Elounda is a wonderful corner of Crete that despite the years and growing tourism is still relatively unspoilt and beautiful. I first visited this magical place over 25 years ago and fell in love with its quaint charm and wonderful people, I have revisited it over the years, preferring its quiet charm to the bright lights of Aghios Nikolaos, and on that front nothing has changed. The island of Spinalonga is hauntingly beautiful much more so before tourism hit and it is here that I see the most changes, now it's past inhabitants are besieged daily with hoards of tourists following each other around. The peace that has lovingly drawn its cloak around the dilapidated houses has been torn away and replaced by the sound of feet and laughter and children.
Both Island and town are steeped in history and well worth more than a visit, the bars and tavernas offer wonderful food and hospitality although prices have risen alarmingly since the euro became currency.
The Paradisos Apartments, Elounda.
A self catering apartment that I first stayed in over 25 years ago.. On revisiting it last year, it hasn't changed one bit and is as beautiful as ever.
One of the many old stone windmills which can be found in this area, it used to be abandoned but has been restored and now a home
This is the road leading to into Elounda Town from Aghios Nikolaos, the town has expanded along this road and there is now a path and street lighting all the way up to the Paradisos, this used to be a dusty track.
For a few euros ( it used to be Drachmar) you can take a boat trip to Spinalonga which used to be a leper colony (1903 – 1957), it is here that the greatest changes have taken place. On my first visit you could go anywhere and it was completely abandoned, now regeneration has taken place and it is a major tourist attraction. Many of the abandoned buildings are off limits due to health and safety and there is a toilet block and an entrance fee & ticket booth.
The abandoned fortress on Spinalonga, temperatures are in the 40's and there is no shade on this side of the Island, but the views out to sea are beautiful with the sun glinting on the ocean
The heat is unbearable on spinalonga any shady spot is a welcome respite.
One of the derelict buildings on Spinalonga that is being restored
Although there are more cars now, and different restaurants the ambience and sleepiness of the town remains until the tourist boats from Aghios Nikolaos arrive each morning.
This is the harbour in Elounda with a backdrop of mountains that surround the town.
Life for the greeks remains unchanged despite the tourists