Spinalonga Island is steeped with colourful history, built to protect Elounda Bay it has acted as a fort, and a Venetian salt works, was attacked by the Turks, then used for smuggling and finally the island became famous for housing Europe’s last leper colony.
Locals call the island ‘the island of the living dead’, the final sufferer of the leper colony died there in 1953 and it's been uninhabited ever since. Spinalonga is fascinating to explore with numerous ruins and spectacular views.
If you are staying at Daios Cove, from the neighbouring village of Agios Nikolaos you can get a boat over to the island, there are many tours to choose from. Agios Nikolaos is a wonderfully traditional Greek village ideal for spending a quiet afternoon, sitting by the bay, enjoying the local cuisine and sitting at the taverna.
Another recommendation is to get yourself a copy of the award winning and best selling book; The Island by Victoria Hislop. Set on Spinalonga Island, it shares the fictional story of a family's ties to the former leper colony. The story takes place during Spinalonga's final years as a leper colony and blends together fictional characters and documented facts about the history and daily life of the island.
Luxury family hotel with private beach
Our travel experts visit the island's best resorts
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