On the shores of the island of Crete, poised like a jewel in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, lies the one-time fishing village and now world class vacation destination of Elounda. Elounda is the perfect tranquil getaway from the bustle of everyday life. Come here to experience quintessential Greek island life, surrounded by whitewashed architecture, warm hospitality, and cats lounging in the sun. The best way to experience all that Elounda has to offer is by staying in a vacation rental. Luckily, no matter what season of the year you choose for your visit, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect beach condo or ocean villa.
Wake up in your private villa and watch the sun rise over the ocean from your balcony while enjoying a cup of coffee, then plan the day's adventures at your own pace. Wander the downtown art galleries and museums. Explore the colorful markets and quiet side streets. Spend an afternoon in an Elounda spa. Be sure to make some time to play on the beach or rest your feet in a cafe by the harbor and watch the sailboats in the distance. When the evening arrives, experience world-class cuisine at a seafood restaurant and enjoy the lively energy of Elounda bars and night spots. Eventually, head home to your private condo and fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves.
Here are a few additional suggestions for your trip:
-Go on a dolphin watching tour: Take a dolphin and whale watching tour and see these playful creatures interacting in their natural habitat.
-Tour the ancient fortress at Spinalonga: Take a day trip to the island of Spinalonga, which features an ancient fortress once built to protect the town of Olous.
-Play on the beach: The beaches of Crete are legendary. Swim in the blue waves, go surfing, or just relax on the white sand with a good book.
-Go diving and snorkeling: The reef and wreck ecosystems off the coast of Crete offer a fascinating glimpse into an undersea world teeming with colorful marine life.
-Take a day trip around the island: See the ancient ruins beyond the city center of Elounda and stop at breathtaking overlooks and historic landmarks.
While you're in Elounda, you may also want to explore other nearby Greek Islands like Mykonos and Naxos.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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