Couples and clubbers might heed the siren call of Greece’s many beautiful islands, but for family holidays the best bet by far is to stay on the mainland and make for those dramatically different peninsulas, Halkidiki and the Peloponnese.
Family Holidays in Greece
Located on the Greek mainland in the northern Aegean, Halkidiki
is instantly recognisable on a map by the trident-like peninsulas
that jut into the sea. The westernmost of these is called the
Kassandra Peninsula, and it's here that families will find a
self-contained world that has everything they could possibly
require from a family beach holiday and plenty more besides.
Welcome to the Sani Resort, set on a 1,000-acre private estate
with pine forests, a private marina, three miles of shallow-watered
sandy beaches, four hotels, a spa, swimming pools, two watersports
centres, a diving centre with PADI instructors, a mountain-biking
centre, eight tennis courts (some floodlit and with professional
coaching available), 16 restaurants from tavernas to cafes and an
Each hotel has an entertainment team that organises a huge range
of sports and other activities - everything from archery and beach
volleyball to waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and pedaloes.
Parents need not feel neglected - they can enjoy spa treatments or
relax on the beach and enjoy the beach bar service while kids gaze
across the Gulf of Salonica to distant Mount Olympus for
inspiration before attempting that most traditional of Olympic
events - the banana boat. Excursions to Mount Athos or traditional
markets and villages can also be arranged.
Peloponnese Family Holidays
Pretty impressive, no? But now Halkidiki (and Sardinia's Costa
Smeralda) has serious competition for the European family holiday
crown from another part of Greece. Enter the Peloponnese, the
mystical and completely beautiful peninsula to the west of
Until recently this was somewhere best suited to intrepid
couples willing to put up with long drives, but two recent
developments mean that this is now a complete winner for family
The first development - quite literally - was that of the Costa
Navarino dunes area in the southern corner of the Peloponnese,
comprising a mere 1,340 hectares of staggeringly beautiful
coastline and olive grove covered hills overlooking a vast white
sand beach and glittering Ionian Sea.
Westin Resort and Romanos are the first two hotels to open and
the Westin, with its rooms and suites designed to resemble the
mansions of wealthy Messinian merchants has all the makings of a
fledgling family holiday classic.
It has everything the discerning family could wish for on a
holiday, from kids clubs and nursery to a sports centre, an
aquapark and restaurants specialising in kids favourites. It's all
Best of all is development number two - there are direct flights
into Kalamata Airport, just 25 miles from this previously hard to
reach corner of paradise. We confidently predict this is going to
be a hugely successful newcomer in the family summer holiday