Spinalonga ~ The Island

As mentioned we went on a day trip to Spinalonga Island a few days ago (we actually went a million other places on the way there and afterwards too, but that’s just a completely different story) because I’ve wanted to go there since I read the book “The Island” by Victoria Hislop (or you can watch the series, apparently it’s amazing too). Spinalonga got quite a bit of history, not only the part that has been made famous by Hislop, but even before that, so it was a great experience to go there.

If you have never heard of The Island, the book is about the community that developed on Spinalonga after it was made into a Leper Colony. Leprosy patients from around Crete was sent here, basically to die, but they created a community with schools, shops, cinema, even a news paper was created. They had their own hospital and church as well. During WWII, this was a safe place to be, because the Germans didn’t want to risk getting Leprosy, so they didn’t occupy Spinalonga.

Originally, Spinalonga was not an island, it was part of the island of Crete. During Venetian occupation the island was carved out of the coast for defence purposes and a fort was built there (how amazing is that? They carved out an island!!). This island has got so much history from the Venetian Rule and the Ottoman Rule, but I am not going to bore you with a history lesson, if you are interested, use good old Google. It is quite interesting though and one of my favourite parts of travelling; you get to know the history of new places and you will actually remember it because you saw it with your own eyes!

I did of course take pictures (so you can see it through my eyes), and I have been trying for three hours to upload them and it keeps failing. I am not friends with the Wifis in Sitia anymore! But it did work in the end, so here you go. It’s quite spectacular how the entire island is built up with beautiful houses and forts with rock after rock after rock. So many of the houses are still ‘intact’ after so many years. If you are in the area, it’s definitely worth the trip over with a boat (we took the fast one, but there’s heaps of options).

IMG_5465 IMG_5454 IMG_5444 IMG_5437IMG_5472 IMG_0365 IMG_5473 IMG_5480 IMG_5488 ClearNeeded to cool down after walking around the island, and look at the amazing water as well. Just breathtakingly beautiful!

Yesterday we went for a walk through a gorge outside of Sitia (can’t remember what the little village is called, it’s so many of them) called Richtis. Beautiful and quite refreshing. And it was so nice to move properly, actually walk on uneven surface, climb up some rocks and sneak through thick vegetation. A good three hour walk was definitely needed after a few days where we’ve spent a lot of time driving from destination to destination. Loved it. Made me feel alive again! I will upload some pictures for you later.

We’re counting the last few days in Sitia, which is a little sad, but I look forward to exploring the other side of Crete too, around Chania. Now it’s time to get the bikini on and go to the beach, way overdue for a cool-down!

Hope you are having a happy Tuesday, that you are making wise choices that will benefit you tomorrow! I had yoghurt with fruit for breakfast (and actually had a salad for dinner last night, unheard of in Greece, isn’t it? It wasn’t even a Greek salad!!) and it was tasty as always (and a much better choice than a cheese pie or sweet pastry, right??).

Look after your body, it’s the only one you’ve got! Yasas 🙂

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17 Responses to Spinalonga ~ The Island

  1. Fonsini says:

    Great place! 🙂

  2. petranyberg says:

    I would like to go there some day. It looks very nice 🙂

    Hope you have a pleasant trip 🙂

  3. topa says:

    I really love old places like that. Need to go there sometime. Thanks for sharing. 😉

  4. makingmidlifemarvellous says:

    Wow – it looks amazing! I read The Island a few years ago and have always been curious about Spinalonga. It’s great to see the pictures – many thanks for posting (especially after all the hassle :))

  5. I am living vicariously through your blog. Some day I hope to have time (and money!) to travel. Thanks for the pictures. Thanks for the positive thoughts and encouragement. I will get moving and do something today, I promise. 😉

    • Get moving today, just a little bit 🙂 I’m glad you enjoy my scribbles and pictures, keep coming back for more 🙂 I’ve learnt one thing in life, if I want something, I need to make it happen. Time doesn’t appear by itself, I need to make time for the things I want 🙂 xo

  6. Amy @ Healthy and Fit for Real says:

    The water there is unbelievable! I better put this on my bucket list.

    • I know, it’s so clear. Not just at Spinalonga, but so many places here. Just crazy! Put it on the list.In about a week I will start convincing you to put Norway on the list too 🙂 xo

  7. cb77 says:

    Found the village where Richtis gorge starts! Exo Mouliana is the name. I wouldn’t call myself fit but not in too bad shape either, I am ok with a bit of clambering over rocks. Was the gorge difficult?
    Can’t wait for the photos! 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 The Gorge walk wasn’t to difficult, a little climbing and crawling up and down over rocks and sneaking under branches of trees. I’d highly recommend it, trying to upload photos now 🙂 Taking it’s time! 🙂

  8. gengatron says:

    after visiting spinalonga the 1st time we visited crete i read the book the island when returning to crete the following year it was a must do again trip this time we took a small boat over from plaka it was a truly mind blowing experience. even though the book is fiction based on fact you could relate to the differant buildings on spinalonga.it is a real piece of paradise its just so sad but at least the lepars could lead as near to normal life as possible on the island. the book is a must read and the trip from plaks is deffinatly worth doing.

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