The history and the culture of the island of Spinalonga became one with human tragedy in the course of time.
This small isle carries within the history of Ancient Greece as it served as a natural guard for the ancient city of Olous; the history of the Saracens as a hide-out for their pirates; the history of Venetians as their fortress; the history of Turks as their settlement; and the history of contemporary Greeks as their dwelling, or better, as the place where their leper would be sent into exile until 1957.
The natural beauty of the island and the buildings that have survived time make up an astonishing atmosphere.
It was this sorely tried island and its heartbreaking history around which Victoria Hislop weaves her tale in her best-seller “The Island”.
Kritsa is a small village, situated just 10 km away from Agios Nikolaos, with a highly traditional character. It is one of the oldest villages on the island and the locals have managed to retain, to a large extent, its old architecture.
The archaeological site of the ancient Greek city Lato confirms that the place was particularly well developed even since the Minoan times. Over the years this development continued and, during the Middle Ages, Kritsa was thought to be the largest village in Crete.
In present times, Kritsa has been considered one of the most important centers of weaving art. As a result, the village and its woven fabrics became known the world over. Wefts from Kritsa have long adorned all the traditional houses of Crete and have always been a special, unique gift for relatives and friends.
Elounda, a popular holiday destination, combines the picturesque landscape of a fishing village of Crete with dozens of luxurious beach resorts.
It became particularly known as the location of the BBC television series “Who pays the Ferryman” in the 1970s, as well as the place where the novel "Out of the Blue" by Belinda Jones takes place.
The archaeological site of Ancient Olous and the nearby salt marshes are the connecting links of the past with the present.
Agios Nikolaos, a different and distinct town, is the capital of the prefecture of Lassithi, where the proliferation of local tourist development has not altered at all its peace and quiet. Culture, tradition, natural beauty, idyllic landscapes, beautiful beaches and modern life coexist in absolute harmony.
The famous lake of Agios Nikolaos is its most famous attraction and landmark as the town center is built around it. The former freshwater lagoon, as the legend has it, is a volcano crater or is bottomless.
These rumors were confuted, however, by the renowned Jacques Yves Cousteau and other scientists who conducted research at the place.
Nevertheless, nothing can ever change the unique beauty, the breathtaking view and the unforgettable moments of relaxation it offers.
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