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|The village and the beaches of Elounda on the island of Crete|
Elounda is a coastal village and luxury resort close to Agios Nikolaos (distance 11 kilometers). It is set the a picturesque Bay of Mirabello and overlooks the (now connected to the mainland) island of Spinalonga, that shelters it from the sea. It is a pretty and touristic place, and it has a touch of chique. Most of the people that book a luxury hotel end up in or around Elounda. There are also quite some tourists that visit from nearby Agios Nikolaos to make use of the beaches, because there is a lack of good beaches inside Agios Nikolaos town. In Elounda you can choose from several beaches. All of them are organized and you can rent sunbeds and parasols on them.
The picturesque setting of Elounda in the Bay of Mirabello was probably one of the reasons for the BBC to choose the village as a setting for their series "Who Pays the Ferryman" in the seventies. There are many shops, kafenions and restaurants in Elounda and a lot of the people come to the village to make the boat trip to the island of Spinalonga to take a look at this former leper colony with its Venetian fortress.
There are two islands opposite Elounda, and they are both called Spinalonga. One beholds a Venetian fortress, and the other is nowadays connected to the mainland (so it has in fact become an peninsula). Officially the island with the Venetian fortress on it is named Kalidon, but on all excursion boats that go to the island it is announced as Spinalonga. On the Spinalonga peninsula directly opposite the village of Elounda you find windmills, a church, and the remains of an early Christian basilica, with well preserved mosaics of dolphins, fish and flowers. This old church used to be a part of the ancient town of Olous. In Elounda you can also see the walls from the old Venetian salt lakes just before the beach. The larger part of the old town of Olous has been claimed by the sea and has disappeared into the water. If you dive into the sea there are still remains to be seen.
Olous was a Minoan city which had about 40,000 inhabitants. The eruption of the volcano on Santorini and the gradual lowering of the soil in the eastern part of Crete have caused that the city is now largely submerged under the sea. Olous was often in conflict with its neighbours of the city of Lato (near Kritsa). On the site statues, vases and coins with the name of Olous on it were found.
The first remains of this ancient city you will see along the small canal at the windmills when you go to the Spinalonga peninsula. Here there are some remnants of walls and a large stone with a function unknown to me. You can also see sunken walls still next to the small white church on your right hand side. If you take a look behind this church you will see more remains, including a large feeding bin, and many pieces of pottery that testify that people have lived here long ago. If you still want to see more of the city then you can go snorkeling. Directly behind the windmills, reachable over a path that leads from the tavern you will see here, you can find the remains of the early Christian basilica with its mosaic floors.
When you walk across the island you will encounter even more antiquities. After about half hour, after you have climbed over the hill and climbed back down to the shore again, you have reached the small beaches of Kolokytha on the other side of the peninsula. Here are remains of antique house and a lot of columns. The beaches are also a stop for the excursion boats that leave from Agios Nikolaos and Elounda to go to Spinalonga Island (the former leper colony with the Venetian fortress), so it can get crowded. You will have a beautiful view of another small island (Kolokytha) just off the coast.
We walked further to another church (the Agios Fokas church) that you can see on your left hand side. The walk from the beach to this church also takes about half an hour (1.5 km). Supposedly it is a Byzantine church but probably so well restored it looks almost new (but you could for instance see that the stones around the windows were really old).
|Michalakis Restaurant - Elounda|
A restaurant situated in the harbour of Elounda, close to the bus station square for the excursion buses. They serve many different kinds of salads (with shrimps or tuna for instance), many omelettes, and there is a wide variety in main courses. There are special menu's for children. The coffee is a very good, very large cup of Illy coffee, the omelettes special are super, and the French fries crispy.
Our verdict: a 9 out of 10
|Anemomylos Restaurant - Elounda|
Anemomylos Restaurant is situated a bit towards the end of the boulevard of Elounda, as you drive towards Plaka (at the northern beach with the excursion boats). The menu includes pizzas, pastas, fish, grilled dishes and salads. We ordered lamb chops (fine) and a pizza (Greek style, with a very thick bottom).
Our verdict: a 7,5 out of 10
|Camelot cafe Bar - Elounda|
The Camelot Café Bar is located in the center of Elounda, close to the harbour and the church. They sell snacks like hamburgers, chicken burgers, pizzas, sandwiches and club sandwiches. The cappuccino comes without a glass of water and is a bit watery with lots of milk. The hamburger and club sandwich are fine and not expensive.
Our verdict: a 7 out of 10
|Porto Rino Pizzeria Restaurant in Elounda - EXCELLENT!!|
Porto Rino Pizzeria Restaurant in Elounda has a delivery service and therefore we ordered some food here (and had it delivered to the Elounda Solfes Villa), including a variety of pizzas, fish with fries and a Ceasar Salad. It was really very good, the salad was fantastic and the pizzas were as you want them: with a thin crispy and thin base and very tasteful. Very different from the Greek pizzas that you usually get with a thick bottom and layers of cheese. Completely approved and also very cheap, highly recommended. They are situated in the harbor of Elounda, and we also went there for a dinner in 2016. The food was again fantastic and the service is the best. One of the best restaurants we encountered on the island of Crete.
Our verdict: an 9,5 out of 10
|Elounda Solfez Villas - Elounda - recommended!|
In early October 2011 we stayed in one of these beautiful villas for a number of days. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 we came back for another visit. We really like this place and especially the views and the peace and quiet. The Elounda Solfez villas are brand new and they are situated on a hill. The view is truly spectacular. From any of your terraces or from your pool you look out over the Bay of Elounda and the Spinalonga peninsula. On a clear day you can also see several small islands in the distance and even the high cliffs of the peninsula all the way back behind Sitia in the extreme east of the island.
- first floor - here you enter the villa from the street level. Each villa has a spacious living room with an L-shaped sofa, satellite TV and DVD player and a kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, stove, oven, toaster, coffee machine and dishwasher, etc. In the front of the living room is a large terrace with a large dining table with chairs. There is also WIFI for internet enthusiast people. I never check the mail during my vacation so have not tried it myself.
- ground - Through an internal staircase or a staircase leading from the terrace you can go downstairs, where the swimming pool with sun loungers and a second dining area is situated. The pool is private, and you are as good as not overlooked (we did our swimming without textiles). Here on the ground floor you find two bedrooms, one double and one twin (two beds). They share a bathroom with a bathtub and toilet. This floor also contains the washer and dryer. For people who like it there is also an ironing board and iron.
- second floor. Via the internal staircase from the living room you can go to the second floor where you will find the master bedroom. This bedroom has a double bed and a separate bathroom with a shower and a toilet. Best of it is the terrace (with seats) that is attached to it, where you have the most beautiful view of the entire house.
- Note: these villas are suitable for 6 people, but at lower cost, you can also rent a villa for 2 or 4 persons. You choose the bedroom(s) that you want and the others(s) are then locked.
|Elounda Traditional Homes of Crete|
Situated in the peaceful village of Mavrikiano, just a 10-minute drive from the centre of Elounda, these traditionally built houses combine rustic features with luxurious features. Traditional Homes of Crete offer you spacious properties with private gardens and Jacuzzi bathtubs. Most of these charming properties also feature private swimming pools or shared facilities with another house. Clean linens and cooking utensils are provided at the house or villa. Benefit from free wired internet access and free private parking. The interior of the Traditional Homes features exposed brickwork, wooden beams and elegant furniture, creating a warm and homely environment. Enjoy a beautiful countryside setting close to Elounda Village.
Check availability and prices & book one of the Traditional Homes in Elounda click here.
For more hotels, apartments and studios in and around Elounda - CLICK HERE
|Elounda Akti Olous Hotel - Elounda - right at the beach of Elounda & well priced|
Akti Olous is recently renovated, a family-run hotel ideal for those of all ages, looking for comfortable accommodation in a cosy environment. The hotel is located directly on the thick sandy beach in the bay of Elounda, only 300 m from the village of Elounda, its small harbour and shopping area. The location of the hotel provides a relaxed holiday, with stunning panoramic view from the roof top pool.
The hotel Akti Olous in Elounda has 70 twin rooms and some of them can take an additional bed. Their comfortable furniture is brand new and most of the rooms have a superb view of the Bay of Elounda. Every room has independent air conditioning / heating (at extra charge), a fridge, satelite tv, music, hair dryer and a private bathroom. There are single rooms, doubles, triples and there are suites to choose from.
- Distance to the village of Elounda: approx. 300 meters.
Check availability and prices & book the Akti Olous Hotel in Elounda click here.