Two stunning videos recently published by Crete’s CNA website have already gone viral, as they perfectly depict the unique mystery and beauty of Crete’s Spinalonga islet.
The tiny islet of Spinalonga, or Kalydon, as it is officially known, is located in the famous Gulf of Elounda off northeastern Crete, in the region Lasithi, next to the town of Plaka.
Originally connected to the mainland of Crete, Spinalonga was separated from the rest of Crete by the Venetians, probably in the 15th or 16th century. The entire island was then made into a fort, as stout walls were built all around the islet.
The most famous and tragic aspect of its history, however, began in the year 1903, when Spinalonga was used as a leper colony because of its isolation from the mainland.
One of Europe’s last leper colonies, it ceased operation only in 1957.
Today, the uninhabited islet, which has docking facilities and beaches, is one of Crete’s most popular tourist attractions.
The islet can very easily be accessed from Plaka, Elounda and Agios Nikolaos, all of which offer luxurious tourist accommodations and facilities.