Elounda (Crete) is a modern resort town located in the eastern part of the island. On an area of 24 km2, only about 4,000 indigenous people live, but this does not prevent nearly half a million tourists from resting annually on this coast of the Aegean Sea.
The ancient Greek port, the pirate harbor, the Venetian market and the fishing village, today Elounda has become one of the most fashionable resorts in Greece. It has everything you need for a great vacation: comfortable hotels, chic restaurants, picturesque beaches and much more.
What sights of Elounda should be visited first? Where are the best beaches of the city and how much does it cost to relax in one of the best resorts in Greece? The answers are in this article.
Sights of Elounda and surroundings
The island formed as a result of an earthquake more than 2000 years ago has an interesting history and unusual architecture, it is so shrouded in riddles and legends that some tourists are afraid to come here. But what is the matter?
In the Middle Ages, Elounda was a strategically important port, which was realized not only by the Venetians who owned it, but also by the pirates. To protect the city on Spinalonga in the 16th century a huge impregnable fortress was built, but a little less than a century passed and the island, along with Elounda, was captured by the Ottoman Empire.
After almost 300 years, after several revolutions, the new government of Crete sought to cleanse it of the remnants of the past by evicting the Turks from there. The most effective, in their opinion, method was to create a leper colony on Spinalonga, where sick people from all over Greece and neighboring countries should have lived their last days.
Interesting fact! Local residents talk about what they heard or saw the souls of lepers who died here.
On Spinalonga, traces of that terrible time are still being tracked today. Dilapidated paths, small houses without special amenities, abandoned stairs and other remains of the past help to imbue that atmosphere and understand that you live a happy life.
In addition to historical value, Spinalonga is notable for its photogenicity – here you can take beautiful pictures against the sea from the top of the hill. Also on the island there are cafes, several souvenir shops, a sports center.
Advice! To get a better feel for the atmosphere of Spinalonga, go on a guided tour here and watch a film dedicated to its history – “Island”.
One of the most beautiful places in a small town near Elounda is the port, where ocean liners, warships, boats, modern yachts and fishing boats call. On the promenade of Agios Niklaos there are many cafes and taverns, here you can enjoy delicious dishes of Greek cuisine, not looking up from the beautiful views of the Aegean Sea.
Going for a walk on ships, plunge into the warm waves or take a sunbath on the beach – every vacationer will find here something interesting for himself. In addition, the promenade and port of Agios Niklaos is a great place for a photo shoot in Crete.
Do you know how olive oil was produced several centuries ago? How is this process happening now and what role does a living donkey play in it? The owner and concurrent guide of the most popular Crete farm located at Ag. Will tell you about these and many other secrets of manufacturing traditional Greek products. Nikolaos 721 00.
Cretan Olive Oil Farm is an operating farm museum that produces olive oil, honey and natural cosmetics. During the tour you can not only learn a lot of interesting things about the specialization of this household, but also about life in Crete and in Greece in general. A walk around the farm includes a mandatory tasting of all the products that are made here, with the possibility of their subsequent purchase.
This sightseeing will be interesting for children as well – two entertaining master classes are held here daily. On the first one, culinary, travelers of all ages can learn how to cook one of the dishes of traditional Greek cuisine (at 11:30), and on the second – make a clay pot with their own hands. Cost of events: 12 and 7 euros, respectively. You can also see with your own eyes how milk turns into cheese – at 12:15 a performance begins from one of the farm workers, Shepard. The participation price in the process is 15 €.
- Schedule: daily from 10 to 18, Sunday to 14.
- Entrance fee – 3 euros per person, excursion – 7 € for each traveler.
Important! To participate in the master classes, you must reserve a place in advance. You can do this on the official website of the farm – www.cretanoliveoilfarm.com.
The main city beach of the resort is covered with clean sand and equipped with all necessary amenities. There is never a wave, but there are sun loungers and umbrellas (5 € per set), showers, changing cabins, toilets and parking. The safety of tourists is constantly watched by lifeguards.
On this Elounda beach, the best photos are taken against the backdrop of the bay. The blue water here is crystal clear, which the Blue Flag, set on the coast, proudly notifies vacationers.
The beach has a well-developed infrastructure: a 10-minute walk there are several eateries and restaurants, as well as a small playground. Many tourists and locals often relax here.
A small pebble beach is located on the isthmus connecting Elounda with Spinalonga island. There is a convenient entry into the water and there are never waves, although a strong wind often blows in the autumn. The beach is equipped with showers, sunbeds and umbrellas (5 euros / set), nearby there is free parking. You can use the toilet at the bar or cafe, located a three-minute walk from the shore.
30 meters from Chiona there is an archaeological area with old windmills and a stone bridge. This is a great place to take pictures.
Recommendation! The bottom of the sea on this Elounda beach is covered with sharp stones, be sure to bring special slippers with you.
A small wild beach is located 3 km from the center of Elounda, on the island of Spinagolin. There are very beautiful landscapes, turquoise clear water and clean sand, but there are no sunbeds or umbrellas on Kolokitas. Sunset at sea is convenient, but the depth is gaining fast enough – you need to be careful with the children. Windy weather provokes the appearance of strong waves when the sandy shore floods the water and you can relax only on high stone slabs.
By lunchtime, at 11 o’clock, ships with excursions sail to the beach and Kolokitas returns to calm mode only at 16.
A great place to relax in Elound with the whole family, Skisma Beach is the most popular in the whole city. It is located in the north of Elounda, next to it there are many cafes, a water entertainment center, a playground, a volleyball court and a rental area. Rescuers are on duty around the clock on the beach, here you can rent a sunbed and an umbrella, use the shower and dressing rooms.
The water on Skism, as elsewhere in Crete, is clear and calm. The beach is covered with pebbles and sand, at the bottom there are small pebbles. There are practically no waves in this part of the coast.
Elounda is one of the most expensive resorts in Greece, but even here you can find hotels with reasonable prices. So, the minimum cost of a double room in an economy-class hotel is 40 €, in a three-star – 70 €, four- and five-star – 100 € and 153 €, respectively. The best hotels in Elounda, according to reviews of tourists from Greece, are:
- Elounda Garden Suites. Aparthotel with a private beach offers vacationers luxury rooms with balconies, sea views and all modern amenities. It features a pool, restaurant, bar and parking. Price for apartments on the 4th – 250 €.
- Royal Marmin Bay Boutique & Art Hotel. A comfortable five-star hotel is located right on the beach. The complex has a restaurant and bar, an entertainment center, a rental area for water equipment. The cost of living in a deluxe room for two is 330 €.
- Blue Palace. A five-star hotel located in the bay will make your vacation in Crete unforgettable. SPA services, a sports center, a tennis court, a swimming pool, saunas and hot tubs will not let you get bored, and in the hotel restaurant you can always enjoy delicious food while admiring the sea views. Double room with breakfast in Blue Palace costs 340 €.
Important! All prices are for the summer period of 2018, in the low season the price drops by 10-25%.
When to go to Crete
As in all of southern Greece, mild and pleasant weather reigns in Elounda year-round. The air temperature ranges from + 18 ° C in January to + 35 ° C in August, the beach period begins in April and ends in October. This area is characterized by strong winds, but if in summer and spring they are warm and almost not felt, then, going on a vacation to Elounda in winter, it is worth grabbing a scarf. There is practically no rain at the resort.
Elounda (Crete) is a beautiful city on the shores of the Aegean Sea. Going on vacation, do not forget to take a camera! Have a nice trip!