From fishing village to film set, Elounda has long given visitors a flavour of traditional Greek island life. For those looking for a tranquil escape, there are boutique hotels, tucked away tavernas and serene walking routes to choose from. Boat trips to Spinalonga Island or a stroll along the coast will bring you to fascinating historical sites – not to mention the locations used in television dramas. While a scattering of modern bars and restaurants is just the thing for a livelier evening out.
Ancient ruins and mysterious islands in this picturesque Cretan bay
Things to do
The bright blue of the Gulf of Mirabello fringing Elounda is matched only by the colourful boats that bob in the harbour. Pick a traditional taverna or stylish bar, order a café frappé and while away the hours watching fishermen’s wives mending nets on the beach. If something altogether more energetic is on the cards, Elounda’s tranquil sea makes it ideal for trying out watersports.
Spinalonga island has a fascinating history. Once a Venetian fort, then a leper colony, it’s now a serene place to learn about Crete’s history. Hop aboard a boat in Elounda and make the short trip across. The ruined buildings and old streets tell a poignant story of the community that grew here against the odds. And there are beautiful views across the sea.
For a small beach resort, there are plenty of intriguing sites to explore in Elounda. Make your way towards the causeway and, in the water, you’ll be able to see the ruins of Olous – the ‘sunken city’. Bring your camera to capture a picture of the five ancient stone windmills that have been excavated and now stand beside the bridge.
Leave the beach behind on Fridays. This is market day in Elounda – a great time to get a taste of local life
Top Tip from SLH