Travelling with a baby can be challenging, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of visiting Santorini. Is it difficult? At times. But is it worth it? Absolutely! To be honest with you, Santorini was never at the top of our list of places to visit with our baby, but when we saw the ridiculously cheap flights heading out there in October, we adopted our YOLO attitude and decided we would make it work. With proper planning and preparation, traveling to Santorini with a baby can be a really fun and memorable experience. In this post, we’ll share some tips and advice we picked up along the way on how you can travel to Santorini with a baby.
Travel at the right time
Traveling with a baby during the high season can be overwhelming due to the crowds and heat. Consider traveling during the shoulder season when the weather is cooler, and the crowds are fewer. We traveled in October which ended up being a great month to visit. The prices were lower, the crowds weren’t too bad and the weather was still really great! Looking at current accommodation prices for this year, they seem to drop by over 50% when comparing September to October!
Consider the hotels facilities
Book accommodation with baby-friendly facilities, or as baby friendly as you can find! I say this as we stayed in 4 different hotels during our stay (listed below), and not one had a baby cot. Luckily we brought a small foldable cot that we placed on our bed to give Leo a safe place to sleep. When booking your accommodation, look out for baby-friendly facilities like a cot, high chair, bath tub, kettle (if formula feeding). Having a kitchenette is always useful with or without a baby, it means you can be self sufficient without relying on expensive restaurants to eat. Obviously you will want to sample the delicious Greek cuisine, but being able to make a coffee in the morning, some sandwiches for lunch, or even a dinner or two – will save you a lot of money.
Packing for a baby can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to plan and ensure you bring everything you need. If your luggage allowance allows, you should pack enough nappies, formula/baby food and any medication your baby needs. Baby formula and nappies on the island are really expensive. If you are only traveling with small hand luggage, you can order your nappies and formula to be delivered to the Boots at your departing airport. This way you can pick them up after you have passed through security and carry them onto the plane in shopping bags.
We took a pram but found it really inconvenient in many parts of the island given there are so many steps. We had our baby carrier with us which we ended up using more often than the pram. I would definitely still recommend taking a pram as it is useful when you have a meal out, it gives a place for the baby to (hopefully) sleep whilst you enjoy yourselves!
Prepare for the flight
If you’re traveling by plane, it’s crucial to prepare for the flight. If you are traveling long haul, request a bassinet seat so that your baby can sleep comfortably. If you are traveling short haul you will likely have your baby on your lap, so bring a familiar blanket to get them cosy and always dress them comfortably. For older babies, make sure you pack plenty of snacks and toys in your hand luggage to keep them entertained. Remember to have a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage for the baby (and you!) incase of any ‘poo-splosions’ / accidents!
You will find most babies get upset when flying during take off and landing, and this is due to the discomfort in their ears as the pressure changes. To help them with this, prepare to feed them on both take off and landing, whether that be with a boob, bottle, juice or a fruit pouch. Anything that gets them sucking will help.
Plan activities that are baby-friendly
Santorini has plenty of activities that are suitable for babies. Explore the island’s picturesque villages, take a stroll along the caldera, or spend a day at one of the island’s many beaches. Just make sure to bring plenty of sun cream and a hat to protect your baby from the sun, especially in the peak summer months. Babies under 6 months old shouldn’t be in direct sunlight at all, so make sure you have a sun umbrella on your pram and clothes that cover most of their skin.
Take breaks and rest when needed
Traveling with a baby can be tiring, so make sure to take breaks and rest when needed. You will be traveling at a much slower pace to what you’re used to, and that is ok! When planning your itinerary make sure you add in lots of breaks, and don’t hesitate to take a day off to relax and recharge. Sometimes plonking yourself by the pool or beach and doing very little is just what you all need.
Where we stayed
Santorini has many beautiful towns and areas you can consider staying. If you want a beach holiday then you will want to base yourself in the south in a town like Perissa or Kamari, great options for families.
Fira is the capital of the island and has some great value hotels and apartments. From here you can take a beautiful walk to Imerovigli enjoying spectacular Caldera views. A great option if you want to be in the thick of it, with lots of options for food and drink.
Our favourite town was Imerovigli, slightly cheaper than the most popular town on the island, Oia, but equally as beautiful. Oia is the town you will likely recognise from postcards and is the place where cruise ships will drop hundreds of people each day. It wasn’t too busy in October when we visited, but in the peak summer months it will be chaos.
We made our lives extra difficult by staying in a variety of hotels during our visit. We stayed in two budget hotels, a midrange hotel and a luxury hotel with our own little pool overlooking the Caldera.
Budget hotel one
Cyclades hotel is a 3 star hotel in a town called Karterados. It isn’t too far from the airport and they offered a good value hotel pick up service. It had a pool, free breakfast and for around £55 a night it was a great price for us all. We only stayed for two nights before walking to our next budget hotel in Fira. Fira centre is around a 10-15 minute walk away and there is a bus stop near the hotel if you prefer to take public transport. Click here to see this hotel.
Budget hotel two
In Fira we stayed at Antonia Apartments, it is a highly rated budget option and walking distance to the centre. We paid around £50 a night, and prices are similar for this October. The owners are lovely, they left a free jug of local wine in the fridge and a big bottle of water. The rooms were clean and basic with a balcony. Whilst there they arranged a tour around the island for us, I can’t remember the exact price we paid for this but I remember it being better value than the tours we found in town. There is a small pool if you need a place to take a dip and cool down. Click here to see this hotel.
Mid range hotel
The next part of our trip was in Imerovigli, and we stayed in two pretty nice hotels. The first one I would class as mid range and is called Ayoba Santorini. Really traditional decor, clean and modern. There was a little pool outside our door, shared between two or three rooms, the other rooms were empty during our stay so we had it all to ourselves. The price included a great breakfast and the room also had a kitchenette which is really handy with a baby. The rooms for this October are currently looking to be around £65 per night. Click here to see this hotel.
The final place we stayed was Cocoon Suites. The price has skyrocketed since our visit. We paid £250 per night which was extortionate for us, but we really wanted to experience that ‘typical’ Santorini stay with our own pool and great view. Looking at prices for October this year, our room is currently around £450 a night! We did book our stay last minute (a few days before check in) so it is worth looking out for last minute deals later in the year when they might be more desperate for bookings. The only thing to note is that there are many steps to get down to the hotel, which was difficult with our pram / car seat / baby paraphernalia. They do say it is an adults only hotel, but on messaging them they didn’t mind us bringing a baby as long as we signed to say we took full responsibility for him. There are some sheer drops over the pool, so I wouldn’t want to visit here with a mobile child! See more about this hotel here.
Overall, traveling to Santorini with a baby can be a really fun and rewarding experience. It is definitely one of our more memorable trips since having Leo, and the beautiful pictures we have from the trip are memories that will last a lifetime. With proper planning and preparation, you can really enjoy all that the island has to offer whilst ensuring your baby’s comfort and safety. Follow these tips and I am certain your trip to Santorini with a baby will be amazing!
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