Elounda on the island of Crete is a really beautiful destination with some fabulous hotels. While they are quite expensive they are well worth the cost especially one of them, The Elounda Mare Hotel, part of the Relais & Chateau group, which we stayed in. See the website for more details →The Elounda Mare Hotel
It is built on the side of a small hill leading down to a tiny private rocky cove for the hotel and on the other side is a small beach with a wonderful restaurant, The Yacht Club which serves both lunch and dinner with amazing views over the bay of Elounda. The hotel is actually quite small with lots of interesting nooks and crannies and it has our favourite restaurant The Old Mill. This is a lovely intimate restaurant which is half in and outdoors with a stunning array of flowers surrounding it. If you prefer there are also other hotels adjacent to the Elounda Mare and it’s possible to dine in the restaurants there as well if you would like some variety. We dined one night at the Elounda Bay Palace in the Talassa restaurant which served a lovely selection of local seafood. See http://www.elounda.com for details about the other affiliated hotels and restaurants in Elounda
The dining in the Elounda Mare is exceptional with the hotel having won awards for its cuisine. Breakfast is served in a restaurant in the actual hotel with stunning views over the beautiful bay.
There is large salt water swimming pool and watersports with sea canoes down by the beach and water skiing can be arranged.
Locally it’s well worth taking a day’s trip to the Island of Spinalonga which was a leper colony until 1957 and is a beautiful place with a fascinating history.
Boats go from the small port of Elounda which itself is a lovely place with many small restaurants and coffee shops. Perfect for just sitting and watching all the activity and small boats coming and going out of the bay.
To get you into the spirit of Island of Spinalonga read the book The Island, by Victoria Hislop. It is a bestseller, and the plot is based in Crete … The Sunday Times said
‘Adding depth and colour to the story is the description of Cretan life… in particular, the vividly detailed account of life on Spinalonga… It is one of the achievements of this thoughtful novel that it presents the lives of the island’s inhabitants with such empathy. The result is a fascinating work that combines a moving love story witha plea for more understanding about this most cruel of diseases’
In most shops, you can’t but help notice that The Island is for sale, so if you hadn’t managed to read it before you venture off, there are ample opportunities to read it whilst you are away.
To get to Elounda fly to Heraklion in Crete and then it’s about a two hour transfer. To get the best deals see if you can build your own itinerary with flights, hotel and transfers or go through a tour operator such as Sovereign or Travel Republic
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