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Elounda & Spinalonga Island

elounda

Just 10 km from Agios Nikolaos is the bay of Elounda. Known for its luxury hotels is the place that wealthy visitors, royalties and celebrities spend their holidays. The picturesque harbor of Elounda still retains its traditional charm, with cafes and restaurants to complement the scene.
Spinalonga (also known as Caledon) is a small island located just off the coast of Elounda and Plaka at the Bay of Mirabello. During 1200 AD the Venetians built huge fortifications on it to guard the entrance to the bay and these fortifications still dominate the north side of the island.
From 1903 until recently, in 1957, the island of Spinalonga was a leper colony and lepers from all over Greece were sent to it. The suffering of lepers who lived in Spinalonga is immortalized in the book of Victoria Hislop «The Island" that enjoyed huge commercial success.
Today Spinalonga is uninhabited, but can be visited one after a short boat trip from Elounda (30 minutes), Plaka (15 minutes) or Agios Nikolaos (1 hour). Following the path around the island you will pass through the small streets of the deserted ruins with its old stone houses, fortifications, battlements, and of course the cemetery. Wander the cosmopolitan Elounda and historic Spinalonga with Car Hire Heraklion airport