Spinalonga island, an impressive fortress and the last “leper colony” of Europe. An amazing tour full of sea, history and stories
Our Tour starts after breakfast by driving along the Northern coast of the island to Kritsa, one of the oldest and most picturesque villages of Crete. Here we will visit the 12th century Byzantine church of Panagia Kera located 1km from the village. The church contains the finest-preserved Byzantine-era
frescoes in Crete, and for that reason , has become one of the most culturally and historically significant churches on the island.
We continue our tour through the villages of Nikithianos, Fourni, Karydi,Kato Louma and Valto to the sea-front village of Plaka where we will board the boat to take us on the now deserted island of Spinalonga. Our guide will guide us through the ruins of what used to be a leper-colony from 1903 to 1957 where lepers could have a better life, medical help and economic support.
Upon returning to Plaka we will enjoy our lunch at a seafront traditional tavern. After lunch our tour continues to a Vineyard and a Winery. At an altitude ranging between 170 and 215 meters, on a 7-hectare plot, the privately-owned vineyard is cultivated based on the principles of organic farming, hosting various Greek and international varieties. The density of the planting is 3300 plants/hectare.
Lets enjoy a tour of the cellar, the production area and the rest of the estate. We will also visit the wine-tasting hall and enjoy tasting few labels of typical wine produced at the winery, served with crispy puff pastry with aromatic olive paste. Late in the afternoon we return to our hotel.
We drive towards the east part of Crete and we reach the Plaka area .
Spinaloga is the last leper colony of Europe, active until 1957. The history and the culture of the island of Spinaloga became one with human tragedy in the course of time. It carries the history of Ancient Greece as it served as a natural guard for the ancient city of Olou, the history of the Saracens pirates, the history of the Venetians as their fortress, the history of the Turks as their settlement and the history of the Greeks as the place where their leper would be sent into exile until recent times. The island its a beautiful walk full of interesting spots and the sea that surrounds it makes it a day tip not to be missed.
With lots of smiles and many pictures, we start our drive back.
The departure times depend on the pick-up location.
Below you will find all the indicative pick up and drop-off times, according to each location (in bold, the available) :
Please note that the driver will pick you up FOR FREE from all hotel areas noted in BOLD , small pick up charges are noted in other pick up regions :
Please note the departure and return times in brackets (...) .
All other locations are upon request.
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I would skip the Spinalonga visit, its nice but small and not a huge choice of things to do while visiting it, the beach though, the sail, the drive to Spinalonga and the lunch was really good, we would do it again. Spinalonga entrance was not accepting cards, had to pay cash..