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Welcome to the captivating realm of Spinalonga Island, where history, nature, and mystique blend harmoniously. This gem in Crete’s northeastern waters has a rich tapestry of stories that have fascinated visitors for decades. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth venturing to this unique island, how to get there, and what to expect during your visit, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s delve into the enchanting world of Spinalonga Island and uncover the secrets that make it an absolute must-visit destination.
Is it Worth Going to Spinalonga?
Without a doubt, a visit to Spinalonga Island is an experience you won’t want to miss. This small isle, which was once a leper colony, has transformed into a symbol of resilience and strength over time. Stepping foot on Spinalonga will take you on an emotional journey as you explore the remnants of its past and witness the stunning vistas that surround it. The island’s historical significance, coupled with its natural beauty, creates a profound and unforgettable adventure.
How Long is the Boat Ride to Spinalonga?
The boat ride to Spinalonga is not only a means of transportation but also an exciting part of the journey. The ride varies in duration depending on your departure point (Agios Nikolaos, Elounda), but most excursions take around 30 minutes (from Elounda), 45 minutes (from Agios Nikolaos), less than 10 minutes (from Plaka). During this time, you’ll cruise through the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea, catching glimpses of Crete’s coastline and anticipating the allure that awaits you on Spinalonga Island.
How Long Do You Need on Spinalonga Island?
To fully immerse yourself in the island’s history and natural wonders, plan to spend at least 2 to 3 hours (depending on the season) on Spinalonga. The island’s size allows visitors to explore its key attractions, such as the Venetian fortress and the haunting leper colony ruins, all while savoring the breathtaking panoramas. Give yourself time to stroll along the paths, take in the sea breeze, and absorb the spirit of Spinalonga. Trust us; you won’t want to rush through this one-of-a-kind experience.
Does Anyone Live on Spinalonga Island?
Today, Spinalonga Island is uninhabited, but it wasn’t always the case. For several centuries, the island served as a refuge for those with leprosy, who were forced to live in isolation from the rest of society. Their stories of courage and perseverance are etched into the island’s history. As you explore Spinalonga, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of the island’s past inhabitants, and their stories will leave a lasting impact on your heart.
The history of Spinalonga is as intriguing as it is poignant. Originally built by the Venetians in the 16th century, the island’s fortifications played a vital role in safeguarding the region against invasions. However, its more somber chapter began in the early 20th century when Spinalonga became a leper colony, where those afflicted with the disease were isolated from society. This haunting history will tug at your heartstrings as you encounter the remnants of the past and gain insight into the lives of those who once called the island home.
As you walk through the ruins of the leper colony, you’ll encounter the stories of survivors who lived on the island until 1957 when it was finally shut down. Despite the hardships they endured, the island became a close-knit community where individuals formed lasting bonds. The resilience and unity of these survivors are a testament to the strength of the human spirit, and their legacy continues to resonate on Spinalonga.
Leprosy Colony Crete Trip: A Lesson in Compassion
Although Spinalonga’s history is tinged with sadness, it also sheds light on the power of compassion and the progress of medicine. Visiting the island allows us to reflect on the past and appreciate the advances that have been made in treating diseases like leprosy. It serves as a reminder of the importance of empathy and understanding in our world.
The Island of Spinalonga Film
The gripping history of Spinalonga has captivated the world, leading to its portrayal in various forms of media. Most notably, the island served as the backdrop for Victoria Hislop’s bestselling novel, “The Island,” which has since been adapted into a captivating television series. Exploring Spinalonga while keeping these stories in mind adds an extra layer of depth to your visit, making the experience all the more immersive.
Visit Spinalonga Island: A Journey to Remember
A visit to Spinalonga Island promises a truly unique and unforgettable experience. To ensure you make the most of your trip, consider booking an organized excursion with knowledgeable guides and comfortable boat rides. Discover the island’s hidden corners, immerse yourself in its history, and feel the emotional connection to the past that only Spinalonga can evoke.
Entrance Cost to Spinalonga Island
Before embarking on your journey to Spinalonga Island, it’s essential to be aware of the entrance fees. As of the latest update (July 2023), the entrance cost to the island is €8 for adults and €4 for children (aged 6-17 years). Children under the age of 6 can enter for free. These fees may be subject to change, so it’s advisable to check for any updates on the official website or with your tour operator before your visit.
Keep in mind that the entrance fee contributes to the preservation and maintenance of the historical site, ensuring that future generations can continue to experience the island’s captivating history and natural beauty.
How to Get to Spinalonga Island
Reaching Spinalonga is an adventure in itself. Most visitors opt for a boat excursion from Plaka or Elounda, two charming coastal towns on Crete. Alternatively, you can take a boat from Agios Nikolaos, the lively capital of the Lasithi region. Regardless of your starting point, the journey to Spinalonga will set the tone for an unforgettable day.
Cost of the Boat Ride to Spinalonga Island
The boat ride to Spinalonga Island is an integral part of the adventure, offering stunning views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding landscapes. The cost of the boat ride can vary depending on your departure point and the type of excursion you choose.
From Plaka: Boat trips from Plaka to Spinalonga typically cost around €15 to €20 per person for a round trip.
From Elounda: If you depart from Elounda, the boat ride to Spinalonga is priced at approximately €10 to €15 per person for a round trip.
From Agios Nikolaos: Boat excursions from Agios Nikolaos to Spinalonga may cost between €20 to €25 per person for a round trip.
It’s essential to check with local tour operators or boat providers for the most up-to-date pricing and availability. Some excursions may offer additional amenities or guided tours, which could affect the overall cost. However, regardless of the package you choose, the boat ride to Spinalonga promises to be an unforgettable experience, setting the stage for the wonders that await on the island.
In conclusion, Spinalonga Island is a destination that promises to touch your soul and leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. As you plan your visit, remember to immerse yourself in the island’s history, honor the spirit of its past inhabitants, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you. Plan your excursion to Spinalonga today and embark on a journey of discovery, compassion, and enchantment. Let the allure of Spinalonga captivate you and create an experience that will linger in your heart forever.