Situated on the north east coast of the island, Elounda is said to be one of the most famous cosmopolitan locations in the entire Aegean Sea, acclaimed for it's high standard of accommodation set in amazing natural enviroment. Located on the edge of a large lagoon with sand and shingle beaches, the resort enjoys a good selection of tavernas, shops and cafes some of which can be found along the sea front. There is also plenty of Greek culture and history to be discovered, including the ancient city of Olous that used to stand where Elounda lies today. Various ruins can still be found around the resort, however most of the city ruins are now underwater. Situated at the entrance of Elounda Bay is the well known island of Spinalonga, which houses one of the strongest fortresses in Crete, which can be seen on boat trips.
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Discover local culture, or just try something new. You'll find events in the area and beyond.
Crete boasts a number of fantastic local cuisines including dakos, kaltsounia, sarikopitakia, dolmades and traditional Greek salad to name a few.
There are a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from, although Elounda isn't as lively as some of the other resorts in Crete. Visit Katafygio for the occasional belly dancing night, or go to Alyggos Bar, situated opposite the main harbour car park, which shows all the biggest football matches on a big-screen TV.
There are a few different vineyards and wineries around Crete, one of the best being the Dourakis Winery, which can be found in between Rethymno and Chania near to the village of Alikambos – providing wine tasting and tours of the vineyards. This is worth a visit if you wanted to take a trip across to the other side of the island.
From Elounda and the village of Plaka you can take a boat trip to Spinalonga, which was the small island where Lepers from Crete were quarantined until 1957. A walk around here will take about an hour; however you will be tempted into staying for much longer to delve into its history and admire the gorgeous sea views.
There are stunning mountain and sea views all the way along the coastal road from Agios Nikolaos to Elounda. Day trips are available with ‘Flowers of Crete’, who focus on discovering rare and beautiful wild flowers in idyllic locations all over the island. The team are dedicated to protecting and conserving the gorgeous flowers here and trips can be tailor made to suit guests’ interests and abilities.
There are two aquariums on the island of Crete, Aquaworld which is in Hersonissos and Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos in Heraklion. Aquaworld is the nearest to Elounda and Agios Nikolaos being just under an hour drive away, and it was also Crete’s first aquarium, opening in 1995. It features sea life and reptiles from all over the world, and the majority of these animals were rescued or previously injured and have been given a second chance with an amazing new home here.
The nearest water park to Elounda is Water City, situated between Hersonissos and Heraklion. The park covers 80,000 square meters and is filled with 36 different amusements, slides, pools and activities, including the biggest wave pool in Europe. Crete is also home to a few more water parks if you wanted to travel further afield for some more excitement.
Heraklion is situated just over an hour’s drive from Elounda and Agios Nikolaos, and is filled with a variety of different museums, including the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Historical Museum of Crete and The Natural History Museum of Crete. Take a day trip here to learn all about the traditional Greek and Cretan history and culture.
Heraklion is the best place to visit if you want to see many of Crete’s beautiful churches and cathedrals, such as Agios Titos Church and the Cathedral of St. Minas. They are all filled with history and plenty of beautiful artwork that will take your breath away.
The Palace of Knossos is situated 5km southeast of Heraklion, which is around an hours’ drive from Elounda and Agios Nikolaos. Knossos was the first capital city of Crete and this monument is the most important on the whole island. The Palace of Knossos is also connected to several thrilling legends, including the myth of the Labyrinth, Daidalos and Ikaros and the Minotaur. This amazing historical site is definitely worth the visit and you won’t be disappointed.
Quad bike hire, Walking.
Sail boats, Scuba diving, Snorkelling
Battle of Crete A...local event
The commemoration of the Battle of Crete during WWII is one of the greatest events in Chania calendar and features a series of ceremonies, parades, athletic competitions, traditional folk dancing and music. This festival takes place in May at Maleme where the original battle was fought in 1941, just outside Chania main town.
Chania Rock Festi...local event
Attracting rock music lovers from around Greece, this festival features both Greek and foreign performers and takes place in the old city of Chania.
The Renaissance F...local event
The Renaissance Festival of Rethymno is celebrated for two weeks in July with theatre and dance performances, music concerts, art exhibitions and other visual arts featured in the Erofili Theatre, located in the Fortress as well as the Neratzes Mosque.
Lato Festivallocal event
The Lato Cultural Festival is celebrated in July and August in the city of Agios Nikolaos. It is a great fair featuring a number of local concerts, international musicians, folklore contests, folk dancing, art exhibitions and theatre plays.
The Cretan Diet F...local event
The Cretan Diet festival is celebrated in the city of Rethymno in the first week of July and promotes all locally produced products while celebrating Cretan food and the legendary Mediterranean diet.
The Hyakintheialocal event
Taking place in the village of Anogeia on the slopes of Psiloritis, this established event is celebrated for three days in July. The event honours the Saint of Love or 'Aghios Hyakinthos' with feasts and parties with a different theme each year, traditional to Cretan culture, music and heritage.
The Houdetsi Fest...local event
The Houdetsi Festival takes place every year for 4 days in August in the village of Houdetsi situated approximately 23km from Heraklion. It is a unique festival blending all kinds of music from around the world with the traditional Cretan music and culture.
Dormination of Vi...local event
The month of August is considered to be the month of festivals and visitors will find that there are celebrations happening every day in several areas of Crete. The most important day of the month is the 15th August dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin Mary. The city of Chania is filled with festivities especially in the main monasteries of the area where guests can enjoy feasts, drinks, folk music and local dances.
Assumption of the...national event
On the 15th August every year, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Villages are decorated, festivals are held, traditional dances are staged and there is a generally a great festive atmosphere.
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