Elounda is a glorious mix of glitz and old fashioned Greek charm. While the likes of Rhianna and Leonardo DiCaprio kick back beside the shimmering pool of their regal villas, the local fishermen still leave the marina at 5am with nets in hand. Overlooking the beautiful hazy blue bay of Mirabello with its iced white yachts and charming fishing boats, you will find some of Greece’s most luxurious hotels punctuated with sweet little taverns, ancient ruins, and a myriad of anchorages that invite you to play in this paradise of the gods. Take a look at how to sail sublimely around the island of Elounda.
The lagoon like waters of Elounda’s harbor is protected by the island of Spinalonga, making it a sheltered spot for a sun drenched welcome. It’s easy to imagine the centuries past where Byzantine emperors, Roman rulers, and Minoan magi’s have all strolled the same walkways.
The thumbprint of history has certainly left its mark on Elounda, now home to two of the most vivid cultural relics of ancient times – the sunken city of Olous and the crumbling Venetian fortress that rests upon the shores of Spinalonga.
Take a tender over to Spinalonga Island and sip a champagne cocktail beneath the shadow of the 16th century fortress. Paint pretty frescoes at the humble Panaghia Kera monastery, and witness the wonder of the birthplace of western civilization at the Palace of Knossos.
New World Luxury
Elounda is no stranger to the world of the wealthy. Carved into the golden landscape are many first-class celebrity haunts and upscale five-star hotels. The Blue Palace Resort and Spa is the most famed resort on the peaceful shores, boasting a signature spa and glorious beach club.
The Isola Beach Club is an impeccable choice for lazy afternoons between the olive trees. Music from the in-house DJ drifts across the stone courtyard, mixologists shake up the sweetest summer cocktails, and the vibe is loose, laid back and resplendent in luxury.
An island of sirens and goddesses, it’s no wonder that Crete inspires midnight silk hair and the softest skin. At the Blue Palace Spa, you can opt for a ritual of ancient revitalization. Hydro massages, salts from the Aegean Sea, honey, and olive oil – these form the basis for a day of pure pampering.
No adventure to the islands of The Odyssey would be complete without an epicurean experience. The waters teem with the freshest fish, vineyards tangle on the hillside, and the local vegetables grow fat and happy in the sun. At Flame Restaurant, you can let tender steak melt in the mouth and even visit the kitchen for a private tour with the chef. Those who want to stay tied to tradition will adore the Blue Door. Utterly romantic and draped in custom, floor lanterns flicker and the mezze is to die for.
When you aren’t stretched out on deck with a mimosa in hand, Elounda offers explorers plenty to stay energized. The waters are pure cerulean blue meaning that snorkeling and swimming are always a welcome respite from the fiery Mediterranean sun. You can even visit Voulismeni Lake, hailed in ancient mythology as the goddess Athena’s favorite place to take a dip.
The rolling hills of scorched earth and shrubs are ever tempting for those who adore being closer to nature, and with scores of islands scattered throughout the tapestry of blue -you can spend your days setting sail and dropping anchor at several blue flag beaches.
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