Spinalonga island located at the village of Plaka in north-eastern Crete. The diminutive 8.5-hectare islet in the Gulf of Mirabello. A stone’s throw from Plaka, the arid, rocky islet once served as a military stronghold during Venetian (and later Ottoman) rule; a medieval citadel stands testament to that chapter in the island’s history. In 1904, after the Cretans evicted the Turks from Spinalonga, the islet was transformed into a leper colony, where, by 1913, after Crete became part of Greece, anyone afflicted with the disease was sent. At its peak, the colony comprised nearly 400 inhabitants.
Today thousands of tourists visit Spinalonga each summer by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka, for a tour of its ruined buildings, which the Archaeological Service is laboriously trying to maintain.
According to the data for 2009, Spinalonga has 1200-1500 visitors daily during the summer months and is the most popular archaeological site in Crete after Knossos.
The strategic position of the rocky islet for the control and defence of Elounda harbour could not but mark Spinalonga with a turbulent history of fierce battles and much human suffering
Book a Visit to Spinalonga with a Day Tour
We will pick you up in the morning from your hotel or the nearest pick up point and bring you back in the evening. During the day, a professional guide will take care of you and provide detailed information about Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos and Elounda.