The actual harbour is naturally well protected by a long peninsula and the island of Spinalonga, a former leper colony.
Travelling north for about 4.5 km from the large village of Elounda with its vast central square, promenade and delightful marina, past various little landing places with moored fishing boats, you reach the quiet little village of Plaka. Plaka has two shingle beaches, a selection of pretty little fish tavernas on the sea front. Some 2.5 km further on there is a mini market. A regular bus service links Plaka with Elounda and with Agios Nikolaos.
This delightful region is ideal for extensive walks. The traditional mountain villages of this area are unspoilt and give one a good sense of the original Cretan way of life. For sightseeing you may choose to visit the old Salt Pans, which are close to the ‘sunken city’ of Olous. And highly recommended of course, is a boat trip to the island of Spinalonga, the former leper colony with its old Venetian buildings. Thanks to the protection of the long peninsula, waters are very calm here and lend themselves particularly well to all forms of watersports. The beautiful sea with its crystal clear, clean water, the magnificent countryside, as well as the tangible peace of this area will delight all visitors.
Where to stay
Situated on a hill just outside Elounda these villas offer breathtaking views over the Mirabello Bay and the Aegean Sea.
"All the accommodation was good. However, in Heraklion the room at Hotel Marin Dream was very cramped for two people with a double bed. The hotel was well placed and the staff were very helpful. Adrakos apartments at Elounda were rather basic. One day our room was not cleaned or made up as the only cleaner was not available. However, a member of staff was persuaded to make our bed and empty the bin in the bathroom."
R Vaughan Payne, UK, July, 2015
"Perfect. Right from initial contact Dawn understood exactly what we wanted, and delivered. All admin and communication exactly on the nail, and everything ran very smoothly in practice. Car hire efficient and professional, no problems experienced, ideal for the high mileage and visiting archaeological sites all over the island, some well off beaten track. A special mention for Adrakos - Costas and his staff could not have been more welcoming or more cheerful, despite the problems of running a business in Greece at the moment. We were really impressed - and the food was awesome, beautiful simple well prepared Greek cuisine. Overall we could not have asked for this to go better!! Many thanks to all concerned."
D Raynor, UK, July, 2015