Santorini, for all its beauty, is not a particularly child-friendly place. Notwithstanding, do I recommend you go there with a baby? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Roger that – it’s been on my wish list since forever and what better time to do it than when you’re living in Europe as a small, mobile family! However, in the absence of being able to find much information online about travelling there with a baby (after being warned by a former work colleague from Greece that Santorini in particular was not child friendly and then experiencing rejection from a swag of hotels, bed and breakfasts and Airbnb stays over email!) it occurred to me that it might be helpful to share some tips that I learnt from our experience.
Where to stay
- If you’d like to stay seaside, Oia is indeed the prettiest place with the famous sunset views and beautiful village style shops. Imerovigli next to it is quieter but with less shops and restaurants and it’s closer to Fira than Oia. However, both of these spots are filled with lots and lots of steep steps. Walking up and down 70 steps with a baby and pram to get in and out of your hotel, then dealing with steps at every corner, in 38 degree searing heat, can make for a logistical nightmare. Fira is flatter, with less steps, but is more touristy, crowded and loud. Make your choices accordingly. We stayed at the beautiful Artemis Villas in Imerovigli, which was lovely, and within walking distance to Fira.
- If you choose Oia, I met a delightful, smart, helpful and warm Airbnb host, Evi, with a stunning apartment she rents out in Oia Linko Traditional Villa. She grew up in Santorini, worked in a 5 star hotel there for many years and is an absolute wealth of knowledge on all things Santorini generally (her partner operates the popular boat cruises to the volcano), so I’d highly recommend looking her up.
- Find somewhere with a pool. It’s really hot in summer and, given the extensive cliff face between you and the ocean, meaning it’s not easy to access for a quick dip then back to the comfort of your accommodation, I’d highly recommend that you place this high on your priority list.
What to pack
- A travel cot. Although our hotel was 4/5 star, its travel cot didn’t have a mattress which really upset the apple cart for a few nights. Given Santorini don’t do baby travel in abundance, I would hazard a guess that its sleeping conditions for babies haven’t been given a huge amount of thought. Trust me, it’s not worth the headache on this one – just pack one.
- Pack a good sling with lots of support. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t travel around the coastal side of Santorini with a pram. Sure, I’d take the pram for longer hauls or inland trekking, but leave it behind for sea side day tripping.
- Good walking shoes. It’s a fabulous place to explore but the streets are very cobbled, uneven and there’s lots of steps (so you need some grip, especially if you’ve got a baby clinging on to you for dear life).
Where to eat
- Aegean in Imerovigli is lovely family run restaurant and came recommended from the lovely Evi.
- To Psarkaki in Vlychada – it’s a taxi ride from any of the places I’ve talked about staying in, but houses gorgeous ocean views and prides itself on fresh, rustic style seafood.
- Mezzo in Imerovigli. Stunning Greek food and wine right near the hotel we stayed at.
I hope this helps, but please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to ask anything further. Also if you’ve been to Santorini with a bambino in tow and can add to these tips, go forth!