Ayios Nikolaos, or just “Ayios” as the locals call it, nestles alongside beautiful Mirabello Bay, on the northeast coast of Lassithi Prefecture in East Crete. Mirabello or Merabello Bay is the largest natural bay in Crete. The name of the bay comes from the Italian “mira il bello” (loose translation: “admire the beauty”), a tribute to the wonderful sea views from the bay.
Ayios Nikolaos is an extremely popular resort that draws crowds of entertainment-seeking visitors every summer. Numerous restaurants, bars, and night clubs give the place its characteristic cosmopolitan atmosphere.
A beautiful lake dominates the place. Legend has it that the goddesses Athens and Artemis used to bathe in its waters that are connected with the volcano on Santorini.
Elounda lies 11 km north of Ayios Nikolaos, and is noted for its coves, rocky coastlines, the beautiful village of Elounda itself, the fishing harbour, the sunken city of Olous and the remains of a Byzantine basilica. But what is really amazing here is the impressive selection of luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants. The outstanding natural beauties of secluded Elounda bay and the first-class accommodation services have made Elounda the number one favourite for world leaders, royalties and celebrities alike.
“Spinalonga. She played with the word rolling it around her tongue like an olive stone. The island lay directly ahead and as the boat approached the great Venetian fortification which fronted the sea […]. This, she speculated, might be a place where history was still warm, not stone cold, where the inhabitants were really not mythical”….
… as Victoria Hislop wrote in her best-selling book “The Island”. Here, on an island where lepers from Crete and the rest of Greece had been kept in isolation until 1957, a story about love and pain, separation and fear was born.
Although it is small and known as the island of the outcasts, Spinalonga has a rather interesting story to tell. The island forms a natural defense “mechanism” for Elounda harbour, and in 1579 the Venetians built a mighty fortress here on the ruins of an ancient acropolis. The Venetians kept control of the island even after the rest of Crete fell to the Ottomans in 1669 and it remained under their control for almost another half a century until its capitulation in 1715. Today thousands of tourists visit Spinalonga each summer as it is the most popular archaeological site in Crete after Knossos.
A walk around Spinalonga –with some of the finest views of the clear blue waters that surround the island– will guide you through the pages of the novel. Strolling around the island takes about an hour, but the serenity of the place and the remnants of its recent history will certainly tempt you into spending much longer.
- Sailing yacht with a skipper
- Fuel –water
- Coffee, cookies, beverages, white wine
- Snorkeling equipment
- Fishing equipment (non professional fishing)
- Free hosting, extra crew than that of the skipper
- Breakfast & Full menu: steak-kebap, sailers’ risotto, Cretan salad, fruit, soft drinks, wine and raki
- Upon arrangement, special vegetarian menus or any other menu requested can be provided
Excursion Reservation Form