Elounda Crete: A Full Information For Travellers

Hidden away on the jap coast of Crete, Elounda is a fairly fishing village which is the proper vacation spot for a soothing seaside getaway.

You’ll love Elounda in the event you’re on the lookout for a standard Greek resort which isn’t too crowded or commercialized. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply there’s nothing to do right here. For those who’re planning on travelling to Greece, then contemplate including this hidden gem to your itinerary.

Spend your days stress-free on the seashore or bathing in crystal clear water. Discover fairly streets and admire the gorgeous surroundings. The coastal paths are excellent for strolling, and you may discover the encompassing space and get to know this a part of Crete a bit higher. 

I liked the genuine Greek really feel of Elounda, the friendliness of the locals we met, and the commonly relaxed ambiance of the village. Furthermore, the view throughout the bay is spectacular. I might have spent my total week simply gazing out to sea — this is likely one of the most stress-free locations to go to in Greece. 

On this journey information to Elounda Crete, I’ll record one of the best issues to do, the place to eat, the place to remain, one of the best seashores, and easy methods to get round. 

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5 Issues To Do in Elounda Crete

We stayed in Elounda for 7 nights and though it’s a low-key place, we discovered loads of issues to do. We prefer to get out and about exploring however in the event you like to spend so much of time on the seashore then you would keep longer.

Elounda is the proper base for leisurely walks, and regardless of the place you might be within the village, you’re just about assured a beautiful view of the bay. For those who love the water, you’ll be delighted with the crystal clear sea right here on the Jap Cretan coast.

Listed here are among the greatest issues to do in Elounda, Crete:

1. Discover the Harbour

Most likely the very first thing you’ll need to do if you arrive in Elounda is to take a stroll across the central city. Right here, you’ll discover the picturesque harbour with every thing from conventional fishing boats to rowing boats.

Stroll alongside the harbour to the east and also you’ll cross a few of Elounda’s fashionable tavernas earlier than you come to the principle seashore. For those who stroll south alongside the harbour entrance, you’ll be rewarded with among the city’s extra unique eating places overlooking the bay. 

2. Stroll to The Sunken Metropolis of Olous

Proceed additional south of the resort and also you’ll come to the Sunken Metropolis of Olous. Olous was an historical Greek metropolis from the Minoan age. Don’t count on to see apparent ruins under the ocean, though in the event you look rigorously you may make out among the historical partitions.

Some reviews counsel that Olous was sunk resulting from volcanic exercise however others say it’s extra possible that it simply sunk slowly over a few years.

For vacationers as we speak, it makes for an fascinating place to go to for a delicate coastal stroll exterior the principle resort. For those who’re eager on discovering the ruins under the water, take your snorkel gear.

3. Take a Boat Journey to Spinalonga

One of many highlights of our journey to Crete was a go to to Spinalonga. The island is a former leper colony. Victims from Crete (and generally mainland Greece) have been forcibly relocated to the island in an try and cease the unfold of the illness.

Though fairly notorious regionally, Spinalonga was made well-known by the publication of Victoria Hislop’s novel, The Island. The e-book tells the story of the Fielding household which is caught up within the drama of leprosy and Spinalonga island.

It’s truly a terrific learn so in the event you’re on the lookout for some vacation studying throughout your keep in Crete, I extremely advocate it. The leper colony on Spinalonga was closed in 1957, some years after a treatment was discovered for the horrible illness. 

How To Get To Spinalonga Island

For a very long time, Greek officers most well-liked to neglect about Spinalonga, however that each one modified when vacationers, impressed by Hislop’s novel, began asking to go to.

Now you can go to Spinalonga for your self by taking a ship throughout from the principle island. Boats go away commonly from Elounda harbour and take roughly half-hour to succeed in the boat dock at Spinalonga.

It prices 10 Euros per particular person or 5 Euros for kids. It’s a nice journey and also you’ll get to see extra of the coast as you cruise throughout.

For a shorter crossing to the island, head to the close by village of Plaka. There’s loads of free parking in Plaka close to the boat docks which makes it a straightforward possibility when you’ve got a automotive.

Boats depart at common intervals from two boat docks so in the event you’ve simply missed the primary one then stroll a bit additional alongside the harbour and take a look at the opposite one.

It’s a brief 10-minute crossing from Plaka and prices 8 Euros per particular person. Boats from each areas begin from round 10 am and run at common intervals all day till round 4 – 4:40 pm.

spinalonga island crete

Exploring Spinalonga Island

As soon as on the island of Spinalonga, it is advisable to purchase an entrance ticket on the small kiosk for 8 Euros. Stroll by way of the archway and also you’ll emerge right into a world of slim lanes and colored homes.

Inside a few of them, you’ll discover shows with data on their former inhabitants. It’s each fascinating and fairly unhappy, particularly in the event you’ve learn Hislop’s e-book.

Most of the buildings have already been restored however extra work is at present underway. As you permit the principle settlement you stroll across the base of the hill and in the event you lookup you’ll see that there are ruins stretching proper as much as the highest.

Though most guests appear to stay to the principle pathway on the backside, the higher ranges are accessible in the event you don’t thoughts scrambling up a number of slopes and rocky steps.

I’d advocate making the journey up for some fabulous views again throughout the bay to Plaka and Elounda. You additionally get a birds-eye view of the settlement of Spinalonga.

For those who’re staying in Agios Nikolaos or need to mix your journey to Spinalonga with swimming and lunch, then there’s a half-day tour out there regionally. Anticipate to pay round 25-30 Euros for a half-day cruise with stops for swimming and snorkelling, together with lunch.

4. Go to the Windmills

For those who like strolling, then head south from Elounda harbour and also you’ll come to the saltpans in your proper. Look rigorously into the water and also you’ll see stone squares. Typically individuals confuse these with the sunken ruins of Oleus however they’re truly salt pans.

The saltwater collects within the squares and when the water evaporates, salt is left within the backside. Staff stability on the low stone partitions to scrape the salt from the underside of the squares. An ingenious system.

elounda windmill on crete

Maintain strolling and cross the small stone bridge and also you’ll come to the Kolokytha Peninsula. As you cross the bridge, you’ll see the primary windmill.

Because of the form of the panorama, the peninsula varieties a breakwater which makes Elounda Bay so tranquil. There are three stone windmills right here, constructed to reap the benefits of the wind on this a part of the peninsula.

This can be a beautiful space for strolling. For those who’d prefer to go additional there are a variety of trails which head up and over the hill to some uncrowded seashores.

Greatest Day Journeys from Elounda Village

Go to Close by Plaka

Plaka is a picturesque small village about 5km north of Elounda and it’s effectively price making the journey to take a look round. For those who’ve bought a automotive then it’s a straightforward drive alongside the coastal street and there’s loads of parking out there in Plaka simply off the principle street.

For these with out transport, there’s a small vacationer prepare which makes the journey a number of instances a day and there’s a public bus though it solely runs a number of instances a day.

You’ll discover loads of eating places to select from alongside the harbour and Plaka’s fish eating places are significantly fashionable. Plaka can be a very good start line for a go to to Spinalonga Island because the boat journey is barely 10 minutes from right here.

Make a day of it and take a look at the attractive seashores round Plaka and browse the memento retailers across the harbour.

Regardless of its rising reputation, Plaka nonetheless feels historically Greek. Plaka is a vacationer vacation spot however it’s a lot smaller and quieter than Elounda. Though it’s busier in July after they maintain a music pageant in honour of a neighborhood musician, Mikalis Papadakis. 

day trip to plaka from elounda

Experience the Little Blue Prepare

In addition to offering a enjoyable transport possibility between Elounda and Plaka, the little blue prepare additionally supplies sightseeing excursions.

You’ll be able to take a four-hour journey from Elounda into the Cretan countryside. You’ll get to see some conventional villages and there are various alternatives to get some fabulous images from excessive within the hills.

The prepare makes quite a few stops the place you’ll be able to wander by way of the picturesque villages, pattern among the native delicacies, store for souvenirs and discover fascinating church buildings.

For those who don’t have a automotive then it’s a superb technique to get out and about and see extra of the gorgeous Cretan panorama.

The tour prices 18 Euros per particular person. The prepare departs from Elounda at 12 pm and returns at 6 pm. Lunch will not be included however the prepare does make a cease at a neighborhood taverna the place you should purchase foods and drinks.

Discover Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is roughly 10km south of Elounda and is an effective selection in the event you’re on the lookout for someplace a bit extra full of life for a day trip.

Right here, you’ll discover a bustling coastal city with loads of retailers, eating places and bars. The harbour space is especially good for strolling and in the event you comply with it round, you’ll come to the marina.

Agios Nikolaus crete greece

You’ll be able to attain Agios Nikolaos in only a few minutes by automotive and we had no drawback discovering on-street parking. There’s additionally a carpark close to the principle harbour space.

For those who don’t need to drive then the little blue prepare additionally goes this manner, or it’s a brief hop by taxi. We did see fairly a number of individuals strolling as effectively. 

An awesome expertise and one of many prime issues to do in Agios Nikolaos is to join this tasty food tour. Study Crete and Greece generally as you dine on many conventional snacks and a high-end 3 course meal with drinks — you’ll be full and happy by the top! Discover out extra about this extremely rated expertise here

Go to Knossos Palace

No go to to Crete can be full and not using a go to to the well-known Minoan ruins of Knossos. Famend as the situation of the legendary labyrinth, Knossos Palace is simply south of Heraklion.

Right here you’ll discover in depth archaeological excavations of the palace which date again to round 2AD. Nevertheless, settlements have existed on this website for the reason that Neolithic interval, round 7000-9000 BC, so it’s an exceptionally fascinating place.

You’ll actually need a automotive to get right here from Elounda and I counsel that you just arrive early as (free) parking is restricted and it will get very busy. 

The location opens at 8 am and in summer season is open as late as 8 pm. You’ll get pleasure from it extra in the event you go to early or late because the ruins aren’t coated and are thus totally uncovered to the solar.

Get your skip-the-line and guided tour ticket here. I like to recommend a information for certain, in any other case you received’t actually know what you’re . A information brings Knossos to life!

Put on wise sneakers for strolling and climbing up and down uneven steps and take water with you. Anticipate to spend no less than 2 hours exploring, extra in the event you’re significantly fascinated by historical past.

knossos on crete island greece

The place To Keep in Elounda Crete

If you wish to be inside strolling distance of gorgeous seashores, fabulous tavernas, eating places and bars then select to remain in an Elounda lodge inside the principle village space. Elounda itself isn’t very large and you may simply stroll in all places in the event you base your self close to the principle seashore or harbour.

For glorious views throughout the bay, I’d advocate staying on the hill overlooking the city. For those who’re on the lookout for someplace a bit particular, an alternative choice for individuals who need to get away from all of it is to remain at one of many luxurious Elounda resorts on the street to Plaka.

Adrakos Flats

We stayed right here for 7 nights and it’s a gorgeous family-run condo complicated. Nice for {couples} because it’s an adults-only facility. Every room has a small kitchen space however the true attraction is the balcony or terrace going through throughout the bay. The views are completely spectacular.

You’ll want a automotive in the event you’re going to remain right here because it’s simply exterior the principle resort space of Elounda however there may be free parking out there.

Adrakos has a preferred restaurant and bar on website and so they even have a big pool, so that you don’t have to drive on daily basis in the event you don’t need to. Click here for the most recent costs and critiques.

Studio with a View

For those who’re on the lookout for a spot to hire with unimaginable views of the ocean and Spinalonga island. Plus, you could have entry to the water as effectively, take a look at this condo in Plaka.

The studio has been completely renovated and has a gorgous out of doors space with gazebo, desk and chairs for lounging on. A fast stroll into Plaka will being you to plenty of genuine tavernas. Be taught extra here.

Sentido Elounda Blu

A part of the Sentido Lodges group, Sentido Elounda Blu is the selection for you in the event you want pure luxurious and leisure. It’s positioned on the street between Elounda and Plaka overlooking the magnificent bay and Spinalonga Island.

Indulge your self by reserving a junior suite which has its personal non-public pool. At Elounda Blu, you’ll be able to get pleasure from a personal seashore with watersports out there or reap the benefits of among the many actions supplied on the lodge, for example, wine tasting, cooking lessons and aerobics. 

A backyard view room begins from round $155 an evening in September for half board, or e-book all-inclusive from $215 an evening. My sister stayed right here for 10 nights and completely raves about it. On the subject of Elounda resorts, it is a nice possibility. 

Elounda Krini Resort

For those who’re on the lookout for a lodge inside a number of hundred metres of Elounda seashore and which will get persistently nice critiques then contemplate the Elounda Krini Resort.

All of the rooms have balconies and you may select whether or not yours faces the mountains or the landscaped pool space. Rooms are contemporary and clear with tiled flooring and whitewashed partitions. Anticipate to pay from round $80 an evening. Click here to study extra.

Emilia Flats

An awesome finances possibility which remains to be near every thing is the Emilia Flats. Positioned proper within the coronary heart of Elounda, the flats are simply 300m from Elounda Seaside.

Rooms are trendy with contemporary, gentle decor. Every room has a kitchenette with a eating space and a patio or balcony. Rooms begin from round $45 an evening. Click here to study extra.

To seek for extra Elounda resorts and flats on Reserving.com, click here

The place To Eat in Elounda Crete

Though Elounda is a small city, you’ll nonetheless discover loads of decisions in the case of eating out. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for conventional Greek meze, fabulous seafood or only a good steak, you’ll discover a restaurant or cafe in Elounda which might fulfill your starvation.

Most eating places have menu boards exterior the restaurant, so take a wander alongside the streets close to the harbour and centre of city and see what appeals most. Don’t neglect to stroll alongside the harbour entrance in direction of the windmills as there are some wonderful fish eating places overlooking the bay.

Listed here are a number of of my favourites.

Elli’s Place

Replace, sadly, this place has now closed.

You’ll discover Elli’s Place on the principle seashore street in Elounda. It’s an off-the-cuff cafe-style restaurant which serves primarily breakfast and lunch. It’s well-known for its hen gyros and could be very fashionable with beachgoers because it’s a brief hop from the principle seashore space.

In addition to conventional Greek dishes resembling gyros and moussaka, Elli’s additionally serves every thing from sandwiches and ice cream to full English breakfasts. Find Elli’s Place on google maps


Kanali restaurant has a novel setting simply throughout the peninsula close to the sunken metropolis of Olous and the windmills. For those who’re on the lookout for someplace particular with a tranquil ambiance and nice meals then that is the place for you.

Kanali specialises in seafood and the lobster pasta will get rave critiques. Nevertheless, in addition they have a number of vegetarian decisions and a collection of gluten-free choices as effectively.

Kanali is open for lunch and dinner. You’ll be able to name them on +30 2841 042075 to test particular hours and make reservations. Find Kanali Restaurant on Google Maps here.


Okeanis is positioned simply previous Elounda Seaside. For those who ask locals the place to eat in Elounda that is the place they’ll ship you. It’s informal eating at its greatest and also you’ll get pleasure from top-class service in addition to scrumptious meals.

Okeanis specialises in native Greek and Mediterranean dishes and so they have fairly an in depth menu. Don’t miss their conventional Greek salad. It’s wonderful.

You’ll be able to contact Okeanis on +30 2841 044404. It’s open for lunch from 11.30 am to 4.30 pm and for dinner from 6 pm to 11 pm. Find Okeanis on Google Maps here.

Cypriana Taverna

This was certainly one of our favourites whereas we have been in Elounda village. Located proper within the centre of Elounda, overlooking the beachfront, Cypriana gives a large menu together with breakfast, omelettes, pasta, pizza and sandwiches.

Nevertheless, you actually ought to strive a few of their Greek Cypriot dishes — hen gyros, moussaka or souvlaki. It’s good worth, informal eating at its greatest, and so they’re justifiably well-known for his or her pleasant service.

Everytime you’re hungry, they appear to be open – from 9 am to midnight. You’ll be able to contact them on +30 2841 041752 however simply flip up, no have to e-book. Find Cypriana on Google Maps here.

Greatest Seashores in Elounda 

For those who’re a seashore lover then you definately’ve come to the best place. The Jap Coast of Crete boasts miles of excellent sand and pebble seashores, a lot of them Blue Flag rated.

Whereas among the bigger seashores are fashionable it’s additionally doable to seek out small stretches of virtually uninhabited shoreline. Wherever you select, you’ll be able to bathe in heat, crystal clear water as you gaze on some completely spectacular surroundings. 

Elounda Seaside

Proper within the centre of the resort is the Blue Flag-rated Elounda Seaside. Right here you’ll be able to spend the day stress-free below a straw umbrella or floating within the blue water.

For those who’re feeling a bit extra energetic, join among the watersport actions. For the youngsters, there’s a playground and organised actions can be found in the summertime.

Though a whole lot of the smaller seashores on this space are pebbly, Elounda Seaside is gorgeous and sandy so a superb selection in the event you’re staying close by.

Find Elounda Beach on Google Maps here.

swimming at elounda beach crete island

Seashores On The Highway To Plaka

Drive or stroll from Elounda in direction of Plaka and also you’ll cross a number of small, pebbly seashores. These quiet coves supply a superb various to the extra crowded central seashores. You’ll typically have the cove to your self.

The water is simply as clear and heat and the views throughout to Spinalonga are wonderful. For those who’re driving, there are small parking areas at intervals alongside the seashore street.

Take your water sneakers although, there’s no sand right here and the pebbles are small and uncomfortable underfoot. It’s price it although for the luxurious of sunbathing and swimming in your personal stretch of the bay.

Kolokitha Seaside

We discovered this wonderful little seashore whereas strolling on the Elounda peninsula. After viewing the windmills, we stored on strolling. Stroll up the small street/monitor to start out with.

Someplace close to the church, this monitor ends however you’ll be able to see the opposite shoreline from right here so preserve strolling alongside the paths in direction of it.

In addition to Kolokitha seashore there’s quite a few smaller inlets close by as effectively. Though the locals know the place to seek out it, you received’t discover many vacationers over this manner. It’s a straightforward stroll, uphill in elements however not strenuous in the event you’re fairly match.

With the ability to stretch out on the sand and bathe within the crystal clear water on the finish of the stroll is reward sufficient although. It’s a mixture of pebbles and sand right here however sufficient sand to make it comfy underfoot. 

Find Kolokitha Beach on Google Maps here.

kolokitha beach crete greece

How To Get To Elounda

By Air

You will have a number of choices for attending to Elounda. If you wish to fly into Crete then probably the most handy airport is Heraklion which is positioned on the north coast of the island.

There may be one other airport on the island, close to Chania within the west however Heraklion is Crete’s predominant airport and undoubtedly the simplest to get to Elounda from.

You’ll discover a large selection of airways flying into Heraklion airport. British Airways and Easyjet have every day continuous scheduled flights from the UK and TUI gives constitution flights.

As well as, a number of airways together with, Lufthansa, Air France and Swiss Airways present scheduled flights from mainland Europe.

By Boat

In fact, Crete is an island and you would select to reach by boat as a substitute. Ferries depart every day from Piraeus port close to Athens. In summer season there could also be as much as 4 journeys per day. Select to journey through the day or in a single day from Piraeus to Heraklion Port.

The journey takes between 5 and eight hours and nothing fairly beats waking up within the morning as you sail into a brand new port.

For those who’re travelling in a single day you’ll in all probability desire a cabin to loosen up in, however reclining seats are additionally out there. Through the day you’ll be able to get pleasure from some contemporary sea air on the deck or loosen up in one of many bars or lounges. Seek for ferry routes, instances and costs for Elounda right here.

elounda greece boats in the harbour

Getting To Elounda From The Airport / Port 

When you arrive in Heraklion you’ll have to make your manner east to Elounda. The simplest manner is to rent a automotive and drive your self. A great tip is to pre-arrange automotive rent with one of many native companies in Elounda.

They are going to prepare to fulfill you on the airport together with your rent automotive. Usually, on-line critiques are a lot better for these corporations. For those who want, the same old European automotive rent corporations are additionally positioned at Heraklion airport.

It’s about an hour’s drive to Elounda so in the event you want to not drive your self you’ll be able to take a taxi. You’ll be able to take a fixed-price airport taxi for 75 Euros from the stand exterior arrivals.

One other various is the shuttle bus. You’ll be able to e-book this by way of the Easyjet web site even in the event you’re not flying with them. At 25 Euros per particular person, it’s a less expensive various if there are just one or 2 of you in your group.

It’s also doable to succeed in Elounda by public bus however it’s not simple. Sadly, there isn’t a direct bus so you will need to first take the bus to Agios Nikolaus. This takes round 75 minutes.

From Agios Nikolaus, it’s an extra 30-minute bus journey to Elounda. You want to remember that the bus service from Agios Nikolaus will not be that common so test the timetable earlier than you set off.

You’ll be travelling for over 3 hours so it’s not an possibility I’d advocate. Nevertheless, if the finances is tight it’s a very low cost various at 9 Euros. 

How To Get Round Elounda

I’d advocate hiring a automotive in the event you’re staying in Elounda. It makes it a lot simpler to get round. Nevertheless, in the event you’re simply planning every week of leisure within the resort and on the seashore then you definately’ll be capable of stroll in all places.

You actually don’t want to depart Elounda village, however it might be a disgrace to not get out and about and see a bit extra of Jap Crete.

In fact, there’s all the time the choice to rent a automotive for the day. You’ll discover no less than a few automotive rent companies within the centre of Elounda who can assist you out.

Now You Know What to Do in Elounda

Elounda village is the proper place to get away from the crowds and revel in a soothing vacation. Nevertheless, in the event you’re on the lookout for one thing extra energetic, you’ll discover loads of alternatives as effectively.

Spend time exploring this conventional Greek village, pattern the native meals and chill with a beer or a glass of the native Raki. You’ll rediscover a slower tempo of life right here and also you’re certain to be sorry when it comes time to depart.

For extra on travelling Crete, see our full journey information to Crete, and the highest issues to do in Crete that you just received’t need to miss!

Photos on this publish are courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

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