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Plaza Palenque Hotel
Plaza Palenque Hotel is a 4 star hotel close to the centre of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico. The Mayan ruins of Palenque, Yaxchilan and Bonampak and majestic waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol-Ha are all within easy reach from this 4 star Palenque hotel. ...
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Coralia Club Agadir La Kasbah
Coralia Club Agadir La Kasbah Hotel surrounded by a lush bougainvillea garden in the bay of Agadir, Morocco. A 3 star Agadir hotel a few metres from the sandy beach, within easy access to the old kasbah, the port, the new city and the main souk. ...
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Novotel Dorint Roissy Airport Hotel
Novotel Dorint Roissy Airport Hotel is a contemporary first class Paris hotel on the outskirts of Paris, France, close to Roissy Charles de Gaulle International airport and Villepinte exhibition centre. ...
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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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