the Mysterious island of Spinalonga
The island of Spinalonga, which is located in the Gulf of Elounda in eastern Crete, is the second most visited archaeological site in Crete.The Venetians fortified the island during the 15th century and as a result, Spinalonga is now considered to be a real architectural treasure. It is, also, known as the Leper island, due to the forced isolation of lepers in it from Crete and the rest of Greece until 1957. The central position of the islet of Spinalonga has led the place to having a turbulent history replete with tough battles and plenty of human suffering.
From April 1st until October 31th: 08:00-18:00
Admission fees: Full: €8, Reduced: €4
Visit the town of Elounda
Elounda is a small town in the northwest side of Mirabello Bay and only a 10km drive from Agios Nikolaos. It is characterized by the extensive history that it holds from Ancient Greeks and the Venetians to the contemporary era. It has been featured in films and novels, the most recent one being “The Island” by Victoria Hislop. Nowadays, it is a luxury destination where celebrities and important politics from all over the world spend their holidays every year.
You shall have a stroll in the village of Shisma, the centre of Elounda, visit the local shops and the port and enjoy a delicious meal on the fishing taverns at the seaside. There are, also, sandy beaches with sunbeds and umbrellas.
After visiting Elounda, you are highly recomdended on taking a 4.5km drive to the village of Plaka. This fishing village is more authentic and even though there are still luxurious hotels, it has kept its uniqueness. Apart from discovering the village, sunbathing on its beaches and eating on the fishing taverns, you will be able to have a clear view of the island of Spinalonga, which is located right across Plaka. There are daily boats from Plaka to Spinalonga, in order to visit the mysterious island.
Visit the town of Agios Nikolaos
The town of Agios Nikolaos is located around 25 km from Malia. This medium-sized town is nothing like the other towns of Crete. Its romantic atmosphere is combined with a cosmopolitan side and provides tourists with a unique experience. Agios Nikolaos sits partially upon the ruins of the ancient city of Lato pros Kamara. You will be astonished by its natural beauty as all elements contribute to a feast for the eyes. The picturesque neoclassical buildings, the local shops and the gourmet restaurants are just a hint of what you will see. The lake Voulismeni which lies in the heart of Agios Nikolaos connects to the harbor of the town. According to the myth the goddesses Athena and Artemis bathed in its waters. Don’t forget to visit its wonderful sandy beaches such as Ammoudi and Kitroplatia.