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Olous Archaeological Site

Olous Archaeological Site: Our most recommended tours and activities

Agios Nikolaos: Boat Trip to Spinalonga with Swim Stop

1. Agios Nikolaos: Boat Trip to Spinalonga with Swim Stop

Spinalonga is a magnificent island with fortresses dating from the Venetian period. It is an island of legends, a triumph to survival in the early 20th century from the scourge of leprosy, now a place of great archaeological and historical significance. On Spinalonga island, enjoy the opportunity to visit the Interpretive Centre there and discover the settlements of the victims and survivors of this former illness. Explore the Venetian fortifications and learn all about the long and fascinating history of the island. Take time to walk around the island and see the views of the bay and the fortifications. Later the cruise continues, passing along other points of interest in the Bay of Mirabello such as the cave of the legendary Pirate Barbarosa, the sunken ancient city of Olous, and the island where the endemic and hardy Cretan Kri Kri goats live. Have time to relax and swim in the exquisite turquoise waters of Kolokitha Bay. The 40 m boat features two bars, a lounge, and a restaurant serving Greek and international cuisine at reasonable prices with high-quality service from the crew.

From Heraklion: Spinalonga, Plaka, Agios Nikolaos, & Elounda

2. From Heraklion: Spinalonga, Plaka, Agios Nikolaos, & Elounda

Start with pickup from your hotel and travel along the north-east coast and by St. George’s Gorge. After a short ride, visit an olive oil farmwhere you can experience first-hand the standardization of extra virgin olive oil, table olives, and olive paste. Taste authentic Greek olive oil, which is famous worldwide for its great taste as well as other authentic Cretan products like “raki” and honey. Travel next to the cosmopolitan city of Agios Nikolaos on the Gulf of Mirabello. 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. Have some time to explore the island on your own. 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.

Heraklion: Spinalonga, Elounda & Agios Nikolaos Trip w/ BBQ

3. Heraklion: Spinalonga, Elounda & Agios Nikolaos Trip w/ BBQ

Embark on a full-day trip to the island of Spinalonga from Elounda and enjoy a guided tour of the island. Visit the towns of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda and take a swim in the crystal water. Be picked up by a modern, comfortable A/C coach from the Heraklion area and enjoy the ride along the picturesque and stunning northeast coast through the gorge of St George, reaching the small fishing village of Elounda. Today Elounda is a popular holiday resort, often visited by celebrities for the luxurious white beaches. From there, at around 10:30, you will get on board to visit the bay and the beach of Kolokytha, a secluded haven that offers a respite from daily life. You can relax on the beach or explore the landscape and swim and eat optional a delicious BBQ on board. After the relaxing and refreshing swim and delicious BBQ, the boat take you at around 12:45 to Spinalonga, across the Mirabello bay. By the time you reach Spinalonga most of the visitors has left the side and you can enjoy a guided tour around the scenery without rush. The history and the culture of Spinalonga are laced with different diverse strands of history. In Ancient Greek times it served as a natural guard for the city of Olous; later it was used as a hide-out for Saracen pirates, turned into a fortress by the Venetians, and later settled by the Turks.  After a sufficient time at Spinalonga the boat takes you back to Elounda as you head towards the last destination by bus, the capital town of Lassithi, Agios Nikolaos. There, you can relax in a café next to the bottomless Lake of Voulismeni and enjoy your walk to the local shops. At the tour's end, the bus will take you back to Heraklion area.

Heraklion: Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka Tour

4. Heraklion: Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka Tour

Discover the highlights of Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, and Plaka on this multi-stop trip from Heraklion. Take in the sights from onboard a ferry and savor a BBQ or tavern lunch. See Spinalonga Island, the Lake of Voulismeni, and more. Meet your local guide, and make your first stop at Agios Nikolaos on the Gulf of Mirabello. This place is famous for its picturesque lake, explored by the ocean researcher Jaques Cousteau. Walk along the city on your own or relax at a cafe. After that, drive to the harbor of Elounda where you'll get on a ferry to visit the Island of Spinalonga. This small isle carries within the history of Ancient Greece, as it served as a natural guard for the ancient city of Olous. Choose to join a guided tour or explore the island by yourself. If you don't want to visit the archaeological site, you can join a 1-hour boat trip to a secret location and dive into the crystal-clear water (cost not included). After visiting Spinalonga, depart for one of the nearby bays. Get plenty of time for swimming and enjoying BBQ served on board. The menu includes pork BBQ, greek salad, feta cheese, bread, seasonal fruit, wine, and Fanta. If your trip is on a Sunday, you'll get to enjoy dinner in a tavern instead of having BBQ on board. After a short drive, reach Plaka, a small fishing village. Plaka was the ferry port of the leper colony, whose history was documented in a book and a Greek television series. The last stop of the day is the capital town of Lasithi, Agios Nikolaos. Relax in a café next to the bottomless Lake of Voulismeni or explore the local shops. Enjoy a refreshing swim before heading back to your accommodation. 10:30 Departure from Elounda with the boat 11:10 Arrival Kolokytha 12:45 Departure from Kolokytha 13:10 Arrival Spinalonga 14:45 Departure from Spinalonga to Elounda 15:00 Arrival Elounda 15:45 Olive oil tasting - Arrival Agios Nikolaos 16:45 Departure Agios Nikolaos – back to the hotels 18:30 Arrival Heraklion. Route:128 km Duration:app. 11 hours Stay in Spinalonga:1 ½ hours Stay in Kolokytha Bay-Beach:1 ½ hours Stay in Agios Nikolaos:app.1 hour ESSENTIALS: •shoes for the sea •sun protection •hat * Remarks:Please notify us in advance, if you are vegetarian or if you do not eat pork at all, as we have to preorder another lunch for you.

Rethymno: Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island Day Trip

5. Rethymno: Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island Day Trip

Discover the charming coastal town of Agios Nikolaos on this day trip from Rethymno. Step back in time as you view the archeological site of Olous from a boat. Go for a dip in Kolokythas bay and take a stroll on the uninhabited island of Spinaloga. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation, then sit back and relax aboard a comfortable and air-conditioned bus. Stop for a coffee break on the way to Agios Nikolaos.  Spend some free time discovering the beauty of Agios Nikolaos where you can see the picturesque Lake Voulismeni, visit the marina, admire neoclassical buildings, and walk along the pedestrian roads. Have some time to purchase lunch at a local establishment before boarding the boat to Spinaloga. View the partially submerged archeological site of Olous from the ship. Soak up some sun on board or go for a dip in the crystal waters of Kolokythas bay. Reach the island of Spinaloga where you will have a 1.5-hour visit to the leper colony and the surrounding pebble beaches and shallow waters. Return to Agios Nikolaos where your bus will be waiting to take you back to your accommodation.

Elounda: Spinalonga Guided Boat Tour with BBQ and Swimming

6. Elounda: Spinalonga Guided Boat Tour with BBQ and Swimming

Discover Spinalonga on a guided boat tour from Elounda. Learn about this place's rich history, swim in the refreshing water, and enjoy a delicious BBQ meal onboard. Board your ship and head to Kolokytha Bay. Stop at the secluded beach and enjoy the calm. Go for a swim and relax in the sun before eating a BBQ meal onboard. Next, cross Mirabello Bay to reach Spinalonga Archaeological Site. As you cruise around the site, learn about the area's history as a natural barrier for Olous in Ancient Greek times, a Saracen pirate refuge, a Venetian fortification, and a Turkish settlement. After seeing the ruins, head back to Elounda.

From Rethymno: Knossos, Agios Nikolaos, and Spinaloga Tour

7. From Rethymno: Knossos, Agios Nikolaos, and Spinaloga Tour

Experience a coastal drive from Rethmyno, the unique atmosphere of Agios Nikolaos, and the ancient sites and architecture of Spinalonga and Knossos Palace. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Rethymno. First Stop at Knossos Palace. You will have 1.30hour to explore the palace. Drive along the north coast and enjoy the view of the dark blue waters as you head for Agios Nikolaos. Take in the beautiful bay, the colorful streets and the unique freshwater lake in the center of the town. Spend some time in a charming place which fuses the artsy and the bohemian with a bustling atmosphere. Next, head to the village of Elounda and board a boat for Spinalonga. This is an island full of ancient Greek history, a guard for the ancient city of Olous and used as a hide-out for Saracen pirates. Enjoy encountering period architecture and rustic houses, as well as the ancient Venetian fortress. After returning to Elounda, enjoy a refreshing swim or or some local cuisine before returning to Rethymno at 7:30 PM.

From Heraklion: Elounda and Spinalonga Full-Day Tour

8. From Heraklion: Elounda and Spinalonga Full-Day Tour

Journey back in time and explore the ancient civilizations of Crete on a private full-day tour to Spinalonga. Drive along the north coast of the island and get an amazing view of the Selinari gorge on the way to the small fishing village of Elounda, known for its gorgeous beach. Board a boat to the small island of Spinalonga, and learn the local history dating back to Ancient Greece. Take a guided tour of the island to explore how it served as a natural defense for the ancient city of Olous and was later used by the Saracens as a hide-out for their pirates. Discover the remains of the Venetian fortifications and learn more about the period of Ottoman rule. Proceed to the sandy Bay of Kolokitha where the boat will be anchored. Enjoy some free time to swim in the crystal clear waters and feast from a BBQ lunch. Return to Elounda to take the bus to the pretty town of Agios Nikolaos, where you can browse the shops and visit the bottomless lake.

Elounda: Spinalonga Prof. Guided Boat Tour w/ BBQ+Swimming

9. Elounda: Spinalonga Prof. Guided Boat Tour w/ BBQ+Swimming

Enjoy a walking tour of the island of Spinalonga during a full-day excursion from Elounda to the island. Visit Agios Nikolaos and Elounda and swim in the crystal-clear waters of Kolokytha, where you can enjoy a delicious bbq lunch. Along the coast through the St. George Gorge to Elounda, a tranquil coastal resort At around 10:30, you will get on board to visit the bay and the beach of Kolokytha, a secluded haven that offers a respite from daily life. You can swim and eat a delicious bbq on board. Then, you take the boat at around 12:45 to Spinalonga, across Mirabello bay. Spinalonga's history is complex. It was a natural barrier for Olous in Ancient Greek times, a Saracen pirate refuge, a Venetian fortification, and a Turkic settlement. You depart from Spinalonga at appr. 14:45 p.m. Transfer from/to port is not included.Clients go with get your guide code to the boat they don't need to have confirmation

Crete: Spinalonga, Elounda, & Agios Nikolaos Tour w/ Pickup

10. Crete: Spinalonga, Elounda, & Agios Nikolaos Tour w/ Pickup

Relax in the comfort of our air-conditioned bus as we take you on a scenic journey from Makrigialos and Ierapetra to the charming coastal town of Elounda, famous for its stunning vistas and natural beauty. From there, set sail on a thrilling boat ride to the island of Spinalonga, where you'll be captivated by a fascinating guided tour and have plenty of free time to discover this hidden gem. Immerse yourself in the rich history of this small island, which was once home to a leper colony until 1957, and has witnessed its share of human tragedy throughout the ages. Discover the secrets of Spinalonga, which provided a natural defense for the ancient city of Olous, and played a pivotal role in the history of Saracens, Venetians, and Turks as a sanctuary, stronghold, and settlement. But the adventure doesn't end there! Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the coast, as we make a stop for swimming, snorkeling, and fun. Recharge your batteries with a delicious lunch, and explore the quaint streets of Elounda at your leisure. Our final destination is the vibrant town of Agios Nikolaos, where you can shop till you drop and soak up the local ambiance over a cup of coffee. Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the best of Crete, combining history, culture, and adventure in a single tour. Book your spot now and join us for an unforgettable journey to Spinalonga!

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What people are saying about Olous Archaeological Site

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 992 reviews

It was a really great trip. For €20 per person it was definitely worth it. We also found it completely okay that you still had to pay the entrance fee to Spinalonga. The guides on the ship divided you up according to language and then gave you information and background information about the island. The swimming stop was also great and everyone was well looked after. Overall, a very worthwhile and entertaining excursion - clear recommendation!

Our guide Dimitri told the story with passion. He was sincere and our group was silent when he spoke. Compliments.

Half-day excursion... with times and activities that correspond to reality. Recommended!

The swimming stop in the bay was very nice. Very nice guide, polite and accommodating!

Accompaniment from the guide during the visit to the island would be appreciated