Spinalonga ex-lepers colony : The island - From Heraklion

  • Spinaloga Panoramic view
    Spinaloga Panoramic view
  • Spinaloga Island
    Spinaloga Island
  • Spinaloga Island
    Spinaloga Island

Recently Victoria's Hislop novel  "The Island" was filmed as a TV series on the village of Plaka in Elounda  which lies across the island of Spinalonga in eastern Crete.

Driving along the North East coast through the gorge of St George we reach the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos. Here we board a boat and cruise along the Mirabelo gulf. Passing the Kri-Kri Island, the Cave of the pirate Barbarossa and the bird island, we reach the small sandy bay of Kolokitha, where the boat will be anchored. Here you have plenty of time for swimming at the crystal clear water, and a BBQ (optional) will be served on board. We then proceed to the small island of Spinalonga.

Spinalonga has had a very chequered history and today, although uninhabited, still echoes with ghostly reminders of the past. The Venetians constructed a very impressive fortress with 40 cannons which has been guarding the bay since the 15th century. At the beginning of 19th century human pain and sorrow was scattered around this islet. It became a leper colony, the last active leper colony in Europe, and it remained so until 1957, when it was cleared by the Health Authorities, leaving the place uninhabited.

We then return to Agios Nikolaos where you have time to look at the shop windows and visit the bottomless lake, where the "Lotus Eaters" the well-known film was shot.