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“A moving trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Spinalonga (Kalydon)

Spinalonga (Kalydon)
Elounda Bay, Elounda, Crete 72053, Greece
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Top Rated
$76*
and up
Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch
Ranked #3 of 15 Attractions in Elounda
Type: Historic Sites, Islands, Cultural
Attraction details
England
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A moving trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

Spinalonga is an amazing island to visit. We joined a guided tour of the island and learnt a great deal about the different people who have lived there over the years, especially the lepers. The guide we had was incredibly knowledgeable and was happy to answer any questions we had regarding the island. Once we returned home I read the Victoria Hislop book, I am pleased I had visited the island first.

Visited July 2013
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Haunting and beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

Former leper colony as described in Victoria Hislop's Island. I do recommend reading the book first to be able to better understand the lives the island's inhabitants led.
You are going to spend a few hours in harsh sun so I suggest covering up. There's little shade. You will need a hat. I used SPF 50 lotion and still left Spinalonga with blisters on my arms. Wear good shoes as well. It's all worthy though. The views and the overall experience are unforgettable.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great views of the bay of Elounda”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

Spinalonga is a small island off Crete near Elounda. Spinalonga was an important Venetian fortress which became a leper colony in 1903. The island can easily be accessed from Elounda and Agios Nikolaos.Originally, Spinalonga was not an island, it was part of the island of Crete. During Venetian occupation the island was carved out of the coast for defense purposes and a fort was built there. It is worth climbing to the top of the fortress to enjoy spectacular 360 degree views. Definitely a must see!!

Visited June 2013
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Fascinating history and great views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

I've been to Spinalonga several times, taking various different holiday companions. It only costs around €2 to enter. Boat trips go from various places, the cheapest are only around €8 or so from Plaka. It is worth the hot walk up to the very top as the views of Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, and the coastline are great.

Visited August 2013
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Solihull, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Knowing Spinalonga since 1990”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

I been over to this island three times in 23 years, All before Victoria Hislop wrote her book. My impression overall is that it is a sad and illuminating experience if you bother to read up on its history. (Not the novel!) I have seen the island in various states of restoration and none have spoilt it yet. From the obvious Venetian fortress part of Spinalonga, the Turkish sector with its resident palm tree gives a sense of beauty before the reality and the harshness of the lepers lives. It is a wonderful incite on how a set of people, banished for their difference (Hanson's disease), with there perceived infectiousness, caused them to be marooned on this island and how they built a community despite their afflictions and isolation The cemetery at the end of the end of the journey is sobering. I've felt though, when on the island, what people can do for themselves. The majority of the services/buildings set for purpose were built by themselves for themselves. The modern block of flats built by the people of the mainland is some how the saddest of all.
It is a bit disconcerting that the boat that brought you may not be the one that takes you back, but I have found that the people of Elounda and Plaka are hospitable and caring and wouldn't leave you stranded! It is very hot on the island, so, water, sun hat, parasol etc..is recommended. In my experience is there are no shops on the island, I hope there never will be!
Since the novel, Plaka has expanded a little in that time, but not enough to spoil its charm.
Elounda has suffered a little due to traffic and the economy. The Tavernas of Elounda and Plaka are not to be missed in the overall experience, so if you are all inclusive spend the extra. If you come into Elounda by road, take a breath, because t the vista as you turn the last corner to Elounda is therefore to see Spinalonga!! I cannot comment on current facilities that are available.

Visited October 2013
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