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“My favourite holiday destination”
Review of Elounda

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Derby
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
17 helpful votes
“My favourite holiday destination”
Reviewed 15 June 2011

My family's favourite holiday destination is Elounda in Crete - After 29 years of holidays there we still can't get enough of the place. No matter where else in the world we go the family still want to return to Elounda. If you are looking for a relaxing and peaceful holiday with great views, good beach, and a variety of restaurants and bars this is the pl;ace for you. The accommodation available ranges from the very exclusive and expensive hotels to rooms to rent. From the harbour you can take a boat trip to Spinalonga the old leper colony or barbeque on a beach only accessable from the sea . A short bus trip or taxi ride takes you to Aghios Nicholaos and the Bottomless Lake with all its shops. And of course for those who like excursions you can book excursions to the historical sites, water parks and of course the Samaria Gorge (if you like hard exercise).
What makes Elounda for us is the people - they make you feel at home and very welcome.

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4 Thank JanDerby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockport, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
20 helpful votes
“The Nearest to Heaven You Can Get”
Reviewed 5 June 2011

Elounda is a wonderful place. Whilst it is fairly commercialised with lots of restaurants & bars, it is still a working fishing port and still retains lots of Greek charm. The people are wonderful, geniunely welcoming and hospitable wherever you go. It never ceases to amaze us how the staff in the restaurants and bars remember you, even though you have only been a couple of times in the last 2 years

Things To Do in Elounda:
1. Get the boat to Spinalonga and have a guided tour. Spinalonga was a Venetian fortress and then a leper colony. Well worth a visit
2. Walk along the front to the salt pans (look out for Egrets & Herons), and over the bridge to Kalidon island. Stop at the Kanali Taverna for a drink, then go and have a look at the early Christian mosaics. Walk across the island, past the church to a small beach on the other side
3. Buy the book “Walks in Elounda, East Crete” by Lance Chilton from Eklektikos bookshop (or online from www.marengowalks.com). This has some lovely walks, of all levels, in the countryside & small villages around the resort.
4. Sun yourself on the beach & swim in the sea. The best beach is the municipal beach to the left of the main square (looking out to sea). The sand is good & the gently sloping beach is good for swimming. 2 sunbeds & a parasol were €6 in May 2011
5. Get a bus or taxi from the main square to Aghios Nicholaos if you like shopping (not my cup of tea)

Places to Eat & Drink in Elounda:
There are lots of restaurants & bars in Elounda – in the main square, along the front and on the main road. I don't think there are any bad ones, but our favourites are

Bars:
Babel, just off the square, near the harbour. A great place for people watching – locals, ex-pats & tourists. Really friendly staff, good quality & good prices. They do an excellent breakfast too
Rudis Bar, opposite the municipal beach. Friendly service, interesting beers & good food at lunchtime.

Restaurants:
Cypriana, opposite the municipal beach. Big, Greek Cypriot restaurant, owned & run by the lovely Maria. Good food, good value and fantastic service. Try the meze
Lotus Eater, along the front, at the far end from the main square. Fantastic views across the bay & really good food. Some of the menu choices are quite expensive (but not all). It is worth it, though – quality food.
Ergospasio, a bit further along than Lotus Eater, in an old carob processing mill. You could say the same here as at Lotus Eater. The food is different and pretty high quality
The Tryst, along the main road, opposite the salt pans. If you are in the centre of Elounda, it is a little walk to the Tryst, but it is worth it. Run by an English/Scottish couple, the food and the wine is good and reasonably priced. The service is excellent, too. Try the chicken with figs (my favourite)
Porto Rino, just off the square, near the harbour. A good Italian restaurant with a proper pizza oven (they do all the standard Greek fare too) Very good pizzas & salads.

Things to Do Near Elounda
It is really worth hiring a car. Crete is a lovely island and very unspoilt once you get out of the resorts. We hired a small car with A/C from Elounda Travel in the main square for €90 for 4 days inclusive. We have used them a few times and they are very helpful.

Places to Go:
Lerapetra – the southernmost city in Europe and a very different feel to the north of the island
Knossos Palace – The biggest Minoan archaeological site on Crete
Lassithi Plateau – A green plateau up in the mountains, with lots of small farms
Mochlos – A charming small coastal resort on the way to Sitia
Milatos – A village and small coastal resort on the way to Malia
The villages of Koutolafari, Piskopiano & Herssonisos – above the port of Herssonisos

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8 Thank Marklele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredrikstad, Norway
1 review
3 helpful votes
“WILD FLOWERS AND THE TASTE OF THE REAL CRETE”
Reviewed 27 April 2011

CRETE – WILD FLOWER TRIPS.
A group of 9 norwegians had some wonderful days in Crete for Easter in 2011.

Before we left Norway, we contacted Julia Jones, if she could be our guide for 2 days. We wanted to have an excursion to the orchid rich fields and the fields with wild flowers at Crete for 1 day. We wanted her also to be our guide in the Plaka, Spinalonga and Pano Elounda for 1 day.

Here is what we got:
Day 1 .Orchids and other wildflowers – Spili and the surroundings.
Julia came to our villa in Prines, and we all started the excursions in a late Minoan Cemetery. Here we found a wealth of orchids, hyacinths, cyclamen and many other wildflowers at our first stop. Julia had a lot of interesting information for us, not only about the flowers of Crete, but she also knows a lot about the culture, nature and history of Crete. We stopped to botanize at her “secret places” for flowering plants, before we ended in Spili for lunch at a taverna. We all enjoyed her company and her information a lot! After lunch we went up in the mountains, a short drive above Spili. This area is one of the most orchid rich areas on Crete, and together with Julia we were able to see a lot of the orchids, wild tulips, anemones and other endemics which were in flower. After a drive in this beautiful landscape we ended our spring flower finding trip in Spili, in a charming taverna in this picturesque village. A wonderful day and we were all very happy with our guide and what we’ve seen at the trip. A trip where the photo opportunities are endless!
Day 2. Plaka – Spinalonga – Pano Elounda.
We’ve all read the book “The Island” of Victoria Hislop, so we wanted to go to Spinalonga. Julia met us in the city Agios Nikolaos where she had a very nice surprise for us! She guided us to a unique park and a museum of Cretan herbs and essential oil. The name of it is “BioAroma” and is a newly-founded production unit of essential oils from wild organic Cretan herbs. The raw materials, which BioAroma use, are either wild herbs, which are collected from the Cretan mountains, or herbs, which are cultivated organically. The essential oils are extracted with the method of the stem distillation, in stainless steel distillers in the lowest pressure and temperature. We had a delightful walk through the unique herbs of Crete and got a lot of information about their therapeutic characteristics. The herbal garden and the folklore museum was a very interesting and fun experience!!
A short drive from the museum we came to Plaka village, well known from the book. Plaka is a quiet village with a few tavernas and cafes by the waterfront. With Spinalonga in view, and a crystal clear pebble beach, it was a perfect place for lunch!
After lunch we had a boat trip to Spinalonga. At the island it is a 400 years old Venetian fortress with a lot of interesting history, and it famous for being the last active leper colony in Europe.
After this trip to Spinalonga we went to Pano Elounda, the village that was used for the filming of The Island for Greek tv. Julia has her home in Pano Elounda so we went to her house looking at her work. She portrays the Cretan flowers and plants in watercolour studies. Wonderful drawings and paintings! We met some of her good friends in her neighbourhood, a wonderful taste of the real Cretans. Very nice people with a great hospitality! At the end of the trip Julia went together with us to a local taverna for a great traditional meal.

We’re all very grateful for an excellent guiding and for Julia’s nice company. We are also very impressed of her knowledge about the flowers of Crete and very thankful for the wonderful way she let us get “the taste of the real Crete”. THANK YOU JULIA!

Hallvard.

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3 Thank Haro_sunndal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darvel
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 helpful votes
“Elounda, my second home”
Reviewed 12 March 2011

Just wanted to let everyone know what a beautiful place Elounda is. It may not be everybodies cup of tea but you will know as soon as you arrive.
You have tranquility, beautiful restaurants, bars and beaches which aren't too lively, although some can be if you like that sort of thing.
Mostly it is a chillout village with everything you need, friendly locals, delicious food, good vino, cocktails and everyone is part of the family.
Elounda really is a second home, hope you find it too.
Restaurants to mention are The Lotus Eaters, Olondi, The Tryst and Kantouni. These are just a few of the great places to eat in Elounda. If I carried on this note would go on and on.
Hopefully this is of help to some people.
Bythe way I have been going to Elounda for nearly 15 years sometimes twice a year.
There must be some attraction.

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3 Thank Angie97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 helpful votes
“Elounda - Lovely relaxing corner of Crete with plenty going on!”
Reviewed 24 September 2010

(I will try to keep this as short as possible!):-

My husband and I have just returned from Elounda... it was one of our best holidays abroad in 20 years and I will definitely return there one day (the world is a big place but I will prioritise this one!)
We stayed at the Portobello apartments on Beach Road opposite the beach - this (we thought) was definitely the best place to stay although maybe not the cheapest but they have great staff who don't pester you, clean spacious rooms, fab air conditioning, with the best views in Elounda from all of them.
There are enough restaurants in Elounda to have a different experience every night but my two overall favourites were the Ferryman and a taverna up the hill at the end of the beach called Kanokoye (something like that anyway) which is well worth the walk and a great experience - these two restaurants are at complete opposite end of the scales but you'd have to experience them for yourselves to know what I mean! Cyprianas and Oceanis truly deserve a mention also.
Most definitely the best bar to visit in Elounda is Rudi's Music Bar (they also serve food during the day) opposite the Municipal Beach - this is a great bar run by a lovely northern guy called Paul where ska music is played so if the Specials/Selecter/Trojan music etc is/was/will be your thing then you'll be in your element in here!
The beaches aren't the most exotic in the world but they are relaxing and the sea is great for swimming in. If you can muster up enough energy to walk over to Kolokitha you can find your own private place to sunbathe and swim.
Anyway, said I'd keep it short so you'll have to discover the rest for yourselves - if you decide to go here have a great time and don't miss the 3 hour trip on the Happy Train - well worth it! :-)

Helpful?
1 Thank apples9910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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