A small fishing village with mountain and sea views along the 11km road north from Agios Nikolaos Port) to Elounda (el-oon-da), but a cluster of luxury resorts occupy the coves along the coast thus making some beaches not easily accessible to non-residents. Elounda is known as an area playground for Greece’s high fliers. More recently the area has seen visits from a gaggle of international celebs including Leonardo di Caprio, U2 and Lady Gaga (although on my multiple visits, I’ve never seen any of them!).
A fresh burst of interest in the area has come in the wake of the romantic novel The Island by Victoria Hislop, a few years ago (If you haven’t read it, go get a copy). The novel portrays life on nearby Spingalonga Island during its harrowing years as a leper colony. Interest has become stellar in the wake of the hugely popular Greek television series of To Nisi. Elounda was used for the filming of the popular BBC television series Who Pays the Ferryman? in the late 1970s and is also the setting for a novel by Belinda Jones, Out of the Blue.
Elounda has a handsome harbour where fishing boats still come and go. The backdrop is standard resort, but there is a refreshing ordinariness to the village, and locals do a fine job of catering for visitors, regardless of their ‘celebrity’. There are some lovely places to stay, especially the authentic Greek (guest) houses. The pleasant but unremarkable town beach, to the north of the port, can get very crowded (It’s quite tiny). On the south side of Elounda an artificial causeway leads to the Kolokytha Peninsula.