Excursion to Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos and Kritsa
Thursday July 5, 2007
Departure time : 09:00 from Downtown Heraklion
The area around Agios Nikolaos is not only the most developed area for tourism but one of the most interesting. Riding east along the coastline we arrive in Agios Nikolaos where we take the boat.
Cruising the gulf of Mirabello we pass over the sunken city of Olous, dating back 4000 yrs, and the coastline is riddled with some of the best (and most expensive) hotels in the world. We head further towards the island of Spinalonga, with its Venetian fortress build in 1579 to protect the gulf of Elounda. With its 40 canons it played an important role in the history of Crete and the island became a leprecolony in 1903 till 1957 (last leprecolony in Europe). A professional guide will tour the island with you for about 1 hour.
After Spinalonga island we travel to Agios Nikolaos, with its 68m deep lake of Voulismeni. You have about 1 hr time to visit the city and experience the friendly atmosphere of the place.
Visiting Kritsa village, a unique community of people with their own cultural progression, their own tradition, and their own local dialect. Their locality rises gradually from a place where the sun shines on the sea, to the highest peaks of the Dikti Mountains towards the west, creating two flat geological plains in between, one called the plain of Kritsa where the village is situated at the lowest point, beside abundant water springs and extensive olive groves and another at the Plateau of Katharo.
CHURCH of OUR LADY the GUIDE- (PANAGIA Y ODIGITRIA)
The pride of more recent residents of Kritsa. A twin-nave domed basilica (6 domes), with peculiar architecture that was founded in November of 1852 (later Turkish occupation). It is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, (right nave) and to Saint Harambalos. The recent renovation (2001) has revealed the unsurpassed and unaffected beauty of the church.
Price , 43 euro per person (including boat and entrance fees to Spinalonga)
Minimum number of participants at the tour : 15
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