Elounda Rent a Car Crete for Your Vacation
The beautiful coastal town of Elounda known for its relaxing atmosphere, natural beauty, pristine beaches, stunning coastlines, hidden secret coves, and historic archeological sites lies on the northeastern coast of Crete. Located just 11 km from Agios Nikolaos yet 70 km away from the Heraklion International Airport makes renting a car in Elounda essential for your travels when arriving in Crete so you can access this popular destination at your own leisure. Surrounded by a unique natural landscape, Elounda is nestled between high rugged mountains that overlook the crystal-clear sea waters of Mirabello Bay. It is also home to two very important archeological sites that also played a role in Cretan history including the relics of the ancient "Sunken City" of Olous and the Venetian fortress on the infamous island of Spinalonga. Once just a small and simple fishing village, today Elounda is the most popular cosmopolitan tourist destination in all of Crete that hosts five-star hotels, luxury resorts, and seaside villas. Not only does Elounda attract hundreds of thousands of people who come to enjoy their summer vacation in Crete it is also heavily visited by the political, athletic, and artistic elite. Royalty, celebrities along with the rich and famous from around the world have made Elounda a must-see destination on their travel itinerary. Although tourism has developed significantly in recent decades, Elounda still retains its authentic character and traditional Cretan charm. It is true that this beautiful destination will enchant you and keep a special place in your heart as it has done for everyone who visits. You too can discover what postcards are made of as you begin your journey with your Elounda car rental.
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Recorded history indicates that Elounda is partially built on the ancient city of Olous which was inhabited initially by the Minoan civilization. Between 500 to 200 BC, the ancient city of Olous is known to have reached its peak and was considered to be one of the most powerful trading centers in Crete composed of a large population, its own king, and its own currency. Unfortunately, the ruins of this glorious ancient city can only be found beneath the shallow sea waters of the bay with partial remains of the old city walls still visible along the shore. Although no one knows exactly what happened to Olous much believe that it gradually submerged into the sea due to natural disasters that occurred over the centuries. Found at the entrance of Elounda’s Bay lies the rocky island of Spinalonga where a Venetian fortress was built to protect the town’s port. It was also used for many purposes throughout history during the pirate raids of the Saracens it was a safe haven for many Christians that took refuge on the island. During the 19th century, it was where the main port was stationed that imported and exported goods to the regions surrounding Mirabello Bay. In the 20th century, it was then used as a gathering point and place of refuge for the Cretans and Greeks suffering from Leprosy. For over half a century this baron rock was home to the outcasts who lived in human pain from the tragedy that had been instilled in them. Exile to Spinalonga was difficult as most were separated from their families and loved ones, left for dead in the "Leper Colony". Decades later a cure for leprosy was eventually discovered and many were saved from the fatal disease. Today Spinalonga is a recognized archeological site that is accessible by boat from Elounda’s fishing harbor. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Crete where thousands of people, especially during the summer months, visit the infamous island known for its historical events.
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Begin your journey with your rent a car in Elounda and visit the charming town of Elounda also known as Schisma. Voyage through the cobblestone streets composed of whitewashed houses with secret courtyards that lead to the main square surrounded by traditional taverns and kafeneia offering local delicacies. Off the main square in the surrounding streets, many fashion boutiques and shops sell local Cretan products, souvenirs, and handmade crafts. Further down, the harbor of Elounda, a naturally beautiful lagoon bordered by rugged peninsulas with the island of Spinalonga at the guard of the entrance of the harbor. Colorful fishing boats and the occasional luxury yacht fill the waters of the picturesque harbor that is surrounded by renowned seafood restaurants offering beautiful views of the sea. A paved waterfront promenade lined with trendy seaside cafes and modern beach bars then extends to the east and west of the coast leading to the pristine beaches of Elounda while prestigious resorts and luxury seaside villas dot the spectacular coastline. Many gorgeous beaches either busy or secluded are found in close proximity to the town of Elounda which offers long stretches of soft golden sand and crystal-clear sea waters. An abundance of watersport activities is also offered at the main beaches from windsurfing and sailing to snorkeling and scuba diving where you can explore the ancient sunken city of Olous and the underwater sea world. Be sure to also visit with your Elounda rental car the abandoned salt pans that thrived during the Venetian period and today are home to many birds, flamingos, and herons, the ancient stone windmills and the remnants of the well-preserved ancient mosaic floor where the Basilica of Olous once stood. Enjoy and experience all that and so much more when visiting this beautiful destination in Crete with your Elounda rent a car.