MyCretaCab > Historical > Elounda-Plaka-Spinalonga
Excursion to Elounda & Spinalonga

Distance from Heraklion: 67 km

Distance from Chania: 207 km

Activities: Boat for Spinalonga

Visits all year round. The Spinalonga archaeological site is closed during the winter, though it may be open on weekends as long as the weather permits.

The archeological site of Spinalonga, when closed, may operate for groups of visitors upon request.

Amenities: Food, drink, accommodation, organized beaches.

Elounda is a city and a Municipal Community in the prefecture of Lassithi, on the north coast of the island of Crete that belongs to the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos. Spinalonga is a small isle located in the northern Gulf of Elounda in the lovely Mirabello Bay, Prefecture of Lassithi. Plaka is a traditional fishing village with a fishing shelter and pebble beaches with crystal clear waters. It is located opposite Spinalonga on the west coast of Elounda Lagoon.

If you come to Elounda, it is worth exploring the surrounding area and visiting Plaka and of course the island of Kalydon, where the famous fortress of Spinalonga is located. Spinalonga was a former leper colony until the mid- 20th century.

Elounda, a famous destination with a magnificent landscape and lots of luxury hotels, is located 10 km from Agios Nikolaos and 65 km from Heraklion. The once quaint fishing village of Mirabello has stunning beaches and a coastline sheltered from the winds. It is the ideal place for those who want to spend their holidays in a place without the presence of too many tourists, yet without being too isolated.

Plaka is located just 16 km from Agios Nikolaos and 75 km from Heraklion. It is a place where you can enjoy an amazing dive in the sea, while admiring the view of the historic island at the same time. It is a small beach where you can relax in its cool waters as, like Elounda, is untouchable by the winds. Today in Plaka you will find picturesque fish taverns and small souvenir shops. Nicknamed as the island of the living dead.

Spinalonga was a taboo subject for many years, as it was considered an equivalent for the pain and misery of the people suffering from Hansen’s disease who spent their lives there. However, in all this pain and suffering, the banished inhabitants of this isolated isle formed a thriving community and managed to live with dignity; they built schools, even hospitals, in order to continue their life and education. As soon as you take the first step onto Spinalonga, you will see the cobbled streets of the magnificent civilization that those people developed and you will feel the strength they had despite their illness. In 1957 the last patient left and the island was closed down in an effort to wipe away the difficult years and all pain suffered in Spinalonga, while in 1970 the island was declared a protected archeological site, the buildings were demolished and the walls were preserved. After a few years, Victoria Hislop published her renowned novel “The Island” with reference to the isle of Spinalonga, a book that demolished the walls of prejudice around the island and make us relive the pain of the people who lived, passed or died on the island. Today, Spinalonga is considered one of the most important attractions on Crete, with thousands of visitors paying tribute to the greatness of the human soul.

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