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Voyage to Crete: Elounda
by Eti Bonn-Muller
July 19, 2009

East of Iraklion lies the village of Elounda, from which visitors can sail to the island of Spinaloga. Although it is small enough to walk the perimeter in half an hour or so, the island boasts a rich and complicated history, which began with a Roman settlement that dates from 67 B.C. to A.D. 395.

Arabs lived on the island between A.D. 851 and 961, followed by Venetians (1204-1669) and Turks (1715-1898). From 1904 to 1957, Spinaloga was occupied by a leper colony, after which it was abandoned and is now in the process of being reconstructed by the Ministry of Culture.

Don’t worry, we’ll get to the Minoan sites soon. But as they say here in Greece, “siga-siga” (slowly, slowly). For now, I’m enjoying the journey, the famous Cretan hospitality, and a little raki.


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Approaching the island by boat, with the Arab fortification walls visible at its base

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One comment for "Voyage to Crete: Elounda"

  • Reply posted by Eric (July 24, 2009, 8:15 am):

    Seems like a neat place, even if there aren’t any Bronze Age goodies. My history of that part of the world is a little rough, but I was still surprised to hear that Arabs lived on Crete in the Middle Ages. Did the Abbasids control it? And are there any architectural remains from the period left apart from the fortifications? I guess I could google it, but you’re right there!