After pickup from your hotel on Crete’s north coast, including hotels in Hersonnissos, Malia, and Agios Nikolaos; travel by air-conditioned coach to the harborside at Elounda, where your boat awaits.
On route, hear about Spinalonga, the island facing Elounda in the Gulf of Mirabello. Once joined to the mainland, this now-uninhabited island houses a ruined 16th-century Venetian fortress, originally built to defend the bay. After the Venetians left, it was used as an Ottoman settlement and then a leper colony from 1903 to 1957.
Go ashore and tour the one-time colony buildings (own expense). Enter through the main gate as the arriving lepers did a century ago, and explore the market street, churches, hospital, houses, and Venetian fortifications. Learn about the lives of those confined here, and hear how Spinalonga has featured in recent books, movies, and various TV series.
Then, sail to nearby Kolokytha Island (additional cost). Enjoy an optional swim in the crystal-clear seas and savor a delicious barbecue lunch. Finally, sail back to Elounda, and enjoy a sightseeing drive around nearby Agios Nikolaos, admiring its harbor and Lake Voulismeni, known as the ‘bottomless lake.’
Your trip finishes back at the original starting point.