Everything about Spinalonga island
When the time comes to decide for holidays, always the same questions appear. Where to go, How to go, what I must visit, which are the top things I must visit, what other things are near to visit and finally what to do there.
Is it better to rent a car and drive to this place, or is it better to book a trip to go. Which is the cheapest option, which is the best option. You would like to know everything about the place you visit.
Here you will find a brief travel guide and we try to cover all these questions. We cooperate only with local enterprises. With people that live on Crete and knows Crete, its customs, its traditions, its land.
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Insurance is also included in the price of the bus tours. The busses are air-conditioned, the pickups are from your hotel or at the nearest meeting point. Tourist guides are available in your language.
After the introduction, you can start to read the brief travel guide.
Everything about Spinalonga island
Opposite Plaka you can see the famous leper colony, the island of Spinalonga. The island has a rich history starting from ancient times. Due to its strategic position, it was fortified and through the times it had different uses.
During the times of Ancient Olous, it protected and guarded the port of the town. Later on, during the Venetian rule, the Venetians created salt pans around the island and harvested the salt. Because of the pirate threat and the expansionist aspirations of the Ottomans they improved the defence facilities making Spinalonga a fortress island. When the Ottomans occupied Crete, Spinalonga was inhabited by Turkish families because of the security it was offering. Merchants and sailors used this security to control the trading routes of the Eastern Meditteranean.
In 1903 the island became a leprosarium until 1957. The lepers formed a little community of their own in their exile. They continued to work, get educated and live with dignity until 1957. During the Second World War, they remained unaffected as the Germans did not dare to install a guard which gave the sick people freedom. We can take a glimpse of how the lives of the lepers were from the famous novel The Island by Victoria Hislop, a historical novel that was later made as a tv series. In 1970, Spinalonga was declared a protected archaeological site. You can find excursions in both Plaka and Elounda.
How to go to Spinalonga?
Spinalonga island is just taking approximately 50 min drive from Heraklion international airport (HER) and 2 hours 50 min from Chania Airport (CHQ) International Airport. You can collect the car directly at Chania airport or at Heraklion airport ( HER) so you can get on the road at once. Alternatively, if you are arriving by boat, a car rental in Souda Port or Heraklion Port can be brought to you when you disembark.
Also, you can collect the car directly outside of your hotel or apartment.
Boats depart daily for Spinalonga from Plaka, Elounda and Agios Nikolaos. You can combine it with a visit to the picturesque village of Plaka, the cosmopolitan Spinalonga and the touristic city of Agios Nikolaos.
The journey to Spinalonga can be made either by renting a car which is the best way to explore Crete, for travellers who prefer to make their own itinerary. Many interesting villages and settlements, Cretan beaches, monuments, cosmopolitan cities and reveal the magnificent of Crete.
Our local car rentals offering affordable and value-added car rental services to all types of travellers.
Choose from luxury and economy packages and enjoy fleets of quality cars, all protected by fully-comprehensive insurance policies and equipped with different amenities to help make your trip more comfortable. You can easily book a vehicle online using our website, or by calling us at (+30) 6970980918. ( Whats app & Viber)
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Boat trip to Spinalonga
Take a boat cruise to visit the beautiful Spinalonga fortress dating from the Venetian period. Cruise in Mirabello Bay and swim in the clear waters of Elounda beach.
To get to Spinalonga you must take the boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka. Boats depart from Agios Nikolaos in the morning. Apart from the trip to Spinalonga, they also offer lunch and the opportunity for a swim off the beaches behind the Kolokytha Peninsula, before returning to Agios Nikolaos in the afternoon.
Places to visit near Spinalonga
Elounda is different from most resorts in Crete. Although Elounda is known as a luxury resort, the audience is not just made up of high earners. Hidden away on the eastern coast of Crete, Elounda is a pretty fishing village that is the perfect destination for a relaxing seaside getaway. You'll love Elounda if you're looking for a traditional Greek resort that isn't too crowded or commercialized. However, that doesn't mean there's nothing to do here.
The Kolokytha beach is an insider tip that is becoming more and more popular. To get here, follow the road from Elounda, past Olous to the Spinalonga peninsula and then follow the off-road road until the road finally ends at the chapel of St. Luke. Even if you can't see the beach from here, it's only a few minutes downhill on a narrow footpath and you reach Kolokytha Beach. The small beach consists of fine sand and the water is always very calm and shallow. The colours of the water range from blue to turquoise and the beach is perfect for snorkelling. It got its name from the island Kolokytha (zucchini) on the opposite side. Kolokytha Beach is a dreamlike beach,
A feature of Plaka is the wonderful views of the island Kalydon, where the famous fortress of Spinalonga stands. Spinalonga operated as a leper hospital during the first half of the 20th century. Plaka existence is highly linked to Spinalonga, as the settlement was built for serving the leper colony.
Today, in Plaka you will find several traditional taverns and lovely old houses, which give you the impression that time has stopped here 2-3 centuries ago. Indeed, this picturesque place was the ideal place for filming one of the most amazing TV series of Greek Television, called “The Island” (2010).