Elounda is home to some of Crete’s sandiest beaches, but there’s much more to this lovely village than that. Although it’s known for its upmarket hotels, Elounda is a fishing village at heart, so you’ll find a great mix of holiday facilities and authentic local character. With no hectic nightlife, it’s relaxed enough here for an adult-only break or a quiet family holiday. And the scenery is stunning, too, including the views out to Spinalonga islet at the mouth of the natural harbour.

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.

Local culture

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.