numerous traditional villages and historical sites. Lassithi's unspoiled beauty, from rugged mountains, to expansive plateaus and deep cliffs, make it one of the most exciting region’s of Crete, as do its important historical sites, with their traces of ancient civilizations. Nearby Spinalonga Island is an important part of Crete's history, thanks to its 15th century Venetian fortress, which later saw use as an infamous leper colony. The seabed of the nearby Mirabello Bay is the site of the ancient sunken city of Olous, the remains of which can be admired from a boat.

The heart, soul, and capital of Lassithi (Crete's easternmost region), Agios Nikolaos ("St. Nicholas") has attracted celebrities like Walt Disney since the 60s, but remains small and humble. The town's crown jewel is Voulismeni Lake, a lagoon that has served as an inner harbor since Napoleon's men connected it to the sea. Surrounding Voulismeni are numerous restaurants and cafes, offering charming views and romantic ambience. Agios Nikolaos enjoys a prime location within close proximity to the Lassithi's numerous traditional villages and historical sites. Lassithi's unspoiled beauty, from rugged mountains, to expansive plateaus and deep cliffs, make it one of the most exciting region’s of Crete, as do its important historical sites, with their traces of ancient civilizations. Nearby Spinalonga Island is an important part of Crete's history, thanks to its 15th century Venetian fortress, which later saw use as an infamous leper colony. The seabed of the nearby Mirabello Bay is the site of the ancient sunken city of Olous, the remains of which can be admired from a boat.

Day 6

Day 6 - Arrival in Agios Nikolaos

You'll be taken directly to your accommodations upon arrival.

Walk Around "the Lake"

Suggestion to explore on your own

Agios Nikolaos centers on Lake Voulismeni, a small, circular lagoon ringed by steep rocky cliffs to one side and open-air cafés and seafood restaurants on the other. Linked to the sea by Napoleon's troops, Voulismeni is hardly ever referred to by name, and is usually only called "the lake" on signs, maps, and in general conversation. The lagoon is especially lovely at night, when the cliffs are lit up, creating reflections of a lively scene across the water. A variety of open-air restaurants line the lake, and others are perched atop the dramatic rock face overlooking the water. From up high, you can see beyond the lagoon to the sea behind. According to local legend, the goddess Athena used to bathe here, and the lake was long said to be bottomless (although, to be fair, it is surprisingly deep).

Walk Around "the Lake"

Day 7

Day 7 - Your First Full Day in Agios Nikolaos

Pottery Lesson

Pottery Lesson

Included in your vacation package price.

Pottery on the wheel is a relaxing and creative art. Pottery dating back as far as 7000 BC have been found on Crete, and the tastes and discoveries of the Bronze Age Minoans still shape the wares crafted by Crete's potters today. Visit a family-run farm and let a professional potter guide you and your hands into making your own pot. This lesson will show you how to use a potter's wheel to shape clay. Naturally, you'll get to take your creation home with you afterwards.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 2 hours 30 minutes

Explore an Abandoned Island

Suggestion to explore on your own

Rising from Mirabello Bay, the tiny island of Spinalonga was fortified by the Venetians in the 17th century as part of their strategy to protect Crete from Turkish invasion. From 1903 to 1957, it found a new life as a leper colony. Despite the remote location, the lepers lived well. Today, the storied ruins are accessibly by boat from both Agios Nikolaos and Plaka, or as part of a private day trip.

Day 8

Day 8 - Your Second Full Day in Agios Nikolaos

Winning Beaches

Suggestion to explore on your own

Just down the coast from Agios Nikolaos, Voulisma Beach is a calm, shallow beach with azure waters. It is considered one of Crete's best beaches for its curving ribbon of soft sand backed by cliffs. If you'd like to visit a place within walking distance of Agios Nikolaos' center, Kitroplateia Beach is a lovely crescent of pebbles and sand that looks across to the mountains on the opposite shore of Mirabello Bay.

Winning Beaches

Day 9

Day 9 - Traveling to Chania by Private Transfer

Today you will travel from Agios Nikolaos to Chania. A driver will meet you at your accommodation in Agios Nikolaos and take you to Chania in 3 hours. If you'd like, we can arrange for a stop in Heraklion or Rethymnon to break up the journey. Please note this is a non-guided transfer.

3 Nights in Chania

3 Nights in Chania

4 days in Chania
4 days in Chania

3 Nights in Chania

Crete’s most romantic destination offers an irresistible sense of charm. Chania’s Old Town is undeniably captivating, with winding alleyways lined with charming boutique stores, fragrant jasmine trees and bougainvillea, and picturesque squares dotted with local taverns serving Cretan delicacies. The Venetian harbor opens up to panoramic views of the Aegean and the striking Egyptian Lighthouse, which once guided ships safely into the harbor. Traces of centuries of conquests are evident in the amalgam of cultures that intertwine in the cobblestone streets and historical districts of this enchanting town. The district of Splantzia is lined with reminders of the town's Ottoman period. In the afternoon, take a walk along the marina, lined with Venetian boathouses reborn as exhibition spaces and cafes. At sunset people gather by the harbor to witness the magical sunset or simply stroll along the esplanade.

Crete’s most romantic destination offers an irresistible sense of charm. Chania’s Old Town is undeniably captivating, with winding alleyways lined with charming boutique stores, fragrant jasmine trees and bougainvillea, and picturesque squares dotted with local taverns serving Cretan delicacies. The Venetian harbor opens up to panoramic views of the Aegean and the striking Egyptian Lighthouse, which once guided ships safely into the harbor. Traces of centuries of conquests are evident in the amalgam of cultures that intertwine in the cobblestone streets and historical districts of this enchanting town. The district of Splantzia is lined with reminders of the town's Ottoman period. In the afternoon, take a walk along the marina, lined with Venetian boathouses reborn as exhibition spaces and cafes. At sunset people gather by the harbor to witness the magical sunset or simply stroll along the esplanade.

Day 9

Day 9 - Arrival in Chania

Upon arrival to Chania you'll be taken directly to your accommodation.

Feast Your Eyes on the Old Venetian Harbor

Suggestion to explore on your own

Dating back to the 14th century, Chania’s Venetian Harbor is a wonderful place for an introductory stroll. The harbor is a great place to catc the sunset, but we also recommend following the winding streets from the coast inland. For the best part of the Old Town, walk along Angelou Street, one of the nicest back alleys, with 16th and 17th century Venetian architecture. From there, you'll find plenty of cafes, restaurants, tavernas, bars, pastry shops, monuments, and galleries in every direction.

Feast Your Eyes on the Old Venetian Harbor

Day 10

Day 10 - Your First Full Day in Chania

Street Stories of Chania Small Group Tour

Street Stories of Chania Small Group Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Experience the real Crete with a walk through one of its most picturesque cities. Chania is a kaleidoscope of different elements: ancient ruins, strong local culture and traditions, and delectable cuisine (and yes, you’ll get to taste some!). Escape the tourist traps and dive into secret corners and local neighborhoods — each stop has a story to tell!


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Excitement From the Sea to the Mountains

Suggestion to explore on your own

Western Crete is full of safe beaches, and other family-friendly opportunities. There are various organic farms stuffed with activities, from a traditional bee garden, making olive oil, or taking cooking classes. If your kids are drawn to the sea, they'll enjoy a tour with a glass bottom boat. You can also enjoy a half-day tour with the Little Fun Train, which takes you through fishing towns, gorges and olive groves. For some more excitement, visit the Limnoupolis Water Park, go horseback riding, or rent bikes and hit the mountain trails.

Excitement From the Sea to the Mountains

Day 11

Day 11 - Your Second Full Day in Chania

Beaches of West Crete

Suggestion to explore on your own

Western Crete has some of the Mediterranean's best beaches. Gramvoussa, or more precisely Balos Bay, was long a secret spot. Those who arrived by private boat or a long walk were rewarded by turquoise waters, lagoons, and beaches of pure white sand. Take a boat from Kissamos to enjoy this natural wonder. Elafonisi, located at the Crete's southwestern tip, will leave you speechless, with its red and pink coral sands. Sougia is one of Crete's best beaches, as it's relaxed and quiet. The sea and beach are clean and sheltered, and the surrounding landscape beautiful. Our favorite spot of all is Seitan Limania, a hidden corner of the northeast side of the Akrotiri peninsula, 20 km from Chania. Heading down the zigzag road there can be a bit of an adventure, but you'll love the place!

Beaches of West Crete

Day 12

Day 12 - Departure Day

Sadly the time has come to leave Crete behind. We'll arrange for a driver to take you to Chania airport for your departing flight. The drive to the airport is about 30 minutes.

What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Athens

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Athens Airport Transfer
Acropolis for Families Private Tour
Sounio Half-Day Private Tour
Athens Airport Transfer
Athens - Heraklion Flight (Non-Refundable)

Heraklion

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Heraklion Airport Private Transfer
Knossos Palace, Archaeological Museum, and City Food Private Tour
Heraklion - Agios Nikolaos Private Transfer

Agios Nikolaos

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Pottery Lesson
Agios Nikolaos - Chania Private Transfer

Chania

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Street Stories of Chania Small Group Tour
Chania City - Chania Airport Private Transfer
The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website
Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Our local staff are at your service throughout your journey via the local prepaid cellphone which we provide.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.
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