Spinalonga Island

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Spinalonga Island is located in north-eastern Crete in the gulf of Elounda, at the regional unit of Lasithi. The name of Spinalonga was given by the Venetians. Spina means “thorn” and longa means “long”. The inspiration was given by an island near Venice with the same name, known today as Giudecca.

In the 20th century (1903 – 1957) Spinalonga was used as a leper colony. The leper’s used a tunnel known as “Dante’s Gate” in order to enter the island. The patients once they were on the island, they received food, water and medical attention.

In nowadays, the island is uninhabited, but it is a popular tourist attraction. Tourist boats depart from Plaka, Elounda and Agios Nikolaos on a daily basis to guide the tourists to the abandoned leper colony and the Venetian fortress. The entrance to the island cost 8 euro per adult. The round trip fare is around 10 to 12 euro per adult.