The road to Elouda from Agios Nikolaos
follows the shore, climbing to the top of a small mountain . The view from the top is incomparable.
On a clear day the visitor can see all of Mirabello bay, and all the way to the eastern tip of Crete.
The lagoon of Elounda is shaped between the coast and a small peninsula of 7-8 km length, that serves as a breakwater. Today the peninsula is separated from the mainland by a channel dug by the French at the end of the 19th century. A narrow causeway joins the peninsula with the mainland.
At this place the Venetians had constructed salt pans that were in operation until recently.
In the area there used to be the ancient city of "Olous"
. Some ruins of the city are preserved in the edge of the peninsula but the rest of the city is below sea level, with ruins of buildings visible in the seabed.
The villages of Shisma on the beach, Kato Elounda, Mavrikiano and Pano Elounda have been extended and nowadays constitute what we say the town of Elounda. Additionally a number of neighboring villages like Pano Pines, Kato Pines and Plaka make up the wider are of Elounda with 2200 inhabitants the majority of whom are involved in the tourist industry.
The area is highly developed, with shops, restaurants on the shore, bars and several excellent hotels famous for their comforts and the variety of amenities offered. These luxury hotels annually accommodate prominent representatives of the world’s social, economic and political life.
In the summer boats leave the harbor every 1/2 hour, transporting visitors to the small islet of Spinaloga
which is one of the area's major attractions.
Holiday Accommodation: There are all types of accommodation from luxury hotels to villas, apartments and studios for rent. Just make sure to book in time because the place is very popular and most hotels book up early.
Car / Bike Hire: A number of car hire companies have offices in Elounda, most of them local firms. Some places also offer bikes in most categories.
Swim & Watersports: The town has a number of convenient and good, blue flag beaches and is ideal for swimming. The main beach is the closest to the center. Other smaller beaches can be found either on the road to Plaka or to the peninsula. Many water sports facilities in the wider area with a good selection of skiis, ringos, windsurfing opportunities.
Food, Dining out : Plenty of Restaurants offering good quality dishes. Many restaurants offer a takeaway service including pizza and traditional Greek cuisine. Also Gyros, souvlaki, sandwiches etc in many places.
Shops: Dozens of shops from t-shirts, ceramics, high class gold and leather to bakery and fishing supplies. Extremely wide selection falling into all tourist and resident,market categories. Fresh food widely available from numerous mini-markets and larger super market. Open market is held Friday morning on the main street. Mainly Fruit, Vegetables and Clothing
There are ATMs (accepting a wide range of cards) at both the National Bank and other ATMs in the center of town. Furthermore many shops and rental agencies will exchange foreign currency and travelers cheques at reasonable rates.
The Development Association of Elounda has been in operation since 1975, and does valuable work on the promotion of the local culture of the area. There is a Cretan Dance and Musical Instrument School, and Eloundans successfully organize a Traditional Fish Festival that takes place in Pano Elounda, and since 1998, a concert in Spinalonga where popular Greek artists perform. Since 1992, the important promotional newspaper "Elounda" has been published.
The Athletic Association "Korfos Elounda" was founded in 1979 and plays a leading part in recent years in Lassithi football, gaining many distinctions.
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