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We visited the area of Agios Nikolaos last summer. Naturally, we had read about the the island of Spinalonga and the Venetian fortress on it and we had already included it n our visiting schedule. We had a lovely time in the coastal village of Plaka spending the day on the beach right across the island; we ate fresh fish and seafood and did some shopping in the boutiques and shops of the village. We were advised to head uphill above Plaka and admire the stunning views of the bay. Indeed, the views ware breathtaking!

Heading back to Agios Nikolaos we took a turn in Elounda and reached the salt marsh where the locals used to collect salt. At present, this activity has stopped but walking on the narrow strip of land which connects Elounda to the island (or peninsula) of Kolokytha especially at sunset is a fantastic experience. We also came across a small trail which, according to the information we got from the Internet, lead to a beautiful small beach which was also called Kolokytha and we hiked it the following day. We also looked for other trails to hike while going for a swim. We learned that the views from the top of Oxa were truly exceptional and that the area was also of archaeological interest. It was just three kilometres away from Elounda and despite the summer heat we were amazed by the panoramic views over the entire area.

We then went straight away for a swim! And the sandy Kolokytha beach, with its calm waters and the nearby small islet of Glaronisi was just what we needed. However we came across another small beach with flat rocks named Dianiskari. It was more secluded and it was almost like being on our own private beach. The beach also offers views of the bay of Elounda and the nearby luxurious hotels.

While on the beach, and still thrilled by our hike to the top of Oxa, we decided to return the following day and follow another trail which starts from the wind farm and the beautiful chapel of Agios Ioannis and leads to an old abandoned lighthouse. It took as more time than expected but we had taken enough water with us and we also started early in the morning! Being next to the wind turbines is awe-inspiring and makes you really think about nature. The downhill hike was equally interesting and the views were magnificent. The entire site of the lighthouse was really captivating and we spent a lot of time admiring it.

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