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Find information on Elounda in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
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Elounda is a very attractive town lying on the Lagoon of the same name on the north coast of Crete just west of Aghios Nikolaos. In front of the busy harbour is the white-washed church, the dome of its terra cotta roof framed by hills. The resort has a number of five star luxury hotels as well as a range of more affordable accommodation. There is good provision of shops, bars, restaurants and tavernas. A small beach lies to the right of the harbour providing leisure activities. A narrow peninsula five miles in length, is separated from the mainland by a channel. A bridge gives access to it.
Elounda has much to offer holidaymakers. Set in picturesque surroundings, it is said to have some of the most luxurious hotels in Crete. The harbour appears to be always on the move with brightly coloured boats constantly bobbing up and down in the clear blue water. Sitting beneath the palms and watching the comings and goings on the waterfront is only one of the simple pleasures that an Elounda holiday offers. Elounda makes a good base for visiting tourist attractions in the area.
An Elounda holiday attracts a wide range of people. Families and couples of all ages can enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of its shores. The young, and the not so young, can gain pleasure from the evening entertainment.
The most popular time to visit Elounda is in the summer. The season extends from Easter to October when the temperature range is from twenty to thirty degrees.
Elounda, ten kilometres from Aghios Nikolaos, has much to recommend it. Nestling beneath the hills around the lagoon, it is a pretty resort inviting you to relax in the sunshine and enjoy the view. The domed church, with its free standing bell tower surrounded by palms dominates the harbour area. There is a beach to the right of the harbour and the indentations of the coastline in the area give many small sheltered coves, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
The peninsula, which is accessed by a bridge, is the site of the ancient town Olounda. Although there are some ruins remaining much of the site is now below sea level and can be explored by divers and snorkellers.
The main beach by the harbour has Blue Flag status and offers a range of water sports.
Elounda has a good number of shops, restaurants, bars and tavernas providing a range of food and entertainment. During the summer months there are frequent trips from the harbour to the island of Spinaloga which was a leper colony until the nineteen fifties. Its fortress dates from the fourteenth century and was built to protect the town from the Turks and other invaders.
The area surrounding Elounda is very beautiful and there are many small villages along the coast waiting to be explored.
Elounda has some lively nightlife with music bars and discos. The main street in town, along with the harbour area, are the most popular night spots. Dining is usually later in Greece than in Britain so the disco bars don’t liven up until eleven. There are also many bars with large screens for sporting events.
Elounda has two supermarkets in its centre and a large number of craft and gift shops. Some of the luxury hotels on the outskirts of town have boutiques and there are a number of fine jewellery shops in the town. The market is held each Friday morning and here you can barter for your holiday bargains.
Elounda has a variety of restaurants, tavernas and fast food outlets catering for most tastes. There are many first class restaurants serving traditional as well as international cuisine. Fish features widely on menus including such luxury items as lobster. If you feel peckish between lunch and dinner try a plate of meze, a Greek equivalent of the Spanish tapas, with such things as deep fried fish, stuffed vine leaves, pickles, olives and halloumi.
Eating out in Greece is a pleasure that should be enjoyed in a leisurely fashion. Don’t mistake the lack of haste for tardy service as you are simply being given the time to fully enjoy each course. Children are warmly welcomed in restaurants and their tastes and portion size are usually accommodated.