5 Things to do in Northern Crete with Kids

Over October half term we were invited to stay at Kiani Beach Resort with Sea Crete Hotels. I have written about our stay already and you can read the full review here. There is also a video over on my youtube channel which gives you a sneak peak of the resort itself. However while we were there what did we get up to? Well despite only being there for a a week we managed to squeeze in a fair amount. As well as ample time spent relaxing and enjoying the resort pools and beach. Here are our top five activities for kids in Northern Crete.

A Visit to Chania

As soon as I realised we were only twenty minutes from the old town of Chania I knew we had to visit. It is well known for its Venetian harbour and it did not disappoint. Wandering along the narrow shopping streets to get down to the port I did wonder if there would be much for the kids to enjoy. However I hadn’t appreciated that sometimes they don’t need much. They were happy walking along the side of the water looking for crabs and fish. Of which there was lots, the water was so clear and really accessible for both the boys. Which meant we did have to keep a close eye on Kipper. They were also fascinated by the people fishing and the horses pulling tourists around the city.

Along the front there are many a restaurant and bar viving for your custom. We stopped for a drink and traditional snack overlooking the light house. Its possible to walk all the way round the port to the lighthouse. There is also the Nautical Museum of Crete which is also one end of the port. We all really enjoyed spending a little bit of time lapping up the culture. The hotel has a shuttle bus which will take you into the centre and pick you up. Details can be found at reception.

Cretan Cooking Experience with Hand Picked Greece

I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my reservations of taking the boys to a cooking class. Since Kipper is only 2.5 years old I wasn’t sure it was really suitable. But we all agreed that it was by far our best excursion and throughly enjoyed the experience. Making several traditional dishes where everyone got involved and had specific tasks to complete. Including Monkey who thought it was brilliant that he got to try out mixing all the seasoning into the meat. The setting and surroundings was beautiful and because we helped to make it the food tasted delicious. The evening was finished with some traditional music. We loved it so much that I wrote a dedicated post all about it – Cretan Cooking Experience with Hand Picked Greece. The trip was arranged through Lets Crete which is located in the hotel reception

The Beach with the Pink Sand – Elafonisi

I have always been a sucker for a beautiful beach. So when I saw pictures of Elafonisi I knew I wanted to visit. Were not disappointed and the sand really was pink. Both boys enjoyed paddling in the shallow waters and the sand seemed to stretch for miles. This is unusual compared the the local beaches, as the coastline is very dramatic but the beaches can be stony. To see the pink sand and to get a better idea of the beach itself I wrote a post all about it here.

Ancient Aptera

One of the days we got a taxi from the resort up to Ancient Aptera. Its a popular tourist destination and when we arrived there were a couple of coaches. It would be a wonderful place to watch the sunrise. Although you could not go into the fort itself the view was stunning. You could see the bay of Kalyves and also another fort which use to be a prison below. There are also wonderful views of the Island in the bay with the mountains behind.

Kournas Lake

Both the boys love turtles so when we heard we could see some in a local lake we decided to visit for a morning. The lake is surrounded by rocky mountains and is extremely peaceful. There are pedalos available for hire at 15€ for an hour. Typically the turtles are the opposite side of the lake but since the pedalos all had canopies and life jackets we decided to take the chance and pedal across. Monkey thought it was great fun and did a lot of the peddling with Hubby. Once we got over we did see quite a lot of the terrapins. Although you did need to be patient and we didn’t get close enough to get photos. Both boys loved it. There is also a small number of restaurants and shops so we used the opportunity to pick up some souvenirs.  The lake can also be reached by a taxi from the resort, its about a twenty minute drive.

Have you visited Crete? I would love to hear your favourite parts of your holiday in the comments below. As we loved our holiday so much that we are planning on returning.

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We were invited to stay at Kiani Beach Resort over the October half term for the purpose of writing a review. These are the excursions we took part in during our stay which was arranged via Lets Crete. We paid for our own flights.




  1. Tracy Nixon
    November 12, 2018 / 9:41 am

    I plan to go there on holiday in the next few years as I love the Greek Islands!

  2. A S,Edinburgh
    November 12, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    It looks like such a gorgeous place, and I love these ideas for what to do there.

  3. November 12, 2018 / 11:12 pm

    No I have never visited Crete-but would love to. All those pics you took look so inviting and fun!

  4. Marcie
    November 13, 2018 / 4:34 am

    Oh I love this post! We took our oldest on a cruise around the Greek Isles when he was 2yo and your photos makes me want to come back! I mean that water is so clear!

  5. Margaret Gallagher
    November 13, 2018 / 10:24 am

    Long while since ive been to Crete – amazing place

  6. Hazel
    November 13, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    Such a beautiful place! 😍 it looks so peaceful and calm. I’d like to be there, explore, and write. Just me. What a dream land! 💖

  7. November 13, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    The incredible island of Crete has so much to offer to travel families and it is often voted one of the most popular and safe destinations for family holidays. Crete is the biggest island of Greece known for its rich culture and amazing scenery. You can discover stunning sunny beaches with crystal clear waters, rocky coves in idyllic landscapes, endless groves, delicious food and of course, the unsurpassed Cretan hospitality. In short little ones would love it.

  8. November 13, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    This looks like a beautiful place to visit. Thank you so much for sharing. My kids are beach bums and would love it here.

  9. November 13, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    I have not been to any of the Greek Island but am pinning this for future reference. I love that the kids could be involved in the cooking class and will remember to ask about it if I ever have the opportunity to travel abroad with my nephews and niece.

  10. Katy
    November 13, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    The pink sand beach looks so nice.

  11. November 13, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    Wow, Chania does look like a lagoon around Venice. To me, it looks very similar with Murano. I would love to take the cooking class, I always do this when I am in a new country to learn more about the local heritage and culture.

  12. Claire
    November 13, 2018 / 10:24 pm

    This is crazy, all of these beautiful destinations and I’ve never even heard of. I am saving this for the future.

  13. Ellie Plummer
    November 13, 2018 / 10:52 pm

    Your pictures are so gorgeous, this is really making me want to go on holiday now. I love Greece so much so will have to try Crete.

  14. Surekha Busa
    November 14, 2018 / 4:46 am

    I have never been there but I can still say that this place is so gorgeous most especially that beach with the pink sand.

  15. November 14, 2018 / 11:40 am

    I might actually be going there early next year! That cooking class looks so fun ! Do you think they have one for vegetarians as well ?

  16. Geraline Batarra
    November 14, 2018 / 11:46 am

    Wow, such a nice place to visit and it sounds like everyone is really having fun in this trip.

  17. November 15, 2018 / 4:39 am

    We went to Greece last summer, but have never been to Crete. We want to go, maybe this summer! Your trip looks fabulous.

  18. Megan
    November 15, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    Beautiful guide, and I love your images! Looks like a truly lovely place to be. x

  19. Elizabeth O
    November 15, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    The place looks so beautiful and a great place to hung on to be together as one family.

  20. Christa
    November 15, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    I haven’t yet visited Crete, but it looks amazing! What a wonderful mix of history and beaches and delicious food.

  21. November 16, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    Looks lovely somewhere I’ve never been . Your photography is great some fab pictures

  22. Bindu Thomas
    November 19, 2018 / 6:41 am

    Wow..what an amazing place to visit! My kids will definitely like the beach. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Fiona jk42
    November 23, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    We rented a villa on Crete some years ago with some friends. We had 5 adults and 5 kids, so the kids and I had a great time, as did our friends and their kids. My husband however was not happy as I had made him leave his golf clubs at home, so he sulked the whole time!

  24. Ashleigh Allan
    December 2, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    I’ve never been before

  25. Gemma Hendry
    April 15, 2019 / 6:21 pm

    the cooking experience would be awesome

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