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Premier Copacabana Hotel, Rio De Janeiro
Premier Copacabana Hotel is in a residential area of Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, three blocks from the beach and near the underground station. A 4 star Rio de Janeiro hotel only 15 minutes from downtown and 25 minutes from Rio de Janeiro Airport. ...
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Steigenberger Golf Resort
Steigenberger Golf Resort Hotel is in El Gouna, Red Sea, Egypt in the middle of a championship golf course. An exclusive 5 star El Gouna hotel positioned 0.5km from El Gouna town centre, 30 km from the Hurghada airport and 3.5km from the Red Sea. ...
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Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort Hotel
Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort Hotel is on the coast on the Red Sea in South Sinai, Egypt, just 4 miles from the town centre of Sharm El Sheikh. This 5 star Sharm El Sheikh hotel is on a private beach with it sown jetty and onsite diving centre. ...
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You are in:  Top  →  Europe  →  GREECE  →  Crete  →  LASITHI  →  Spinalonga

Spinalonga

The small island at the entrance of Elounda bay is best known as Spinalonga although it has been renamed Kalydon by decree.
Spinalonga

View an interactive map of Crete.

The etymology of Spinalonga is interesting. It is Italian and means long thorn (Spina-longa). The reason the Venetians called it so, however, is not because it resembles a long thorn but because they adapted to their own language a Greek composite word "Stinelounda" meaning "to Elounda" (sten-Elounda). Thus, the name of the island is of linguistic interest.

The fortress of Spinalonga is one of the strongest on the whole island of Crete. The Venetians built it while they occupied the island and was considered impregnable.

Throughout the 17th century the fortress remained in Venetian hands and was a refuge for Christians fleeing from the Turks. In 1715, however, a Turkish Pasha managed to conquer the castle; after a long siege the Venetians capitulated and a treaty was signed.

After that, Turkish families who were afraid of the Christians inhabited the castle. After the Turks were driven out of Crete in 1903, the fortress was turned into a leper colony.

Nowadays the island is the main tourist attraction of the area. Several daily boat trips from Agios Nikolaos visit the island.



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