Spinalonga Fortress: A Fascinating Historical Site in Crete


Located on the northeastern coast of Crete, Spinalonga Fortress is a small island that has played a significant role in the island’s history. The Venetians built the fortress in the 16th century to protect the bay of Elounda from pirates and invaders. Later, the island became a leper colony where people with the disease were sent to live and receive treatment. Today, Spinalonga is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world who come to learn about its intriguing history and see its well-preserved architecture.

Visiting Spinalonga Fortress

If you’re planning a trip to Crete, visiting Spinalonga Fortress should be on your list of must-see attractions. Getting to the island is relatively easy, as there are regular boat tours that depart from the nearby town of Elounda. Most tours include a guided visit to the island, giving visitors the chance to learn about the fortress’s history and see its many impressive structures up close.

Once you arrive on the island, you can explore the fortress at your own pace. The island is relatively small, so it’s easy to navigate on foot. As you walk through the narrow streets and past the stone buildings, you’ll get a sense of what life was like for the people who lived on the island during its time as a leper colony.

One of the most impressive structures on the island is the Venetian fortress itself, which is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. The fortress is a testament to the skill of the Venetian engineers who built it, and it’s still in remarkably good condition considering its age.

Other notable features of the island include the church of St. George, the leper hospital, and the many houses where patients and staff lived. The island also offers stunning views of the sea and the nearby coast of Crete, making it a great spot for photography.

Price to Visit

The entrance fee for Spinalonga Fortress is currently €8 for adults and €4 for children aged 6-18 years old. Children under 6 years old can enter for free. There are also discounts available for groups of 15 people or more.

Tour to Spinalonga Fortress from Crete

Many tour operators offer boat tours to Spinalonga Fortress from various locations in Crete. The most popular departure point is the town of Elounda, which is just a short drive from the city of Agios Nikolaos. Depending on the tour you choose, you may also have the option to combine your visit to Spinalonga with other attractions in the area, such as a trip to the nearby island of Kolokytha or a visit to the ancient city of Knossos.

The cost of a tour to Spinalonga Fortress from Crete can vary depending on the length of the tour, the number of people in your group, and the tour operator you choose. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from €15-50 per person for a standard tour that includes a visit to the island and a guided tour of its many historical sites.

In conclusion, Spinalonga Fortress is a fascinating historical site that offers visitors a unique insight into the history of Crete. Whether you’re interested in the island’s military past or its role as a leper colony, a visit to Spinalonga is sure to be a memorable experience. With regular boat tours departing from Elounda and reasonable entrance fees, it’s easy to add Spinalonga to your itinerary and explore this unique and beautiful island for yourself.


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