8. Day Tour of Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka
Reach the cosmopolitan city of Agios Nikolaos on the Gulf of Mirabello, passing the north-east coast and St. George’s Gorge. Agios Nikolaos is famous for its picturesque bottomless lake, explored by the ocean researcher Jaques Cousteau and the subject of numerous legends. Discover the pretty city on your own, stroll through the shops, or relax in one of the cafes and watch the world go by.
Continue to Elounda, enjoying some of the most beautiful views of Crete. Look across the Elounda Lagoon at the enchanting islands of Spinalonga and Kolokitha. Spinalonga has been an important place throughout history: for the ancient Greeks as natural protection for the city of Olous; for the Saracens as a hiding place for their pirates; for the Venetians as a fortress; for the Turks as a settlement; and for a long time the island served as a leper colony. At Spinalonga Island you can choose to join an English guided tour or explore the island by yourself. If you do not wish to visit the archaeological site at all, you can join a one-hour boat trip to a secret location with a surprise, and dive into the crystal clear water.
After a short drive you will reach Plaka, a small fishing village directly opposite Spinalonga. From there a 10-minute boat ride takes you to the island. Plaka was the ferry port of the leper colony, whose history was documented in a book and a Greek television series. Visit the filming sites, enjoy lunch or have a refreshing swim.
The last stop of the day is Elounda, a former fishing village but today a famous holiday resort with the most 5-star hotels in Greece. Take plenty of time to stroll through the picturesque harbor and have a cup of coffee before heading back to your accommodation.