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Holidays in Elounda
Elounda is a seaside resort in the Lassithi region of Crete, popular for its beautiful little harbour and caramel-coloured beach. The resort has a friendly, traditional feel to it with bustling weekly markets and a tempting variety of Greek tavernas, waterfront restaurants and bars. Elounda is a short sail away from the islet of Spinalonga, and an hour’s drive from the superb Acqua Plus water park.
Elounda enjoys a classic Mediterranean climate with pleasant weather throughout the year.
Heraklion Airport (HER).
Relax in the sun-soaked harbour, sail around Spinalonga island and shop for Cretan specialties at the weekly market when you book your Thomas Cook holiday to Elounda.
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
Explore Elounda’s attractive marina and jump on a boat to experience the ancient islet of Spinalonga, famous for its old fornications from the Venetian era. The marina is also a dining hotspot, with plenty of lively restaurants and bars to choose from in the evenings. The resort’s main beach is easy to reach on foot, featuring powdery golden sand and calm, shallow waters. The water sports in the area are excellent, and for more water-based fun, Crete’s leading water park Acqua Plus is less than an hour’s drive away, featuring all kinds of water slides, pools and rivers.
Elounda’s curved golden beach is ideally located in the centre of town, and holds a Blue Flag for its upkeep and quality. The fine, honey-coloured sand smoothes gradually into a clear, shallow shore, sheltered by classically Cretan rocky scenery. The beach has plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas to go around, plus lifeguards and a kids’ play area. Water sports activities in Elounda include a diving centre, jet skiing and sea kayaking. The seafront promenade is packed with beach cafes, restaurants and shops, so everything you need is a moment’s stroll from your sunbathing spot.
The beautiful, bustling harbour is one of the most popular attractions in Elounda, filled with waterfront restaurants and lined with colourful, bobbing yachts. A sailing trip is a must, whether you’re keen on an early morning fishing excursion or relaxing boat trip in the afternoon sunshine. A favourite excursion is out to Spinalonga, a tiny islet just off the coast of Crete. It’s around 10 minutes away by boat, and well worth exploring for its Venetian fortifications and stunning scenery. The harbour is a wonderful place to spend the balmy events, with lovely Greek tavernas, bars and seafood restaurants serving up the catch of the day.
Elounda’s weekly markets are a favourite among locals and visitors to browse, haggle and socialise. They have an upbeat atmosphere and sell a variety of pottery, handmade jewellery and souvenirs. It’s well worth visiting in the morning for the best produce, olive oil and raki. If you’re away with kids, a popular family attraction in Elounda is the Acqua Plus water park. One of the biggest in Crete, the park is under an hour’s drive from the resort and features water slides and swimming pools, plus a lazy river and water playground for kids. Relax on a free lounger and pick from three places to eat to make a day of it.
Families: With its gorgeous beaches, boat trips and top water park, Elounda is ideal for families of all ages.
Sailors: Plan a scuba diving trip, get the catch of the day or take a yacht excursion – Elounda marina has it all.
Beach lovers: Elounda has a Blue Flag awarded beach, complete with silky golden sand, beautifully clear waters and a vibrant seafront promenade.
Language: The language spoken in Elounda is Greek
Currency: The currency used in Elounda is the Euro
Local time: Elounda is 3 hours ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Heraklion Airport (HER)
Flight time from UK: Approximately 4 hours
Tourist Information: Further Elounda tourist information can be found at www.visitgreece.gr/en/destinations/prefecture_of_lassithi
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Elounda
Temperature: 11-25 (°C)
The weather in Elounda is classic of southern Crete’s Mediterranean climate, with long, hot summers and mild, wetter winters. Temperatures have climbed comfortably into the mid-teens (°C) by the middle of spring, and often creep closer to 28 in the height of summer. Autumn is a great time to come for a more relaxed holiday with up to 10 hours of sunshine a day and pleasant highs in the mid-teens to low 20s.
By bus: The buses in Crete are efficient and cheap, and regular services link Elounda to neighbouring towns like Aghios Nikalaos. Buses are a good option for long or short journeys.
By car: If you’re interested in exploring the island on your own time, it’s worth hiring a car from one of the international car hire companies available at Heraklion Airport. The roads in Crete are well-signposted and easy to navigate.
On foot: Elounda is easy to get around on foot. The beaches are only a few minutes’ walk from the resort centre and main hotels.
Summer festival: Elounda is just an hour’s drive from the city of Heraklion, famous for its annual Summer Arts Festival. The festival features over a hundred events taking place between July and August in venues across the city. These include concerts, open-air cinema, ballet and theatre.
Beach festival: The Matala Beach Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in the region. Held for two days in late June, the festival celebrates the history of Matala Beach, which found fame in the 1960s and 1970s for being a favourite spot among hippies and musicians. The festival features international tributes playing music from this era.