Spinaloga

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WorldMediterraneanAegean SeaGreeceCreteSpinaloga
Spinaloga
35°17.844'N, 025°44.278'E Chart icon.png
lat=35.2974 | lon=25.73796 | zoom=13 | y
Greece Crete Spinalonga m.jpg
Magnify-clip.png
Chart of Spinaloga Region

The Spinaloga or Spinalonga (Σπιναλόγκα) lagoon is formed by a long peninsula, almost an island, connected with Crete with a very narrow sandbar, near the very developed region of Elounda. At the western tip of the peninsula there is a small island, the Spinalonga Island. On the Cretan side of the lagoon are high mountains. As described by Heikell, the Spinalonga lagoon is very calm but experiences fierce gusts from the mountains, although it is somewhat sheltered on the lee side of the Spinalonga Island. The island is surrounded by most imposing Venetian fortifications.

Charts

See Crete.

Clearance

Leave the boat at anchor and take the €1.80 bus, or rent a car, or take a taxi, and go to Agios Nikolaos for clearance into Greece and the European Union. The staff there is friendly and efficient.

Weather

See Aegean Sea.

Passages

See Crete.

Communication

  • Olympia Radio - VHF no signal

See also Crete.

Navigation

Approaching Spinaloga is straightforward but Warning: be aware that very strong gusts can suddenly develop.

Berthing

Ports

None.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

None.

Anchorages

Spinaloga Island

Spinaloga Island/wiki/Spinaloga#Spinaloga_Island
Anchorage icon Spinaloga Island [[Spinaloga#Spinaloga Island|Spinaloga Island]] 35°17.7′N, 25°44.3′E
It is possible to anchor temporarily on the NE side of the island while visiting the island. Anchor as close to the island as the depth allow, the lagoon being very shallow with hardly any depths deeper than 5 m.

Caution: Before going ashore make sure that the anchor has settled and it is holding.

Spinaloga
The anchorage
Entrance to old town


Spinaloga Lagoon

Spinaloga Lagoon/wiki/Spinaloga#Spinaloga_Lagoon
Anchorage icon Spinaloga Lagoon [[Spinaloga#Spinaloga Lagoon|Spinaloga Lagoon]] 35°16.8′N, 25°44.4′E
Here a boat is very well protected despite the gusts. There is a good anchorage in 5-7 meters in the bight to the west of Spinalonga peninsula. Anchor in the center of the cove, if possible, to allow for swinging as the wind can come from many directions during the gusts. I have stayed here with some comfort during a force 7 gale (--Istioploos).

With fresh northerlies or northwesterlies, conditions are gusty and quite choppy around Spinalonga island itself, but become much less so towards the southern part of the lagoon off Elounda. In addition to the anchorage above, there is also a good anchorage off the beach to the north of Elounda village, with some protection from northerly winds.

Elounda fishing harbour
The Spinaloga Lagoon


Amenities

Facilities
Water N/A (Not Available)
Electricity N/A
Toilets N/A
Showers N/A
Laundry N/A
Garbage N/A in Spinalonga Isle. Take it with you.

In Elounda, large bins on the street, 5 meters S of the pier/dinghy dock featuring a windmill at its root.

Supplies
Fuel N/A
Bottled gas N/A
Chandlers None
Services
Repairs N/A
Internet N/A
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals N/A

Provisioning

None in the isle of Spinalonga. Small supermarkets, butchers, etc., in Elounda. Fuel stations 2kms S of Elounda, up in the hill. Diesel, gasoline (petrol) available.

Eating out

N/A.

Transportation

Only day-trip boats to Spinalonga. The bus to Agios Nikolaos costs €1.80 and takes about 20 minutes. If you rent a car, you can park it overnight on the pier north of Elounda that features a windmill at its root. This is also excellent for leaving the tender as you explore around.

Tourism

History

The island of Spinalonga

The island was used as Greece's main leper colony as late as 1957. It is now a very popular tourist attraction, the tourists being brought by an endless string of day-trip boats with their loud speakers blaring the spiel in all languages, but predominately in German. They come and go disgorging the tourists at a small landing and taking them back. This seems to go on relentlessly all day until the late afternoon. Surprising enough, the island is not crowded, and walking on it, one gets a very strong sense of isolation. It is very definitely a haunted place. There are on-going efforts to restore the old buildings and fortifications. There are extensive and large Venetian fortifications almost enclosing the island, Venetian houses, a Venetian castle at the island's peak, and many small Venetian and more recent Ottoman houses. In addition, there are a few large 1930 fascist-style institutional buildings, mostly used as hospitals. The lepers, who at any given time did not exceed 200 to 300 people, lived mostly in the old houses, and there are over 1,500 buried here. They lived all by themselves with minimum contact with the outside world until the 30s when the state built "modern" hospital buildings and other facilities for them. These are the most run down and ugly structures in the island. Other than these, the place has an amazing beauty and attraction as the lagoon is really very beautiful and so are the little houses and churches. But one cannot help but feel the weight of all the miserable souls that perished here after years of neglect and isolation.

Places to Visit

Crete Spinalonga5.jpg
The Ramparts of the Castle
Crete Spinalonga7.jpg
The Castle's Gate

The main attraction is, of course, the island of Spinalonga.

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

References & Publications

See Greece.

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Date of member's last visit to Spinaloga and this page's details validated:



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SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Istioploos, Athene of Lymington


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