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While being a small Cretan town, Elounda is in a prime location for exploring the historic island. Its close proximity to Aghios Nikolaos and the historical sites of Spinalonga and Olous make it a first choice resort for those wishing to relax and explore.
How to Explore
Throw out the package tours and pick up a bus schedule. You can access the island's main attractions on the KTEL bus service. They are fast, efficient, clean and best of all cheap! Take the bus from Elounda's town square to the Aghios Nikolaos bus station where you can connect to Heraklion. Knossos is easily accessed through Heraklion.
There is a new book available ''Ten Interesting Walks Around Elounda for Holidaymakers'' which features relatively easy walks around the Elounda area, hiking boots not required!
Elounda is home to great bars and restaurants. The floating "Kalidon" on the harbour, Marilena's taverna has great food and a taste of Cyprus if you so choose. There are a few bars in town but the best by far has to be "Friends" bar on the square. Friend's bar has fantastic cocktails, far better than some of the hotels and €4 euros cheaper! The drinks list is long, the toilets are immaculate and the service from Dimitris is excellent - as is his English and song choice! Here are some suggestions for some really great dining experiences (list isn't exhaustive, there are too many quality establishments to list!)
Although the town has a very quiet nightlife scene, Aghios Nikolaos is only ten minutes away and is much more vibrant. The bottom line is; if you are on an inclusive package, try and go out for a meal anyway. Experience the local way!
Love Your History
Okay, even if you are not a huge history buff, Elounda's two main sites are a must for visitors. The island of Spinalonga is an eerie ruin of a Venetian fort and a former leper colony. It is one of Crete's main tourist attractions and is easily worth the few euros it takes to get there. The lesser known historical site in Elounda is the sunken city of Olous. Some say it is the basis for the legend of Atlantis. More educated people will tell you that it definitely is not. Either way, it is fun to snorkel in the ruins of a lost city, even if they are hardly visible. Best of all, its free!
Here are the area's best beaches:
The Easy Way
Crete is a very easy place to holiday. Its public transport system is cheap and comprehensive. Restaurants are reasonable and plentiful. Shops are modern and well stocked. The truth is, Crete is a very laid back place, so go with the flow! Relax, enjoy yourself. You may well have the holiday of a lifetime!
Flora of Lassithi
For anyone interested in wild flowers and the environment, it is well worth booking a trip with Julia Jones at Flowers of Crete. Flowers of Crete is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to make people aware of the need to preserve the unique environment of Crete. It is possible to book a jeep trip at any time of the year which will take visitors to remote and beautiful situations to see rare and exquisite flowers. In Autumn there are drifts of crocus, narcissus and sternbergia, in winter there are orchids, ophrys and the endangered Minoan Lily A. rechingerii, in spring from March through to May the mountain meadows are rich with wildlife and fields are turned purple with gladiolus and vetch. Day outings, two day trips and holidays are available. Flowers of Crete is based in the tiny village of Pano Elounda overlooking the beautiful Mirambello Bay.