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Spinalonga
Spinalonga

Spinalonga

Free admission
Elounda Bay

The Basics

Spinalonga is a popular tourist attraction, known for its archaeological site and fortress (once used as a Turkish bastion and leper colony), shallow pools formerly used to harvest sea salt, and pretty pebble beaches along clear waters. You can reach the island by boat trip from Plaka, Elounda, and Agios Nikolaos, but by far the best way to visit the island’s archeological site is with an expert tour guide. Many full-day Spinalonga tours include other nearby highlights like the so-called “bottomless lake” in Agios Nikolaos and the beautiful beaches on Kolokytha, and some offer a BBQ lunch. If you’re a more adventurous visitor, choose a tour that pairs a ride through the countryside on a 4x4 with a private speedboat trip to the island.

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Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
star-4.5
$41.87 per adult
Traveler Favorite
This trip is excellent...
This trip is excellent value for money and a great day out. Me, my partner and our 2 year old really enjoyed it.
Amy_J, May 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Heraklion

star-5
Great day trip to Spinalonga Island
Graham_B, Apr 2022
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
Pleasant full day trip with worthwhile narration by the excellent guide. Beautiful towns to explore and a lovely boat trip to Spinalonga. We were offered the chance to swim from the boat close to the end of the trip but nobody advised us this was available and nobody came with swimming costume or towel.
star-4
Good trip
Ineke_J, May 2022
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
Enjoyed most of trip, although pick ups seemed to take forever. Michaelis did well with 3 languages. Free time was a little too long at times
star-5
Great day out!!!!
Nitinchandra_S, May 2022
Spinalonga and Milatos Cave (Safari Adventure Excursion & private Speedboat)
We had a wonderful day and our guide Emanuel was fantastic. He explained to us the culture of Crete and was very knowledgeable. We wished the speed boat ride lasted a bit longer. Overall great experience.
star-5
A powerful history lesson
Beverley_N, Apr 2022
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
My memories : approaching Spinalonga and then walking through the tunnel that the lepers had walked knowing there was no way back. The displays in the small cottages about life on the island. But also to remember the history of the island with its numerous colonizers. Due to the springtime visit the wildflowers on the island gave a soften compassionate atmosphere to the ruins. Our guide was most informative. The trip exceeded my expectations.
star-5
Fabulous day! Thank you
Camille_P, May 2022
PRIVATE Spinalonga, Ag Nikolaos, olive oil factory incl Boat
We had a fabulous time with our guide, Taïna. From the first 5 minutes in the minibus Taïna was finding out our interests in order to personalise the tour to us. We had a quick stop at a monastery en route that was not planned, and even stopped on the side of the road to look and smell the local herbs and flowers. Spinalonga was great, Taïna left us to visit this ourselves but gave us alot of background and stories surrounding the island both before and after the visit. She recommended a fantastic restaurant in Plaka and we ate delicious fresh fish. The olive factory was fantastic and if only our suitcases were big enough to take more home! Thank you so much Taïna. We had a fantastic day
star-5
Great and relaxing day on Crete
Evelyn, Aug 2021
Spinalonga and Milatos Cave (Safari Adventure Excursion & private Speedboat)
Great tour guide and small group. The visit to Spinalonga was nive as we had speed boat and did not have to wait in the heat. Cretan lunch in the small local tavern was very tasty.
star-5
Great experience. ...
Jinu_J, Apr 2022
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
Great experience. The team was very friendly , gave ample amount of time to spent at every location and all details explained well. Highly recommend it.
star-4
Great day out
Reece_C, Aug 2021
Spinalonga, full day professional guided coach & boat & lunch included
Overall the day was excellent. Some points that aren't mentioned above are that you also get to spend around 2 hours in Elounda after the trip to Spinalonga and then around an hour in Agios Nikolaos and a short time in a olive oil factory in Malia. There was no BBQ lunch as stated but they handed out sandwiches, snacks and drinks and even a cheeky shot of ouzo on the boat back from Spinalonga. Oi oi.  It was great how they just let you do your own thing and wasn't hearded around like cattle by some shepherd with a clipboard. Overall the day was fantastic value for money and we would definitely recommend it. ****
star-4
Very pleasant
Amadeusz_S, Apr 2022
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
Awesome experience , very nice and informative tour guide. You can tell it is done with care and passion. Didn’t get to go on the island itself because of strong winds but that’s nobody’s fault. Instead we went to have coffee in a mountain village with the locals. Great experience !
star-5
Amazing Excursion
Linda_c, Oct 2021
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
All of it! Aghios Nickolas and Elounda georgeous and relaxing. Weather superb and Spinalonga interesting and so worth seeing! Pity I can’t upload the photos to show how amazing
star-5
A good excursion!
Anthony_F, Oct 2021
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
A good day out with a couple of worthwhile stops in Agios Nikolais and Elounda, with enough time for a bit of exploring and lunch. Guides were very good but having two guides and 4 languages (French, German, English and Russian) meant that it could get quite gabbled and hard to hear. Boat trip to Spinalonga island very good and the hour and a half on the island was just about long enough to get a feel for it but not a lot of exloring, tho'. Lots of restoration. Well worth it.
star-4
would recommend
siobhan_l, Oct 2021
Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island
great experience great guides would definitely receive and take your swim wear and swim shoes as it’s a little rocky

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Spinalonga is for day-trippers only: There are beaches for taking a dip and a small snack bar on the island, but no accommodations.

  • Don’t forget a hat, sunblock, and plenty of water to stave off Crete’s summer heat.

  • Tours do not include the entrance fee for the Spinalonga archaeological site and fortress.

  • The fortress and archaeological site have stairs and uneven ground, and are not suitable for wheelchair users.

  • Older children enjoy touring the abandoned fortress, but infants must be carried as the site is difficult to visit with a stroller.

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How to Get There

The island of Spinalonga lies 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Heraklion in Greece’s Mirabello Bay. To access the fort, you need to take a ferry or boat tour from Plaka or Elounda.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion


When to Get There

Spinalonga is most crowded in summer, which is also when the heat can be hard to manage. Plan your day around visiting the archaeological site in the early morning or late afternoon, and staying cool at the beach during the hottest time of day.

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Spinalonga in Books and Movies

Spinalonga has been the setting for a number of books and movies—most famously the 2005 novelThe Island by Victoria Hislop, which was adapted into a Greek television series.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Spinalonga?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Heraklion?
A:
As well as visiting the Spinalonga, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: