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Explore enchanting Spinalonga Island off Crete’s north coast on this full-day tour. Start with a visit to the colorful mainland village of Agios Nikolaos, and then travel to the portside at Elounda. Ride a boat to the rocky island, site of an old Venetian fortress and one-time leper village. After a walking tour of the preserved buildings and streets, finish with a barbecue lunch and time for a swim before the journey back.

Highlights

  • Spinalonga Island day tour from Heraklion
  • Scenic boat cruise to Spinalonga Island
  • Explore the Venetian-influenced architecture and old fortress
  • Take a walking tour of the village and learn of its history
  • Swim and enjoy a BBQ lunch on Kolokytha island
  • Enjoy historical commentary from a professional guide
  • Make use of a hotel pick-up and drop-off service

What You Can Expect

Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

Spinaloga Island, Crete

Begin your experience with a pickup from your hotel in the Ammoudara, Malia, Sissi, Milatos, Aghios Nikolaos, Elounda or Heraklion areas of Crete.

Relax into your air-conditioned vehicle and travel to the seaside town of Aghios Nikolaos. Admire the pretty harbour and Lake Voulismeni — said to be bottomless — and enjoy a coffee here before you venture onwards to Elounda.

Here, ride a boat to nearby Spinalonga Island, home to a ruined 17th-century Venetian fortress and one-time leper colony.

Step ashore on the rocky island and enjoy a guided tour of the fortifications and leper village. Enter through the gate in the walls and explore the preserved houses, buildings and lanes.

Hear how the village was used to quarantine lepers between 1903 and 1957, and how they lived here isolated from the outside world.

Afterward, enjoy time to swim in the turquoise waters off the neighboring island of Kolokytha, and sit down to a delicious barbecue lunch.

Then, relax on the journey back and end your tour with a hotel drop-off.

Please note: If you are staying in a hotel in Elounda, the Aghios Nikolaos visit is not included. If you wish to visit Aghios Nikolaos independently, please coordinate this with the local supplier before you travel.

Customer Reviews

Gorenberg.k

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Lots of fun and interesting, including stops in Agios Nicholaos and Elounda.

Thorsten M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This tour was amazing!

Avery K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This was a fabulous tour! Our tour guide knew all about the island of Crete, Aghios Nikolaos, and Spinalonga. She was constantly giving us information about where we were at the time of the tour. It was great to spend the morning in Aghios Nikolaos to explore the main roads, the cathedral and the lake which our guide told us all about Next we were on our way to Spinalonga. You can get beautiful pictures of the outside of the island while the ferry goes around before dropping you off. We then had a guided tour around the inhabited part of the island and had a little time to ourselves to explore the island. We then went to a protected beach where you can swim while the ferry crew prepares lunch my suggestion would be to swim off the boat and not bother with going to the beach. The beach is very small, you have to climb over some large rocks to get there and the sand stops where the water is so its all small slippery stones The lunch was delicious and I love how it was included in the price of the tour. Overall a fantastic day out in the sun, beautiful views for pictures and you get to learn some history of the island of Crete.

The only things I would change would be to have at least another half hour on the island to explore we didn't get to see everything without risking missing the ferry and I would have loved to have been able to see it all The other thing would be to include the admission ticket to Spinalonga into the price so you aren't wasting time waiting in line to buy a ticket and can have more time exploring the island instead.

Katherine E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

really interesting tour, beautiful island with a very sad past, the tour guide was really good and the bbq and swim afterwards was lovely.

Sheila G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Really enjoyable day. The tour was well organized and efficiently run. The cruise was lovely and our barbecue meal was delicious. The area is stunningly beautiful.

mindasemail

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.

Kristofer A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

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

Kara B

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.

SHONA S 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 Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2010

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

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