Embark on a journey to explore the captivating island of Spinalonga, where history and culture intertwine to create a unique experience. Begin your adventure by driving along the picturesque northeast coast of Crete to the charming fishing village of Elounda. From there, take a boat to Spinalonga, a tiny islet located at the north entrance of the Gulf of Elounda.
Spinalonga's history dates back to ancient times when it served as a natural guard for the city of Olous. It was later used as a hide-out for Saracen pirates, turned into a fortress by the Venetians, and settled by the Turks. In 1903, the Cretan State decided to create a Leprosarium in Spinalonga to provide aid to those suffering from Hansen's disease. The island served as a leper colony until 1957 when it was finally deserted due to the discovery of antibiotics.
As you step foot on the island, you will be transported back in time to witness its rich cultural heritage. Spinalonga's name has an interesting origin, as it was pronounced in Latin by the Venetians who could not comprehend the Cretans' expression "Stin Elounda." This led to the islet being named "Spina Lunga," meaning "long thorn."
During your visit, you will be able to explore the island's history and culture, including the remnants of the Leprosarium, the Venetian fortress, and the breathtaking views from the island's highest point. As you immerse yourself in the island's fascinating history, you will feel a sense of awe and wonder.
Join us on this journey to Spinalonga, and let us take you on a unique adventure that you will remember for a lifetime. Tours depart from the west side of Heraklion on Wednesdays in German language and Mondays & Thursdays in English language. We also offer tours departing from central Heraklion on Wednesdays in German language and Mondays & Thursdays in English language. Book now and discover the captivating island of Spinalonga!
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