Spinalonga is an islet at the entrance of the Mirabello Bay in Elounda, Crete. Victoria Hislop's best seller book "The Island" is about Spinalonga, a family saga, against a backdrop of the Second World War.
In antiquity there was a fortress of the Olounites (ancient habitants of Elounda). In 1579 the Venetians built a mighty fortress there, which remained under their rule even after the Ottoman occupation of Crete in 1669. During the last years of the Ottoman occupation, it was a safe refuge of Ottoman families.
In 1903, by law of the Cretan government, it was appointed as the place of stay for the lepers of Crete. Spinalonga can be experienced as an excursion and you can reach it by boat either from the harbor of Elounda or Plaka, for a small fare.
The 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities carried out restoration works in some of the old buildings.
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