Lying at the mouth of the port of Elounda, Spinalonga Island has a long and dramatic history for such a very small rock. Its position made it a natural point of defence for Elounda and in the late 16th century the Venetians built an impressive fort here on the ruins of an ancient acropolis. Subsequent to its military usage it later became a leper colony and remained as such until 1957.
In recent years it has become a major tourist attraction and throughout the summer daily boat trips run from Ayios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka. It is in fact the most popular Greek archaeological site after Knossos. A stroll around the island takes only an hour but you could easily spend longer, drawn in by its peaceful serenity, and it’s worth packing your bathers in case you fancy a dip in the clear blue waters that surround it.