Insider's Guide to Heraklion

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4 star rating: Recommended 19 Reviews

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  • Location:Heraklion, Greece
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

From the pretty village of Elounda, reached by traveling the northern coastal route, take a boat to the island of Spinalonga. This former leper colony includes preserved houses and churches, and a strong Venetian influence in the form of a fortress surrounding the village. Swim in the crystal blue water before enjoying a BBQ lunch.


  • Spinalonga Island day tour from Heraklion
  • Scenic boat cruise to Spinalonga
  • Explore the Venetian-influenced architecture and old fortress
  • Take a walking tour of the village
  • Swim in the Gulf of Mirabello
  • BBQ lunch on Kolokytha island
  • Professional local guide
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off included

What You Can Expect

Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

Spinaloga Island, Crete

Take the north coastal road until you arrive at the pretty village of Elounda from where you will take a boat to the island of Spinalonga - a former leper colony.

With houses and churches that are more of less well preserved, see the proof of the Venetian occupation in the form of the fortress surrounding the abandoned village.

After a walking tour of the village, visitors have the opportunity to swim in the crystal blue water of the Gulf of Mirabello, followed by a BBQ lunch.

On the way back, stop at the small, charming and touristic town of Aghios Nicolaos, with its quaint Harbour and supposedly "bottomless lake", for a delightful coffee break! Should guests from Elounda area hotels wish to visit Aghios Nicolaos, then they have to arrange their way back to their hotel by themselves.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This is a great one day excursion. I was skeptical about the leper colony island, but it was a lot of fun. You can hike wherever to the very top to see the ruins, or stick at the bottom with the tour guide. Then for lunch they stop at a private island where people swim while the crew grills up lunch.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Excellent tour and very fun and informative. I highly recommend it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

What an excellent trip. The guide was friendly and informative and the visit to Spinalonga was interesting and enjoyable although the time on the island is quite short and by the time you have had the tour you do not have much time to explore on your own - if you already know the history of Spinalonga you should probably just leave the tour and spend the time exploring on your own. The bay swim and bbq was absolutely wonderful. We would definitely recommend this tour and will definitely do it again next time we are in Crete.

New Zealand

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2013

I really enjoyed the day and pleased I did the tour. A good way to see more of Crete after a week walking in Western Crete. The local taxi pick up from my hotel to connect with the bus was on time as was the taxi waiting to meet the bus to return to my hotel at the end of the day. Excellent driving by the bus driver ( he managed so well in the narrow streets with the way the Greeks park) and the tour guide was excellent. Overall an excellent tour. However I did expect/ would have liked to have quite a bit longer on Spinalonga Island which was my reason for booking the tour.
Tour Wednesday 15 May 2013. No photos as my camera jammed and I am waiting for some from some one I met up with on the bus.

Kathleen Z

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2010

Amazing day of relaxed sailing, swimming and seeing a wonderful island with an unusual history.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2010

Okay so I've read The Island By Victoria Hislop and thats the reason I wanted to visit. I actually think having read the book it made the trip more real. I would have loved to have seen the inside of the hospital but this was having work done. We went out of main season so got chance to explore without the crowds. Would recommend reading the book before you go, Horrifying to think how lepers were treated in the past. Perhaps the cretan government would consider donating some of this tourist monies

4 star rating: Recommended October 2015

It was along day for me as I got picked up from Heraklion, other than that it was quite enjoyable. The island was interesting and I enjoyed lunch. It was too cold for swimming but some people did go in. The only drawback for me was that the entire tour bus had only German tourists on it and I was the only english speaker so I couldn't chat to my fellow travellers. Other than that I enjoyed it.

4 star rating: Recommended July 2015

satisfactory. barbecue lunch, the amount is too small. both tour guide is nice and helpful

4 star rating: Recommended August 2014

I signed up very last minute and the local operator did a good job being in touch and helping me get on the tour. The Spinalonga guide also did a nice job with the tour, on a very hot day. Overall, the experience was a good one. I found Spinalonga very interesting. I also enjoyed the swimming area and the town of Agios Nicolaus. The BBQ lunch was good, though it was challenging eating it on a crowded boat. One negative was that I felt unprepared for the late hour of the lunch (3:30) and therefore needed to find an ATM and get food in Agios Nicolaus. Since I joined the tour late, it's possible that information would have come to me if I'd had more time.

4 star rating: Recommended June 2014

This was a great tour, you need 2 euro pp to pay for entry on spinalonga. The barbecue and swim at lunch were great , luckily we had good weather highly recommend

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Tour code: 2462SPINO


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