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Thalassaki Holiday Village
The Thalassaki Holiday Village enjoys a prime location in the resort of Ayia Napa and has a front view directly to the beach and the Mediterranean Sea, an attractive holiday village, traditionally styled in the Mediterranean way. ...
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Hilton Paddington Hotel, London
Hilton Paddington Hotel is in the Paddington railway/underground station in London, England. A 4+ star London hotel a stroll away from Oxford Street and within easy access to all areas of London and England. ...
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Kassandra Palace
Kassandra Palace Hotel is in the settlement of Kriopigi, on the beach surrounded by lush vegetation, from here you can take the train and go on a tour of the surrounding areas in Kassandra including many historical and natural sites. It is 90 km from Thessaloniki, 9 km from Kassandra town and 7 km from the village of Kallithea....
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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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