Panorama of Elounda from Oxa

Elounda

The sundrenched island of Crete has been a hub of international commerce and travel since deepest antiquity. Combining the mysterious and exotic influences of the Middle East and North Africa, the island has been a dynamic and multicultural presence in the Mediterranean for thousands of years. This magnificent island of extraordinary beauty offers a wealth of pleasures for the body, mind and spirit. Nowhere more so than a small area on the north-eastern corner of the island: a magical place known as Elounda.

Located 8km to the north of Aghios Nikolaos, Elounda is known worldwide as a tourism resort of exceptional natural beauty. With its indented coastline, long sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, it is a tranquil and exquisite place to visit. A large and lively Cretan village, with an exquisite picturesque harbour. The main square is the hub of resort life and browsing around the shops is always pleasant.

History

Elounda has a rich heritage. Occupied successively by the Minoan (Knossos), Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman empires, it has an eclectic past and today we welcome visitors from all over the world.

During the 60s Walt Disney’s ‘The Moon-Spinners’ was filmed here. The church clock tower which still stands to this day was built as part of the scenery. In addition, Elounda is the setting of the 1970's BBC productions 'The Lotus Eaters' and 'Who Pays the Ferryman?'

Once discovered by tourism, Elounda developed into a resort famous for its beautiful scenery and the luxury hotels which are still being built in the area. It is said to be the place with the most five-star hotels in Greece.

Places of Interest

  • Plaka - a traditional Cretan fishing village overlooking Spinalonga
  • Spinalonga Island - a Venetian fortress steeped in history, mystery and sorrow
  • Sunken ancient city of Olous
  • Mosaic belonging to an early Christian Basilica located near Olous
  • Alikes - Salt flats now a Nature Reserve
  • The nearby town of Agios Nikolaos (8km away)

Things to do

Family-friendly hotels and tavernas, romantic venues ideal for couples, ample shops for leisurely browsing make this resort a great all-rounder.

  • Boat trips to the Island of Spinalonga
  • Fishing trips
  • Walking and Hiking
  • Bird Spotting
  • Cycling
  • Rock Climbing
  • Organised excursions to archaeological sites such as Knossos
  • Car Hire
  • Variety of water sports including Sailing, Kite Surfing, Wind Surfing, Diving

Beaches

The crystal clear waters of the blue flag beaches and Elounda Bay are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and water sports of every kind.

  • Elounda town beach located next to the harbour
  • Hiona Beach located about 800m east of Elounda towards the causeway
  • Kolokitha Beach with its stunning shades of turquoise and aqua marine waters
  • A pebble beach at Plaka (5km away)
  • Almiros Beach (10km away), beautiful sandy beach fed by an ice cold fresh water river

In summary, the picturesque village of Elounda is ideal for people who want a seaside holiday in a place which is neither too busy nor too isolated, full of history, great food and great People.

View of traditional Greek Caique passing through the Canal