World Reviewer rating

Not yet rated

Spinalonga Island

Listed under Islands in Crete, Greece.

  • Photo of Spinalonga Island
  • Photo of Spinalonga Island
  • Photo of Spinalonga Island
Photo of Spinalonga Island
Photo by flickr user Jorge-11
Pin It

Spinalonga wasn’t always an unoccupied island known for pebbly beaches, ancient fortifications and an old leper colony. At the beginning of the 16th Century it was part of the peninsular, but the Venetians who had recently moved into the area hacked away a narrow section of land cutting Spinalonga off. Once cut off they then found they needed to fortify the island as well – and both these alterations are still visible today, there are big block houses at the highest points of both the north and south sides of the island and great big walls running around sections of it. With all this fortification the Venetians were able to hang onto the island for a couple of centuries until the Ottomans took it and eventually it became a leper colony – one of the last in Europe, it only closed down in 1962.

The leper colony was actually a pretty nice place to live with lepers getting far better care than they would have elsewhere. The colony buildings are part of the reason this island is such a tourist attraction, but it’s a lot less grizzly than people think it’s going to be, more like a deserted town with lots of little houses running down to the fort walls and the ocean.

Thanks to the Venetians the only way to get to the island is by boat which leaves from Elounda or Agios Nikolaos.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Galapagos Islands

    The Galapagos Islands are deservedly famous for close encounters with wildlife. Some of the animals here are unique to these is…

  • Tierra del Fuego

    Tierra del Fuego or Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, is the largest island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Half of the is…

  • Bali

    Everyone should visit Bali at least once in their lifetime. Words and pictures alone cannot describe this beautiful little isla…

Nearby Experiences

  • Amoudara Beach

    Fine golden sand and crystal clear waters add to the appeal of this five kilometre long beach. The space is the other real dra…

  • Richtis gorge and waterfall

    The enchanting gorge and waterfall of Richtis (or Rihtis gorge) can be “discovered” in Eastern Crete at the Prefecture of Lasit…

  • Malia Minoan Ruins

    The palace at Malia was destroyed for the first time during the same earthquake that rocked Knossos, but was rebuilt towards th…

Related links

Contribute to this page