History And Information.
Spinalonga Island located near Elounda in Eastern Crete. Spinalonga has become known as the leper’s island, since the lepers from Crete and the rest of Greece were isolated here until 1957. In 1905, it was used as a Leprophonium where all the lepers of Crete, who were first isolated in “Messinia” Outside Heraklion, and was considered a site of infection for the rest of the people.
Originally, Spinalonga was not an island – it was part of the island of Crete. During Venetian occupation the island was carved out of the coast for defense purposes and a fort was built there.
Today, Spinalonga visits thousands of tourists with boats from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka every summer to tour the dilapidated buildings, which the archaeological service is trying to maintain.
In the 1970s Spinalonga Island was declared a protected archaeological site, the excavations began, the buildings of the Lecopodium were demolished, and the walls were preserved.
Spinalonga Island Boat
Spinalonga is known for its small pebble beaches and shallow waters. The island can easily be accessed from Plaka, Elounda and Agios Nikolaos. Tourist boats depart from all three towns on a daily basis (every 30 minutes from Elounda). There is no accommodation on Spinalonga, meaning all tours last only a few hours. Boat trips from Elounda take approximately 25 minutes while trips departing Agios Nikolaos can take almost an hour. Round trip fare from Plaka is 8 Euro, from Elounda 10 Euro. Entrance to the island costs 8 Euro/adult.
A trip to the historical island will be of interest mainly to those who want to get to know a small part of the history of Crete. The imposing Venetian buildings and the natural beauty of the place once inhabited will make you learn more about the history of the island and the people who were isolated there.
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