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Ramada Les Almohades
Ramada Les Almohades Hotel overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, 500 metres from the port in bustling Tangiers, Morocco. A 4 star Tangier hotel a few steps away from the beach and within easy access to Place de France and Grand Socco market square. ...
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Azur Hotel, Casablanca
Azur Hotel set along the De La Carniche promenade in Casablanca, Morocco. A 4 star Casablanca hotel overlooking the beautiful Casablancan bay within easy access to the city centre, and the second largest mosque in the world Hassan II. ...
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Sheraton Deira & Tower Hotel
Sheraton Deira and Tower Hotel is a 5 star Dubai hotel, just a few minutes from Dubai International Airport. The ideal base in Dubai, UA Emirates for shopping malls and Dubai Exhibition Centre and all the region's cultural and commercial attractions. ...
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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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