Greece – with a baby

We went to Greece this Summer with our then, 8 month old baby and it was better than we could have imagined!!! This post will give you some itinerary insight but also tips on traveling Greece with an infant.

First, we recommend booking / requesting a bassinet for the flight.  Delta has a first come, first serve policy.  Thus, we made sure to get to the airport early! The bassinet allowed Sidney to sleep 6.5 hours of the 8.5 hour flight there and nap on the 10.5 hour day time flight home. 

Make sure baby has a hat or hood for the flight

It also gave him a place to sit and play so we could enjoy a meal or even nap ourselves on the trip home – since we landed at 7pm EST, we acted like it was a normal day time schedule for us.

ATHENS

Typically for a Greece Itinerary, I would recommend 1 night for Athens, arrive and hit the ground running.  However, with a baby, flexibility is key and not feeling so rushed was the point of vacation.  So, we opted for 2 nights in Athens.  On arrival, we ALL took an afternoon nap.  Then we explored the Plaka and enjoyed a rooftop dinner.

In the Plaka
NEW Hotel’s Rooftop View

WHAT TO DO: The following morning, we slept in, got in a workout, and had a leisurely morning before our city tour and visit to the Acropolis.  This was a great day exploring but strollers are not allowed on the historic site. So, be sure to bring a carrier.  You can certainly visit this area on your own.  We opted for a half day guided tour so we could see more around Athens, including the first Olympic Stadium.

Touring the Acropolis

We went to bed early for our 6am pick up the next morning to catch the ferry.  This was a bit of a struggle with jetlag but it allowed us to get an early start and move on to the Island portion of our trip.

On the Ferry

WHERE TO STAY: For a great boutique property in Athens, check out NEW Hotel which is a part of the YES property group.  The hotel is chic, has a great rooftop, in a great location and the staff were amazing!

NAXOS

We arrived in to Naxos and was transferred to our hotel, 18 Grapes.  This was one of my favorite hotel experiences in our travels.

Although our room wasn’t ready, we were settled in with welcome drinks from the property’s vineyard and enjoyed access to the beautiful and tranquil pool.

The staff at this property were amazing, so welcoming and accommodating to a baby.  With only 18 rooms, we also felt comfortable setting up our portable monitor and having Sidney take naps in the room while we would enjoy the pool.  This is definitely a personal decision and we would not do this in every hotel but with the configuration of the property and location of our room to the pool, we felt comfortable doing this.  It also allowed us to have time to enjoy ourselves too and for some similar “home” routine.

The property has a gym for active travelers and was also a great place for me to set up Obe Fitness replay videos. Use code: SHELBY30 for 30% off of your first month of membership.

WHAT TO DO: In Naxos, enjoy a beach day.  I recommend finding a location that is associated with a restaurant.  Often, you can get complimentary day beds with the purchase of food and drinks from the restautrant.  Additionally, it gave us access to a bathroom and a place to ‘stroll’ around to get Sidney to nap.

We also did a half day city tour in Naxos.  With our request, we visitied the Potara which is near the port (and you can do upon arrival on the Island).  We went to different villages, saw an olive oil mill, tried ouzo, explored churches, and saw a part of the Island we never would have visited to on our own.  I suggest a private tour so you can schedule your own timing.  Sidney did little napping on the tour – there was just so much to see! So, we returned to the hotel and he napped the rest of the afternoon.

Potara

That evening, was probably one of my favorite travel experiences we have ever had!  The owner of our hotel also owns a small vineyard and they offer complimentary tours there.  Well this wasn’t just some tour… it was an unforgettable experience. We turned down a field and pulled up to a shed building. As we walked through the thousands of potatoes, we entered the vineyard and garden of tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and so much more. 

Vineyard Entrance

The owner Dimitri then pulled out cheeses, breads, olive oil, and bottles of wine. He began picking from the garden and making a fresh salad for us to enjoy.  Yes, there was a language barrier but everyone understands ‘wine’!!

We sang with Sidney, played, drank, and were in complete amazement of this cultural experience as the sun was setting.  It was so fun, authentic, and beautiful  – I HIGHLY recommend taking them up on the offer for their ‘vineyard tour’.

Dimitri – the owner of 18 Grapes

WHERE TO STAY: For hotels in Naxos that are kid friendly, check out 18 Grapes for its property, great location to the beach/town, and experiences.  Nissaki Beach Hotel is also kid friendly and has a wonderful restaurant on the beach.

SANTORNI

Wow – Sanotorini was more beautiful that I remembered!  This destination is not very stroller friendly so be sure to pack the carrier for days of exploring the villages.  For active travelers, you can ‘hike’ through the towns. Explore from Imerovigli to Fira and enjoy lunch there.  Additionally, you can hike up Skaros Rock for views of Imerovigli

Oia is known for their sunsets.  With that said, it is more crowded than ever to visit during this time – I have other suggestions for sunset experiences below.  With a baby, we went and explored Oia during the morning and went through town with Flytographer to capture some beautiful family photos.

WHAT TO DO: After our shoot, we spent the day at Canaves Oia’s only family friendly property, EPITOME.  If you are traveling with multiple kids and enjoy a larger room (How about a 2 bedroom, duplex suite!), definitely check out this hotel.  While there is a driver on site, its only about a 10min walk into town. So, you have the best of both worlds – a resort experience and yet still close enough to the village of Oia.

For a relaxing afternoon, visit a local winery to try Santorini wines. Babies were welcomed! We checked out Venetsantos winery which included amazing views of the Caldera.

Santorini is known for their sunsets. We had a variety of sunset experiences. One night, we checked out the popular Cavo Tagoo hotel.  This 5* adults only property does allow families at the restaurant and for sunset.  The vibes are great, but the views are even better!

 Doing an afternoon cruise was another amazing way to see the sunset.  Sunset Oia gave us an all inclusive experience and had an indoor area for Sidney too.  The best part was sailing towards the sun and listening to music, to take in the moment.

We DID pack a life jacket for Sidney and carried it through the trip, just for this experience. Check with your tour operator or bring your own for extra safety.

Imerovigli also provides an amazing sunset from the comfort of your hotel (if you’re on the cliff ).  We stayed at the Aqua Luxury suites -a family friendly property that allows you to have a cliffside pool, even with children. Some evenings, it was nice to just come back to the hotel and relax there for sunset.

WHERE TO STAY: Family friendly hotels in Santorini are more difficult to find because of the cliffs and insurance policies that they hold.  For the quintessential caldera views and terrace pool, check out Aqua Luxury Suites – be prepared to take steps to get to your room.  They have a ton of rooms categories so review the photos online of the room. Check out the Aquarella suite for the best terrace, or the Sunset Suite ( room 503) has a bedroom and living room area for more space and a beautiful terrace with sunset views. {This room category is far from reception}.  For a more resort type of property, check out the year old Canaves Oia EPITOME hotel – this was also voted #1 property in Europe last year by Travel and Leisure.  The amazing Canaves Oia brand is one of the best in Santorini and now, the whole family can enjoy it!

The food is all so fresh and delicious, I wish Sidney was able to enjoy it.  We did introduce ‘pouches’ prior to departure so that there was always food on hand for him, even on the go. Some of our favorite Santorini restaurants were Avocado, Athenian House, Elements and of course, room service. Amoudi Bay also offers some great restaurants with a view.

Overall, this was one of my favorite vacations.  We mixed in touring with relaxation and had quality family time. Babies can sense your energy so if you’re easy going and a “go with the flow” traveler, baby will be too!

GREECE INFANT TRAVEL TIPS

***With all the moving around, request a crib in advanced.  One less thing to carry around.

***Request Business Class/ VIP tickets for the ferries. This is a separate room with more leg room and tables for you to sit around.

***One thing I loved about Greece in September was the cool temperature, especially with a baby.  There was a breeze at nights and they were even cool enough for a light jacket.

***Introduce pouches and new foods prior to departure.

***Bring a carrier and a stroller that can fold up small.

***Sidney would stay out later with us at night and sleep later in the mornings. This also helped with Jetlag on the return home.

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