Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Issues To Do in Elounda in 2023 (Full Information for Vacationers)

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

You’ll love Elounda in case you’re searching for a standard Greek resort which isn’t too crowded or commercialized. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply there’s nothing to do right here. Should you’re planning on travelling to Greece, then think about 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 good for strolling, and you may discover the encircling 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 the most effective issues to do, the place to eat, the place to remain, the most effective seashores, and the best way to get round. 

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Finest 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 case you like to spend so much of time on the seashore then you would keep longer.

Elounda is the right base for leisurely walks, and regardless of the place you’re within the village, you’re just about assured a stunning view of the bay. Should you love the water, you’ll be delighted with the crystal clear sea right here on the Japanese Cretan coast.

Listed below are a number of the finest 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.

elounda crete town harbour

Stroll alongside the harbour to the east and also you’ll cross a few of Elounda’s common tavernas earlier than you come to the principle seashore. Should you stroll south alongside the harbourfront, you’ll be rewarded with a number of 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 historic Greek metropolis from the Minoan age. Don’t anticipate to see apparent ruins beneath the ocean, though in case you look rigorously you can also make out a number of the historic partitions.

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

For vacationers right now, it makes for an fascinating place to go to for a delicate coastal stroll outdoors the principle resort. Should you’re eager on discovering the ruins beneath the water, you’ll be able to be a part of this enjoyable snorkel journey.

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) had been forcibly relocated to the island in an try and cease the unfold of the illness.

Though fairly notorious domestically, Spinalonga was made well-known by the publication of Victoria Hislop’s novel, The Island. The guide 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 case you’re searching 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 popular to overlook 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. This boat journey is very rated and is a good choice to benefit from the island.

Should you desire to go independently, it prices round 10 Euros per individual or 5 Euros for kids. It’s a pleasing 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 simple possibility when you’ve got a automotive.

Boats depart at common intervals from two boat docks so in case 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 individual. Boats from each places 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’s essential to purchase an entrance ticket on the small kiosk for 8 Euros. Stroll by the archway and also you’ll emerge right into a world of slender lanes and colored homes.

Inside a few of them, you’ll discover shows with data on their former inhabitants. It’s each fascinating and reasonably unhappy, particularly in case you’ve learn Hislop’s guide.

Most of the buildings have already been restored however extra work is presently underway. As you allow the principle settlement you stroll across the base of the hill and in case you search for 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 case you don’t thoughts scrambling up just a few 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.

Should you’re staying in Agios Nikolaos or need to mix your journey to Spinalonga with swimming and lunch, then there’s a half-day tour accessible domestically. Count on 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

Should you 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 folks 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. Employees steadiness on the low stone partitions to scrape the salt from the underside of the squares. An ingenious system.

elounda windmill on crete

Preserve 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.

As a result of form of the panorama, the peninsula types a breakwater which makes Elounda Bay so tranquil. There are three stone windmills right here, constructed to make the most of the wind on this a part of the peninsula.

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

Finest Day Journeys from Elounda Village

Listed below are just a few of the day journeys I like to recommend from Elounda.

Go to Close by Plaka

day trip to plaka from elounda

Plaka is a picturesque small village about 5km north of Elounda and it’s effectively value making the journey to take a look round. Should you’ve received a automotive then it’s a simple drive alongside the coastal highway and there’s loads of parking accessible in Plaka simply off the principle highway.

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 just a few instances a day.

You’ll discover loads of eating places to select from alongside the harbour and Plaka’s fish eating places are significantly common. Plaka can also be a great place to begin 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 gorgeous seashores round Plaka and browse the memento outlets across the harbour.

Regardless of its rising recognition, 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 once they maintain a music pageant in honour of an area musician, Mikalis Papadakis. 

Experience the Little Blue Prepare

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

You may take a four-hour journey from Elounda into the Cretan countryside. You’ll get to see some conventional villages and there are lots of alternatives to get some fabulous pictures from excessive within the hills.

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

Should you don’t have a automotive then it’s a superb strategy to get out and about and see extra of the gorgeous Cretan panorama.

The tour prices 18 Euros per individual. 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 an area taverna the place you should buy foods and drinks.

Discover Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaus crete greece

Agios Nikolaos is roughly 10km south of Elounda and is an efficient alternative in case you’re searching for someplace a bit extra full of life for a time out.

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

You may attain Agios Nikolaos in just some minutes by automotive and we had no drawback discovering on-street parking. There’s additionally a parking lot close to the principle harbour space.

Should you don’t need to drive then the little blue prepare additionally goes this fashion, or it’s a brief hop by taxi. We did see fairly just a few folks strolling as effectively.

Go to Knossos Palace

knossos on crete island greece

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 intensive archaeological excavations of the palace which date again to round 2AD. Nonetheless, settlements have existed on this web site because the 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 positioning opens at 8 am and in summer time is open as late as 8 pm. You’ll take pleasure in it extra in case you go to early or late because the ruins should not lined and are thus totally uncovered to the solar.

Get your skip-the-line and guided tour ticket right 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 footwear for strolling and climbing up and down uneven steps and take water with you. Count on to spend a minimum of 2 hours exploring, extra in case you’re significantly fascinated by historical past.

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 huge and you may simply stroll all over the place in case 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. Should you’re searching for someplace a bit particular, another choice for many who need to get away from all of it is to remain at one of many luxurious Elounda resorts on the highway to Plaka.

Adrakos Residences

We stayed right here for 7 nights and it’s a stupendous family-run residence 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 dealing with throughout the bay. The views are completely spectacular.

You’ll want a automotive in case you’re going to remain right here because it’s simply outdoors the principle resort space of Elounda however there’s free parking accessible.

Adrakos has a preferred restaurant and bar on web site and so they even have a big pool, so that you don’t must drive day by day in case you don’t need to. Click on right here for the most recent costs and critiques.

Studio with a View

Should you’re searching for a spot to lease with unimaginable views of the ocean and Spinalonga island. Plus, you’ve gotten entry to the water as effectively, try this residence in Plaka.

The studio has a balcony with attractive views, mini fridge, a espresso machine and a TV. A fast stroll into Plaka will being you to numerous genuine tavernas. Be taught extra right here.

Sentido Elounda Blu

A part of the Sentido Accommodations group, Sentido Elounda Blu is the selection for you in case you need pure luxurious and rest. It’s positioned on the highway between Elounda and Plaka overlooking the magnificent bay and Spinalonga Island.

Indulge your self by reserving a junior suite which has its personal personal pool. At Elounda Blu, you’ll be able to take pleasure in a non-public seashore with watersports accessible or make the most of a number of the many actions supplied on the lodge, as an illustration, wine tasting, cooking lessons and aerobics. 

A backyard view room begins from round $155 an evening in September for half board, or guide all-inclusive from $215 an evening. My sister stayed right here for 10 nights and completely raves about it. Relating to Elounda resorts, this can be a nice possibility. 

Elounda Krini Lodge

Should you’re searching for a lodge inside just a few hundred metres of Elounda seashore and which will get constantly nice critiques then think about the Elounda Krini Lodge.

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. Count on to pay from round $80 an evening. Click on right here to be taught extra.

Emilia Residences

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

Rooms are fashionable with contemporary, mild decor. Every room has a kitchenette with a eating space and a patio or balcony. Rooms begin from round $45 an evening. Click on right here to be taught extra.

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

The place To Eat in Elounda Crete

Though Elounda is a small city, you’ll nonetheless discover loads of decisions with regards to eating out. Whether or not you’re searching 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 outdoors the restaurant, so take a wander alongside the streets close to the harbour and centre of city and see what appeals most. Don’t overlook to stroll alongside the harbourfront in the direction of the windmills as there are some superb fish eating places overlooking the bay.

Listed below are just a few of my favourites.

Rakomelo Cretan Delicacies

Positioned proper on the water with gorgeous views, you received’t need to miss Rakomelo for native Cretan meals. The service is pleasant and the dishes right here don’t disappoint.

Order a desk of mezes (king prawns, calamari, tzatziki, mussels, meatballs and extra), or one of many contemporary seafood dishes, or salads. This restaurant is a good place to eat in Elounda for teams in addition to {couples}.

Handle: Akti Olountos, Schisma Elountas 720 53, Greece. Click on right here for instructions.


Kanali restaurant has a novel setting simply throughout the peninsula close to the sunken metropolis of Olous and the windmills. Should you’re searching 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. Nonetheless, additionally they have a number of vegetarian decisions and a collection of gluten-free choices as effectively.

Kanali is open for lunch and dinner. You may name them on +30 2841 042075 to examine particular hours and make reservations. Discover Kanali Restaurant on Google Maps right here.


Okeanis is positioned simply previous Elounda Seaside. Should you ask locals the place to eat in Elounda that is the place they’ll ship you. It’s informal eating at its finest and also you’ll take pleasure in 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 superb.

You may 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. Discover Okeanis on Google Maps right here.

Cypriana Taverna

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

Nonetheless, you actually ought to attempt a few of their Greek Cypriot dishes — rooster gyros, moussaka or souvlaki. It’s good worth, informal eating at its finest, 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 may contact them on +30 2841 041752 however simply flip up, no must guide. Discover Cypriana on Google Maps right here.

Finest Seashores in Elounda 

Should you’re a seashore lover then you definately’ve come to the proper place. The Japanese Coast of Crete boasts miles of excellent sand and pebble seashores, a lot of them Blue Flag rated.

Whereas a number of the bigger seashores are common it’s additionally doable to search 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

swimming at elounda beach crete island

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 beneath a straw umbrella or floating within the blue water.

Should you’re feeling a bit extra energetic, join a number of the watersport actions. For the children, there’s a playground and organised actions can be found in the summertime.

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

Discover Elounda Seaside on Google Maps right here.

Seashores On The Highway To Plaka

Drive or stroll from Elounda in the direction of Plaka and also you’ll cross a number of small, pebbly seashores. These quiet coves provide 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 superb. Should you’re driving, there are small parking areas at intervals alongside the seashore highway.

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

Kolokitha Seaside

kolokitha beach crete greece

We discovered this superb little seashore whereas strolling on the Elounda peninsula. After viewing the windmills, we saved on strolling. Stroll up the small highway/monitor to begin with.

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

In addition to Kolokitha seashore there are a selection of smaller inlets close by as effectively. Though the locals know the place to search out it, you received’t discover many vacationers this fashion. It’s a simple stroll, uphill in components however not strenuous in case you’re moderately 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. 

Discover Kolokitha Seaside on Google Maps right here.

How To Get To Elounda

By Air

You’ve gotten a number of choices for attending to Elounda. If you wish to fly into Crete then essentially 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 essential airport and positively the best to get to Elounda from.

You’ll discover a large alternative of airways flying into Heraklion airport. British Airways and Easyjet have every day continuous scheduled flights from the UK and TUI provides 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 an alternative. Ferries depart every day from Piraeus port close to Athens. In summer time there could also be as much as 4 journeys per day. Select to journey in the course of 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.

Should you’re travelling in a single day you’ll in all probability need a cabin to loosen up in, however reclining seats are additionally accessible. Throughout the day you’ll be able to take pleasure in 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 must make your manner east to Elounda. The simplest manner is to rent a automotive and drive your self. A superb tip is to pre-arrange automotive rent with one of many native corporations in Elounda.

They may organize to fulfill you on the airport together with your rent automotive. Usually, on-line critiques are a lot better for these firms. Should you desire, the same old European automotive rent firms are additionally positioned at Heraklion airport.

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

One other various is the shuttle bus. You may guide this by way of the Easyjet web site even in case you’re not flying with them. At 25 Euros per individual, it’s a less expensive various if there are only one or 2 of you in your group.

It is usually doable to succeed in Elounda by public bus however it’s not simple. Sadly, there isn’t any direct bus so it’s essential to first take the bus to Agios Nikolaus. This takes round 75 minutes.

From Agios Nikolaus, it’s an additional 30-minute bus trip to Elounda. You want to keep in mind that the bus service from Agios Nikolaus will not be that common so examine the timetable earlier than you set off.

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

How To Get Round Elounda

I’d advocate hiring a automotive in case you’re staying in Elounda. It makes it a lot simpler to get round. Nonetheless, in case you’re simply planning per week of rest within the resort and on the seashore then you definately’ll be capable of stroll all over the place.

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

In fact, there’s all the time the choice to rent a automotive for the day. You’ll discover a minimum of a few automotive rent companies within the centre of Elounda who may help you out.

Now You Know What to Do in Elounda

Elounda village is the right place to get away from the crowds and revel in a soothing vacation. Nonetheless, in case you’re searching 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 go away.

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!

Photographs on this put up are courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

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