From our Elounda Maris Villas you can enjoy the most beautiful view of Elounda and the peninsula Kolokitha, a great place for bird-watching, with on its tail Spinalonga, the little islet known because of its Venetian fortress and as the base of the former leper colony. It was also Spinalonga that served as inspiration for Victoria Hislop’s best-selling novel "The Island". Elounda itself with its luxurious hotel resorts has become over the years a national hideaway for Greek celebrities to spend some relaxing days. The village is a convenient starting point for a boat trip to Spinalonga.
Holding a fantastic position on a promontory, with a panoramic view of the Bay of Mirabello and its dramatic, sheer rocky coastline, Agios Nikolaos is a vibrant, cosmopolitan harbour town. It has everything necessary for a feel-good holiday: attractive shops, a pedestrian zone, excellent restaurants and eateries and a lively nightlife where you don’t feel out of place once you’ve hit your thirties.
A stroll around town
Have a stroll along the harbour and a drink on one of the many cosy terraces. Admire the beautiful windows of the jewellery shops. Have lunch at a restaurant / eatery high over the lake with a pretty view over town. Visit the Archaeological Museum with its rich finds from central and east Crete and the small Folklore Museum, which is based on the ground floor of the port police office. Go for a swim at one of the beaches stretching out north and south of town.
Discover Crete’s untouched, rough side with a drive through tough, rugged mountain landscape where time stood still. With its predominant colours being grey for the rocks and stones and blue for the sky and sea, Pano Mirabello is the rugged massif north of Neapoli and one of Crete’s poorest and driest regions. On its steep hill slopes with stones as far as the eye can reach and extremely infertile soil; it has arid, bushy vegetation with thyme and oregano and here and there some trees such as cypresses, evergreen oaks, carob, walnut and some olive trees, tortured by the northern winds that blow from the sea. Some small sections of land have been laboriously cleared of stones with which terrace walls have been built and where some grapevines and grains are cultivated.
This ascetic, austere environment has no particular history. Forgotten by time and people, it was probably uninhabited for centuries. First written mention is during Ottoman rule, on transactions of the monastery of Areti that was founded in the late Venetian period. Tiny settlements known as "metohia" are inhabited by a handful of people for whom electricity didn’t arrive until the 1970s and who up until today have no running water supply. Mainly self sufficient, they have some livestock, grow small-scale crops and distil raki.