Enjoy this private group excursion tour to Eastern Crete to see Elounda Bay, the Island of Spinaloga, Agias Nikolaos and swimming, along with a Greek BBQ.
After meeting your professional guide on the pier, you will depart Heraklion and begin a scenic drive to the east end of the island and beautiful Elounda Bay, approximately 90 minutes away. Upon arrival in the resort area of Elounda, you will board your motorized boat for a trip to Spinaloga, a small rocky island that has protected the harbor of ancient Olous and Elounda Bay since antiquity. It once was home to the most powerful fortresses of the Venetians, with walls built in 1579 that can still be seen today. After the Turkish conquest of Crete, Spinaloga was a refuge for many Christians who fled there to escape. From 1912 to 1958, the island served as a sanatorium for the lepers of Crete. Today, the island is not inhabited and has become a tourist destination for guests wishing to see the remains of buildings as well as the well-preserved Venetian walls. A climb to the top will reward you with panoramic views back towards the coast. During your one-hour tour of the island, your guide will tell you more about its history.
You will then reboard your boat and travel to a nearby cove where, after dropping anchor, you will enjoy two hours for a casual BBQ lunch on deck, complete with Greek salad, tzatziki, grilled meat and other wonderful Greek specialties including Greek wine. You will also have time for swimming or just enjoying the beautiful Aegean Sea.
Returning to land, you will then travel to Agios Nikolas, the island's most established tourist resort, with life centered around a working port and busy yachting marina. In Hellenistic times, the port was known as Lato, then a powerful city. There is evidence that the port was still in use during Roman times and in the first Byzantine period. The history then seems to disappear until around 1200 A.D., when the Genoans built the fort of Mirabello. Due to earthquakes, scavengers of building materials and time, nothing remains of the fort today. The town received its current name from the old domed church dedicated to Saint Nikolaos.
You will have approximately one hour to explore on your own before starting your one-hour drive back to Heraklion.
Please Note: This tour offers customized departure times between 7:30 AM and 7:00 PM. If your preferred departure time is not listed, please contact us to place your request.