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New Alexandra Palace Hotel, St. Julian's
Situated in the centre of St. Julian's, Malta's all year round resort, New Alexandra Palace Hotel is just 5 minutes walking distance from the Casino, the entertainment centre 25 minutes walk from Sliema shopping centre. ...
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Coast Long Beach Hotel, Los Angeles
Coast Long Beach Hotel is next to the Queen Mary and Carnival Cruise Line terminal in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, USA. A superb 4 star Los Angeles hotel a stroll away from downtown Long Beach, Aquarium of the Pacific and the historic Queen Mary. ...
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Comfort Inn Kensington Hotel, London
Comfort Inn Kensington Hotel is the result of a restoration of 5 traditional Town Houses in the heart of the Royal Borough of Kensington of London, England. A 3 star London hotel close to Earl's Court underground station. ...
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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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