Discover Spinalonga on Crete along with a private tourist guide who can provide all the information you need during your visit.
The island of Spinalonga, also known as Kalidon is located on the eastern part of Crete, near the small town Elounda. According to a theory the name of the island, Spinalonga, is Venetian, meaning “long thorn”, and has roots in the period of Venetian occupation.
Discovery and excavation
In 1578 the Venetians constructed on the island an impressive fortress. They built bastions on the northern and southern side of the island, as well as a fortification wall.
Spinalonga became one of the most important fortresses of Crete. Venetians kept control of the island until the Ottoman Empire took possession of it in 1715 A.D.
The island was used as a leper colony, from 1903 to 1957. It was one of the last active leper colonies in Europe. The last inhabitant, a priest, left the island in 1962.
Nowadays you can visit the island by boat from Elounda, Agios Nikolaos or even Plaka village. Just ask your private tourist guide of Crete to arrange you a visit to Spinalonga. Tourist boats depart on a daily basis. Boat trips from Elounda take approximately 20 minutes, from Plaka 10 min, while trips departing from Agios Nikolaos can take nearly one hour.
You can also combine Spinalonga with a trip to Kolokytha bay, a nice small bay nearby, for a swim and barbeque.
Excursions that can include Spinalonga
Excursions to Spinalonga can be arranged for guests visiting Crete with a Cruise ship (starting from Heraklion port or Agios Nikolaos port). It can be a full day or half day tour according to the guests’ wishes.
- Spinalonga Kritsa village and Elounda
- Spinalonga and Agios Nikolaos (free time for shopping)
- Spinalonga and barbeque in Kolokytha Bay (full day boat trip, can be organized as a private tour with a yacht or with a boat together with other groups).