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Elounda (Ελούντα)

Information about Elounda (Ελούντα)

Elounda (Elounta)(Ελούντα) is a spectacularly situated coastal resort within a unique geographical setting on the Bay of Elounda on the north coast of Crete.

The first view of Elounda is dramatic and one that you will be unlikely to forget. It is unlike any other view on Crete.

Elounda has developed to lend itself to tourism but it has a long and interesting history and it has retained its peaceful charm as a small fishing town while becoming a resort which is frequented by a wide variety of visitors from pop stars, national football teams and world statesmen to more 'normal' visitors.

The town has good local shops and plenty of facilities for eating and drinking.

It has a wide range of accommodation with something to suit every budget from low price rooms and apartments to luxurious hotels.

The lagoon of Elouda lies between its coastline and a small peninsula of 7-8 kilometres in length, which shelters the town from the open sea, by serving as a breakwater.

At one time, the peninsula was attached to the mainland but a channel dug by the French at the end of the 19th Century separated them and they are now linked by a narrow bridge.

Beaches at Elounda

Elounda has several beautiful sandy beaches with Blue Flag status ideal for swimming, watersports and with facilities for sunbathing.

The ancient city of Olous was situated here, the first recorded settlement on the site which is now Elounda. The citizens of Olous were often in conflict with the neighbouring city of Lato, a Dorian settlement until both parties achieved a peace treaty.

Much of this ancient city now lies beneath the sea with the outlines of the ruined buildings still visible beneath the water but some ruins of the city are preserved on the edge of the peninsula.

A short distance from the entrance to the peninsula are the old Venetian salt-mines where tons of salt were produced over hundreds of years. Today the salt pans are a favourite stop for resident and migratory birds and there are plans for the local administration to put the salt pans back into production.

Elounda was a port in Venetian times. The Venetians constructed a new port here called 'Porto di San Nicolo', an act which reduced the neighbouring town of Agios Nikolaos to less important harbour status during the Venetian period.

Closeby to Elounda is the island of Spinalonga. During the early 1900s, Elounda was a stopping off point for lepers being transported to the former leper colony at Spinalonga. For books on Spinalonga click on this link

Elounda was used in the filming of the BBC television series 'Who Pays the Ferryman?' first screened in the late 1970s.

It also features in Victoria Hislop's novel The Island.

The surroundings are lovely for walking and visitors who climb to the hill between Elounda and the road out to the main highway will be rewarded by fantastic views, not only of Elounda itself but also the whole of the Mirabello Bay and eastwards to the tip of Crete.



Elounda is situated in the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos within the Prefecture of Lassithi. It is easily accessed from the National Road and well signposted.

There is a regular public bus service to and from Elounda to local towns and villages.

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Map showing Elounda (Ελούντα)

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