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

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

You’ll love Elounda in case 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. If you happen to’re planning on travelling to Greece, then contemplate including this hidden gem to your itinerary.

Spend your days stress-free on the seaside or bathing in crystal clear water. Discover fairly streets and admire the gorgeous surroundings. The coastal paths are excellent for strolling, and you’ll 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 may have spent my whole 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 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 wish to get out and about exploring however in case you like to spend so much of time on the seaside then you possibly can keep longer.

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

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

1. Discover the Harbour

In all probability the very first thing you’ll wish 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 part from conventional fishing boats to rowing boats.

elounda crete town harbour

Stroll alongside the harbour to the east and also you’ll go a few of Elounda’s standard tavernas earlier than you come to the principle seaside. If you happen to stroll south alongside the harbourfront, 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 historic Greek metropolis from the Minoan age. Don’t count on to see apparent ruins under the ocean, though in case you look fastidiously you may make out among the historic partitions.

Some stories recommend that Olous sunk as a result of volcanic exercise however others say it’s extra probably that it simply sunk slowly over a few years.

For vacationers right this moment, it makes for an fascinating place to go to for a mild coastal stroll exterior the principle resort. If you happen to’re eager on discovering the ruins under the water, you possibly can be 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 to 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 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 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 extremely rated and is a good choice to benefit from the island.

If you happen to desire to go independently, it prices round 10 Euros per individual or 5 Euros for youngsters. 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 straightforward choice in case you have 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 quite unhappy, particularly in case you’ve learn Hislop’s guide.

Lots of the buildings have already been restored however extra work is at present 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.

If you happen to’re staying in Agios Nikolaos or wish to mix your journey to Spinalonga with swimming and lunch, then there’s a half-day tour out there 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

If you happen to like strolling, then head south from Elounda harbour and also you’ll come to the saltpans in your proper. Look fastidiously 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. Employees stability 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.

Because of the form of the panorama, the peninsula kinds 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. If you happen to’d wish to go additional there are a variety of trails which head up and over the hill to some uncrowded seashores.

Finest Day Journeys from Elounda Village

Listed here 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 properly value making the journey to take a look round. If you happen to’ve obtained 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 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 notably standard. Plaka can be start line for a go to to Spinalonga Island because the boat journey is simply 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 nevertheless it’s a lot smaller and quieter than Elounda. Though it’s busier in July after they maintain a music pageant in honour of an area musician, Mikalis Papadakis. 

Experience the Little Blue Practice

In addition to offering a enjoyable transport choice between Elounda and Plaka, the little blue prepare additionally gives 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 numerous alternatives to get some fabulous pictures from excessive within the hills.

The prepare makes quite a few stops the place you possibly can wander by the picturesque villages, pattern among the native delicacies, store for souvenirs and discover fascinating church buildings.

If you happen to don’t have a automotive then it’s a wonderful approach 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 purchase foods and drinks.

Discover Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaus crete greece

Agios Nikolaos is roughly 10km south of Elounda and is an effective selection in case 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 case you observe it round, you’ll come to the marina.

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

If you happen to don’t wish to drive then the little blue prepare additionally goes this manner, or it’s a brief hop by taxi. We did see fairly just a few individuals strolling as properly.

Go to Knossos Palace

knossos on crete island greece

No go to to Crete could be full with out a go to to the well-known Minoan ruins of Knossos. Famend as the placement 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 web site 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 simply arrive early as (free) parking is proscribed 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 take pleasure in it extra in case you go to early or late because the ruins will not be coated and are thus absolutely 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 gained’t actually know what you’re . A information brings Knossos to life!

Put on smart sneakers 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 notably 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 large and you’ll simply stroll in all places in case you base your self close to the principle seaside or harbour.

For glorious views throughout the bay, I’d advocate staying on the hill overlooking the city. If you happen to’re on the lookout for someplace a bit particular, another choice for many who wish to get away from all of it is to remain at one of many luxurious Elounda accommodations on the street to Plaka.

Adrakos Flats

We stayed right here for 7 nights and it’s a fantastic 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 going through 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 exterior the principle resort space of Elounda however there may be free parking out there.

Adrakos has a preferred restaurant and bar on web site and so they even have a big pool, so that you don’t have to drive each day in case you don’t wish to. Click on right here for the newest costs and opinions.

Studio with a View

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a spot to lease with unimaginable views of the ocean and Spinalonga island. Plus, you’ve gotten entry to the water as properly, take a look at 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. Study extra right here.

Sentido Elounda Blu

A part of the Sentido Resorts group, Sentido Elounda Blu is the selection for you in case you want pure luxurious and rest. 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 possibly can take pleasure in a personal seaside with watersports out there or reap the benefits of among the many actions supplied on the lodge, as an example, 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. On the subject of Elounda accommodations, it is a nice choice. 

Elounda Krini Resort

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a lodge inside just a few hundred metres of Elounda seaside and which will get constantly nice opinions then contemplate the Elounda Krini Resort.

All of the rooms have balconies and you’ll 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 Flats

An excellent price range choice which remains to be near every part is the Emilia Flats. Positioned proper within the coronary heart of Elounda, the flats are simply 300m from Elounda Seashore.

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 on right here to be taught extra.

To seek for extra Elounda accommodations 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 selections in relation to 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 may 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 overlook to stroll alongside the harbourfront in direction of the windmills as there are some superb fish eating places overlooking the bay.

Listed here are just a few of my favourites.

Rakomelo Cretan Delicacies

Positioned proper on the water with gorgeous views, you gained’t wish 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}.

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

Kanali

Kanali restaurant has a novel setting simply throughout the peninsula close to the sunken metropolis of Olous and the windmills. If you happen to’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 opinions. Nevertheless, additionally they have a number of vegetarian selections and a number of gluten-free choices as properly.

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

Okeanis

Okeanis is positioned simply previous Elounda Seashore. If you happen to 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 intensive 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 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 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 have to guide. Discover Cypriana on Google Maps right here.

Finest Seashores in Elounda 

If you happen to’re a seaside lover then you definitely’ve come to the suitable place. The Japanese Coast of Crete boasts miles of excellent sand and pebble seashores, a lot of them Blue Flag rated.

Whereas among the bigger seashores are standard it’s additionally doable to seek out small stretches of just about uninhabited shoreline. Wherever you select, you possibly can bathe in heat, crystal clear water as you gaze on some completely spectacular surroundings. 

Elounda Seashore

swimming at elounda beach crete island

Proper within the centre of the resort is the Blue Flag-rated Elounda Seashore. Right here you possibly can spend the day stress-free underneath a straw umbrella or floating within the blue water.

If you happen to’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 lots of the smaller seashores on this space are pebbly, Elounda Seashore is gorgeous and sandy so a superb selection in case you’re staying close by.

Discover Elounda Seashore on Google Maps right here.

Seashores On The Street To Plaka

Drive or stroll from Elounda in direction of Plaka and also you’ll go a number of small, pebbly seashores. These quiet coves supply a wonderful different 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. If you happen to’re driving, there are small parking areas at intervals alongside the seaside street.

Take your water sneakers 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 individual stretch of the bay.

Kolokitha Seashore

kolokitha beach crete greece

We discovered this superb little seaside whereas strolling on the Elounda peninsula. After viewing the windmills, we saved on strolling. Stroll up the small street/observe to start out with.

Someplace close to the church, this observe ends however you possibly can see the opposite shoreline from right here so preserve strolling alongside the paths in direction of it.

In addition to Kolokitha seaside there are a variety of smaller inlets close by as properly. Though the locals know the place to seek out it, you gained’t discover many vacationers this manner. It’s a straightforward stroll, uphill in components however not strenuous in case 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. 

Discover Kolokitha Seashore on Google Maps right here.

How To Get To Elounda

By Air

You may 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’s one other airport on the island, close to Chania within the west however Heraklion is Crete’s foremost airport and positively the best 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

After all, Crete is an island and you possibly can 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 throughout 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.

If you happen to’re travelling in a single day you’ll in all probability desire a cabin to chill out in, however reclining seats are additionally out there. In the course of the day you possibly can take pleasure in some contemporary sea air on the deck or chill out 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 means east to Elounda. The best means is to rent a automotive and drive your self. tip is to pre-arrange automotive rent with one of many native companies in Elounda.

They are going to organize to satisfy you on the airport along with your rent automotive. Typically, on-line opinions are a lot better for these corporations. If you happen to desire, the standard European automotive rent corporations 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 possibly can take a taxi. You may take a fixed-price airport taxi for 75 Euros from the stand exterior arrivals.

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

Additionally it is doable to succeed in Elounda by public bus nevertheless it’s not simple. Sadly, there is no such thing as a direct bus so you should 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 test the timetable earlier than you set off.

You’ll be travelling for over 3 hours so it’s not an choice I’d advocate. Nevertheless, if the price range is tight it’s a very low-cost different 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. Nevertheless, in case you’re simply planning every week of rest within the resort and on the seaside then you definitely’ll be capable of stroll in all places.

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

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

Now You Know What to Do in Elounda

Elounda village is the proper place to get away from the crowds and luxuriate in a calming vacation. Nevertheless, in case you’re on the lookout for one thing extra lively, you’ll discover loads of alternatives as properly.

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 simply gained’t wish to miss!

Photos on this publish are courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

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