History of Elounda and Spinalonga
A world famous resort located at the north-eastern part of Crete, with lacy shores, crystal clear sea, tranquil and beautiful environment. Elounda’s main characteristic is the magical view to the bay and the traditional stone windmills going all the way to the Alykes (salt-pans).
Elounda is situated some 10 kilometers far from Agios Nikolaos, the capital city of Lasithi Prefecture. The road that leads to Elounda will offer you the opportunity to admire the magnificent view over the bays of Mirabello and Korfos, and gaze all the way to the imposing mountains of Sitia.
Build on the southern coast of Mirabello bay, 1klm west from the ancient Olous (or Olounda), to which it owes its name, this place was in the past chosen by the legendary figures of Minoan Crete; now it is favored by the historical figures of our times.
Olous was among the most important one-hundred cities of ancient Crete, with a population that exceeded 30.000 people. Olounda also flourished during the first Byzantine period.
Across today’s Elounda lays the gem of the area, the famous island of Spinalonga, whose history goes all the way back to the ancient times, when the island was guarding the port of ancient Olous, up to 1903, when it became a leper colony (1903 – 1957). Spinalonga’s history has been documented in several world-class novels, among which the best seller “The Island” of the award winning author Victoria Hislop, which has been translated in 22 languages, and based on which movies and TV-shows have been made. Boat trips from Elounda to the island of Spinalonga are made on a daily basis.
Visitors may enjoy the sea by swimming in the crystal-clean waters of Elounda’s beaches that the European and Greek organizations annually award with the Blue Flag. Visitors may also participate in sea sports and other recreational and fun activities. Passing Alykes, visitors may reach the small island of Kolokytha on foot, by crossing the small bridge that connects it to Elounda.
Elounda now has a population of 2.200 people, most of which are mainly into tourism, trade and fishing.
World famous celebrities and historical figures choose the magnificent beauty of Elounda to spend their summer vacations, among which political leaders, movie stars and other famous and world class artists.
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