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Spinalonga Tours and Activities

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143 Reviews
Spinalonga
The now-uninhabited island of Spinalonga (Kalydon) sits in the Elounda Gulf along Crete’s northeastern shore. During the 16th-century Venetian occupation, the invaders built a defensive fortress here protecting Mirabello Bay. Today visitors can tour the massive structure and the abandoned buildings that sit along its turreted walls.

The Basics
Spinalonga is a popular tourist attraction, known for its archaeological site and fortress (once used as a Turkish bastion and leper colony), shallow pools formerly used to harvest sea salt, and pretty pebble beaches along clear waters. You can reach the island by boat trip from Plaka, Elounda, and Agios Nikolaos, but by far the best way to visit the island’s archeological site is with an expert tour guide. Many full-day Spinalonga tours include other nearby highlights like the so-called “bottomless lake” in Agios Nikolaos and the beautiful beaches on Kolokytha, and some offer a BBQ lunch. If you’re a more adventurous visitor, choose a tour that pairs a ride through the countryside on a 4x4 with a private speedboat trip to the island.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Spinalonga is for day-trippers only: There are beaches for taking a dip and a small snack bar on the island, but no accommodations.
  • Don’t forget a hat, sunblock, and plenty of water to stave off Crete’s summer heat.
  • Tours do not include the entrance fee for the Spinalonga archaeological site and fortress.
  • The fortress and archaeological site have stairs and uneven ground, and are not suitable for wheelchair users.
  • Older children enjoy touring the abandoned fortress, but infants must be carried as the site is difficult to visit with a stroller.

How to Get There
The island of Spinalonga lies 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Heraklion in Greece’s Mirabello Bay. To access the fort, you need to take a ferry or boat tour from Plaka or Elounda.

When to Get There
Spinalonga is most crowded in summer, which is also when the heat can be hard to manage. Plan your day around visiting the archaeological site in the early morning or late afternoon, and staying cool at the beach during the hottest time of day.

Spinalonga in Books and Movies
Spinalonga has been the setting for a number of books and movies—most famously the 2005 novel The Island by Victoria Hislop, which was adapted into a Greek television series.
Address: Elounda Bay, Elounda, Crete, Greece
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10 Tours and Activities to Experience Spinalonga

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Full-Day Guided Spinalonga Island Tour

Full-Day Guided Spinalonga Island Tour

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3
Uncover the fascinating history of Spinaloga Island on this full-day tour from Agios Nikolaos. Cruise around the island’s natural wonders and ancient ruins; hear about the Saracens pirates, Venetian armies, and leper colonies that have inhabited the island over the years; and enjoy lunch in the seafront town of Plaka. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$133.22
From
$133.22
Taking safety measures

Spinalonga - Agios Nikolaos From Heraklion

Spinalonga - Agios Nikolaos From Heraklion

star-4
9
Visit the former leper colony and Venetian fortress on Spinalonga Island during this private tour. Sail to this rocky island, and explore the streets, houses, and ruined Venetian fortifications where lepers were confined from 1903 to 1957. Then, relax with a swim stop and barbecue lunch before cruising back to port. Return coach transport, the boat ride to Spinalonga, and select hotel pickup and drop-off in north-coast resorts included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$54.50
From
$54.50
Taking safety measures

Spinalonga Island - Ag Nikolaus - Elounda Bay - Private Tour.

Spinalonga Island - Ag Nikolaus - Elounda Bay - Private Tour.

star-5
9
This Tour gives you the opportunity to visit on your own way so many places in one day that if not with a local guide it would be impossible to visit and find.We visit Monasteries, Churches, Agios Nikolaus City, Spinalonga Island, Krasi village where the oldest Platanus tree in Crete it's found, we have a traditional Cretan Lunch in the traditional village of Mochos where we visit a few beautiful churches, and in the end if we have time we can visit the fishing village of Sisi where we go for a walk on the Palm Bay. ACACIA TOURS MHTE1039e60000115201
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$523.72
per group
From
$523.72
per group
Taking safety measures

Crete Elounda and Spinalonga Island Cruise Day Trip

Crete Elounda and Spinalonga Island Cruise Day Trip

Visit Elounda and ride a boat to Spinalonga Island on this day trip.  Travel to Elounda and cruise to Spinalonga in Mirabello Bay, where a Venetian fortress and old village once housed a leper colony. Explore the ruins where lepers were confined, and enjoy a swim and barbecue lunch. After docking back at Elounda, drive to Agios Nikolaos’ to see its harbor and reputedly bottomless lake. Pickup and drop-off from selected hotels included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.29
From
$73.29
Taking safety measures

Royalty Elounda-Kolokytha-Spinalonga-Agios Nikolaos Tour

Royalty Elounda-Kolokytha-Spinalonga-Agios Nikolaos Tour

This excursion is a trip back in time since it carries the sensation and the feel of another era… Our excursion starts from the beautiful harbor of Elounda where we will get on board to visit the bay of and the beach of Kolokitha. Here you have time for swimming at the crystal clear waters and to relax under the scorching sun.
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  • 11 hours
From
$60.55
From
$60.55

Spinalonga- Beach of Kolokitha island- Agios Nikolaos

Spinalonga- Beach of Kolokitha island- Agios Nikolaos

star-4.5
2
Driving along the North East coast through the gorge of St George we reach the picturesque town of Elounda. Here we board a boat and Spinalonga Cruise starts. We reach the small sandy bay of Kolokitha, where the boat will be anchored. Here you have plenty of time for swimming at the crystal clear water. We proceed to the small island of Spinalonga. Spinalonga has had a very chequered history and today, although uninhabited, still echoes with ghostly reminders of the past. The Venetians constructed a very impressive fortress with 40 cannons which has been guarding the bay since the 15th century. At the beginning of 19th century human pain and sorrow was scattered around this islet. It became a leper colony, the last active leper colony in Europe, and it remained so until 1957. We then return to Agios Nikolaos where you have time to look at the shop windows and visit the bottomless lake, where the “Lotus Eaters” the well-known film was shot.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.28
From
$30.28
Taking safety measures

Full Day Agios Nikolaos

Full Day Agios Nikolaos

Enjoy a day filled with pretty scenery, history and time to relax. You have seen it in pictures now you have the ideal opportunity to be part of it. A combination of beautiful landscapes with history and tradition. Within a day you will experience a time travel from the long past to modern everyday life. If there is a must-see on Crete, it is surely this multifaceted Tour.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$586.91
per group
From
$586.91
per group

The most interesting sites of Elounda and Mirabello gulf!

The most interesting sites of Elounda and Mirabello gulf!

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1
We stroll through the village roads. We are listening – along with our guide’s narration- to the cries and sighs of the diseased exiles. They seem like having been curved on the rocks and the walls of the houses and admiring the exquisite beauty of the area. Our firt stop in the morning will be in Agios Nikolaos. There we can drink morning coffee, to have a shopping or to walk around making beautiful pictures. Then, we are going to a small village of Plaka, where we will take a boat to Spinalonga. Sailing to the Island we will see beautiful crystal sea waters of Elounda gulf , mountains around. We will stay approximately 1 hr on the island, walking inside the fortress and making pictures. When we will return to Plaka, we can take a lunch in some local fish taverns or to swim. There is a nice pebble beach. Afterwords we leave to Elounda for afternoon coffee, walk, or swimming. After one hour of stay in Eounda we will take way back to hotels.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.28
From
$30.28
Taking safety measures

Private Full-Day East Crete Tour from Heraklion

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Private Full-Day East Crete Tour from Heraklion

Start at the traditional village of Mochos with its narrow alleys and colourful gardens, then continue to Krasi and visit the 2,400-year-old Writers' Plane Tree. Afterwards, the tour will ascend to the Diktaion Andron, an ancient cave believed to be the birthplace of Zeus. Take in the incredible view of the Lasithi Plateau. After that amazing experience the tour will take you to the vibrant city of Agios Nikolaos through a long-forgotten route where you get to see wildgoats from up close. There you can visit, surrounded by many legends, Voulismeni lake. Next, visit the villages of Elouda and Plaka with the beautiful beach where you can take a swim or/and visit the world-famous Spinaloga which is a short boat-ride away.
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$435.99
per group
$544.98
$108.99 savings
From
$435.99
per group
$544.98
$108.99 savings
Taking safety measures

One Day To Mysterious Spinaloga With BBQ

One Day To Mysterious Spinaloga With BBQ

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2
Cruise the northern coast of Crete with a local guide, stopping in several local villages along the way. Take a boat to the island of Spinalonga to learn about its cultural roots, visit a beach at the small bay of Kolokitha, enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch on the beach, and more.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
From
$72.66
From
$72.66

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What's the best way to experience Spinalonga?