Elounda is Crete's high-end resort teeming with five-star hotels and high-quality restaurants around a gleaming marina. There are stunning views from the honey-coloured beach out to historic Spinalonga Island (which is only a short sail away). If you’re looking to explore further afield, charming Aghios Nikolaos is just 15 minutes away, while little ones will love the superb Acqua Plus waterpark, which is around an hour from the resort.
Things to do
Holidays to Elounda will take you to some brilliant beaches; the nearest one is right in the heart of town. But there’s so much more to this resort than lazy days in the sunshine. If you want to explore, you can hop aboard a boat from the marina to visit the islet of Spinalonga, which is famous for its fascinating Venetian ruins and its past as a leper colony. When you return, you’ll be ready to sample the catch of the day at a waterfront restaurant; it’s a great place to watch the sun go down on the horizon. And if you’re looking for a family-friendly day out, you’ll find thrills galore at Acqua Plus; Crete’s best waterpark is less than an hour away by car, and it’s brimming with water slides, pools and rivers galore.
Relaxation and exploration
Elounda’s main beach proudly sports a Blue Flag, one of several on the island of Crete. It’s at the heart of Elounda, right next to the harbour, so it’s not hard to find. If you fancy shifting things up a gear or two, Acqua Plus is no more than an hour’s drive from Elounda and is one of Crete’s biggest waterparks.
The things you can do on your holiday in Elounda aren’t just restricted to what’s in Crete. Close by is the fortified islet of Spinalonga, which was most recently used as a leper colony. The beautiful island of Santorini, with its picturesque white and blue villages, is also in easy reach. You can see what other boat trips are available from Elounda’s marina.
Go for a drive out of Elounda and you’ll find there are lots of other villages and towns to explore along this stretch of Crete’s coastline. Between them, they offer all the restaurants, beaches, nightlife and shopping you could want. Much of Crete still feels like you’re stepping into traditional Greece, with bustling local markets and atmospheric cobbled streets. The best way to soak up the culture, though, is to settle down for a while in a taverna or café bar, many of which in Elounda come with a view of the harbour.