The island of Spinalonga also known as Kalydon is a small, currently uninhabited, island located off the coast of Elounda in the gulf of Elounda in north-east Crete.
The name Spinalonga was given to island by the Venetians during their rule and it means “long thorn” in Italian (spina=thorn and lunga=long).
The Venetians used the island as a fortress until 1715 when it was captured by the Ottoman Empire.
In modern times Spinalonga was used as a leper colony from 1903 up to 1957 and it was one of the last active leper colonies in Europe.
Today the island is uninhabited but it is a popular attraction for tourists. Spinalonga’s main attractions are the Venetian fortress, the abandoned leper colony and it’s beautiful beaches.
To visit Spinalonga you can drive with a rental car to Elounda or Agios Nikolaos and from there you can find small tourist boats that visit the island on a daily basis. The boat trip from Agios Nikolaos is approximately 1 hour and from Elounda only 15 minutes.
Rent a car now and visit Spinalonga !