Sure, I don’t blame you for not thinking of Santorini as your first choice of holiday destination with your young family. What with all the incredible infinity pools, sunset sails, cobblestone lanes and local vineyards. Sounds like the idyllic spot for a honeymoon and the worst scenario for a baby. Santorini had been on my travel bucket list for an eternity, so when we started planning holidays for 2018 I put this straight at the top of the list without giving much thought to the fact that we would have a 9 month old in tow. However, our trip was INCREDIBLE and my favorite one thus far this year. So here is why I think you should be booking your next family vacay to Santorini!
- Photo Opportunities – We have all seen those Instagram worthy pics splashed over everyone’s feed during the European summer and there is no denying that Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The photos truly do not do it justice. So why not capture your little person in all their glory against one of the most stunning backdrops in the world. Every parent is guilty of maxing out their cloud storage with hundreds of photos of bae and I think you might have to increase your storage plan after this trip.
- Cuisine – I had forgotten how much Greek food we tend to eat in our modern multicultural society. Greek yogurt, Greek salad, kebabs, tzatziki … the list goes on. At the time of our trip the baby was past the stage of eating only purees and so had great delight trying all of the different foods we ordered. It also meant that we could order and enjoy more dishes than usual because ‘the baby was hungry.’
- Baby Sensory Overload – Babies love a variety of colors, sights, sounds and smells to stimulate their senses and help them to develop and grow. The streets of Santorini provide this for free, so whilst getting some exercise you can keep them entertained. We took it in turns to carry around the little one in the BabyBjorn and explore the winding paths of the islands. The white buildings contrasting against the blue roofs and ocean, with cobblestone walkways and bursts of colorful flowers – even I had to stop every 5 seconds because I wanted to take another photo.
- Relaxing – The Greek Islands are a place for relaxing as opposed to running around touristing all day, and Santorini is no exception to that rule. The nice chilled out pace is lovely with the baby without having to set any alarms or worry about what time of day it is. We lucked out with our hotel and room as we were right next to the pool, so whilst bubs had her afternoon nap, we could actually lounge by the pool with a glass of wine and blissfully adult for a while.
- Friendly People – Santorini is a very small island which relies heavily on tourism. As such, we found the hospitality at our hotel and the staff in shops and restaurants to be fantastic. There were no noses being turned up by wait staff or shop attendants like we occasionally experience when we are in London, Paris or New York. Nothing was a drama and everyone continually cooed over the baby. We were made to feel very welcome and quite frankly, we didn’t want to leave.
We flew directly from Manchester to Thira (Santorini) with easyJet and stayed at Ikastikies Suites in Firostefani. We traveled in early May which is not peak season meaning it was a bit cheaper and not overly crowded. I would highly recommend avoiding the warmer and busier months with a baby as personally I don’t believe it would be as enjoyable.