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The Sofitel Marrakech Palais Impérial is a 5 star Marrakesh hotel in a magnificent Moorish palace set in the middle of luxurious gardens of palm trees and bougainvilleas. You can hear the bustle of the Medina whilst looking out onto the snow-covered peaks of the Atlas Mountains. ...
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Iberostar Bouganville Playa Hotel, Adeje
Iberostar Bouganville Playa Hotel is a 4 star Adeje hotel on the famous Playa De Bobo beach in Costa Adeje on the stunning island of Tenerife in Spain. Nightclubs, bars, restaurants and shopping centres are all nearby. ...
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Fairfield by Marriott Lake Buena Vista
Fairfield by Marriott Lake Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, Florida, USA, is a fantastic 4 star Orlando hotel near Walt Disney World Parks and Universal Studios. An ideal family orientated 4 star hotel within easy access to all Orlando has to offer. ...
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You are in:  Top  →  Europe  →  GREECE  →  Crete  →  LASITHI  →  Spinalonga


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

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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