Spinalonga Island, A Place of Living History
Spinalonga is a historically-rich isle in Crete with stories that date as far back as ancient times during the Minoan period. It first served as guard to the harbor of Olous which flourished during the Byzantine times. It was then turned into a powerful island fortress by General Proveditor of Crete Giacomo Foscarini which made it impenetrable by pirates that threatened Venice’s commerce.
During the Turkish occupation, a new era began and what was once an important sea fortress in the Mediterranean became a refuge for Christians fleeing the plunders of the Turk. It was abandoned for a long time before it was turned into a leper colony until 1957.
Today, Spinalonga is a unique heritage site attracting many visitors in Crete. A guided tour will bring you through parts of the island which served as a home to people with leprosy. A large part of the village remains authentic including the streets, houses, courtyard, walls, and paths giving visitors an idea of how people in the island lived.
This national monument can be explored by tourist through tour boats that depart from Plaka, Elounda, or Agios Nikolaos. Tours only last for a few hours and there are no accommodations in the island so if you’d like to relax and unwind after your sightseeing adventure, go book a night stay at the Blue Palace Resort & Spa. The Resort is just a few minutes away from Spinalonga Island and it offers unrivaled views of the cultural site.
The unique setting makes for a memorable experience for anyone who is visiting Crete. The clear blue waters that surround the quiet ambiance of the resort will have you reflecting on the remnants of history that you just witnessed in the island.