Elounda
Day Trips

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Elounda Day Trips

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

1. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Travel to northeastern Crete, visit Agios Nikolaos and see its beautiful scenery, and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island on this exciting day tour of some of Crete's most interesting sites. Begin the day with the visit to Agios Nikolaos, and see the shore of Mirabello Bay. Explore the town, famous for the lake at its center and its shopping and cafes. Take your time for a walk to enjoy the views, enjoy some shopping or have a drink in one of the numerous cafes around the lake. Explore an open-air market on Wednesdays. Move on to see Elounda village, a former fishing village on the northern coast of the island. Depart from Elounda for the cruise to Spinalonga Island. Learn about the island's vibrant history, from a home for the Venetians and Turks to a place of isolation for those suffering from leprosy. Experience the island, more popular after the 2005 historical novel “The Island” about how lepers lived in Spinalonga. Join the hundreds of people who come to the island every day to visit and learn its history.

Zeus Cave and Lassithi Plateau Day Tour

2. Zeus Cave and Lassithi Plateau Day Tour

Start your tour with pick up in an air-conditioned Land Rover from your accommodations at 10 AM and head into the Dikti Mountain Range. You'll pass through several traditional and very picturesque mountain villages. There will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photos or to have a coffee at a real taverna. At the Lassithi Plateau, you might see eagles and vultures, as both nest around this area. Next, you’ll reach the base of Mount Spathi. The Psychro Cave, the birth place of the Greek god Zeus, is located on the north face of Spathi. You’ll walk 15 minutes up the steep hill to the entrance of the cave and from there follow the path down into the spectacular cave.   Next, enjoy a traditional Cretan meze lunch with local wine. After lunch, you'll continue around the plateau and then descend taking in views of the north coast and the impressive Aposelemis Dam. You will then visit a 2400-year-old plane tree, the oldest on the island, as well as the Selinari Monastery.

Crete: Spinalonga, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, Kolokitha, & BBQ

3. Crete: Spinalonga, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, Kolokitha, & BBQ

Embark on a full-day trip to the island of Spinalonga from Crete and enjoy a walking tour of the island. Visit the towns of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda and take a swim in the crystal water. Be picked up from the Heraklion area and taken along the picturesque northeast coast through the gorge of St George, reaching the small fishing village of Elounda. Today Elounda is a popular holiday resort, often visited by celebrities for the luxurious white beaches. From there, take the boat to the small island of Spinalonga. The history and the culture of Spinalonga are laced with different diverse strands of history. In Ancient Greek times it served as a natural guard for the city of Olous; later it was used as a hide-out for Saracen pirates, turned into a fortress by the Venetians, and later settled by the Turks.  After your visit to the island of Spinalonga (1.5 hours), the boat will head for one of the bays in the area. Swim in the crystal clear waters, and then savor a delicious barbecue served on board. Later, return to Elounda, where you take the bus to go to the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos. Enjoy shopping, exploring and marveling at the bottomless lake there. At the tour's end, the bus will take you back to Heraklion area.

Crete: Day Trip to Chrissi Island by Bus and Boat

4. Crete: Day Trip to Chrissi Island by Bus and Boat

Ierapetra is situated on the southern coast of Crete. As it is the only town in the south, it is referred to as the Bride of Libyan Sea. With the rising of the sun, head to the gorgeous port of Ierapetra and set sail toward Chrissi Island.   Chrissi Island, or Gaidouronisi, meaning Golden Beach or Donkey Island, is an uninhabited island around 15 kilometers south of Ierapetra. 7 kilometers in length and covering an area of 4,743 km, the island is covered in golden sand and a rare variety of Lebanon cedars.  Anchoring on the south side of the island, head to the nearby beach for swimming and sunbathing. Walk the path running through the island and the cedar forest to the otherworldly beach of Chrissi Ammos. Hunt for seashells, check out the rockier coast of the island, or make the trek to the island’s lighthouse.  Swim in turquoise crystal clear waters and soak up the sun in this magical and totally undisturbed place of natural beauty.

Crete: Balos & Gramvousa Boat Cruise including Bus Transfer

5. Crete: Balos & Gramvousa Boat Cruise including Bus Transfer

Take in the beauty of Crete and its nearby islands on this boat trip. Travel to the pirate’s island, Gramvousa, explore the Venetian fortress, and head to the idyllic Baloos lagoon, filled with rare species of fauna and flora, for a refreshing swim. Your trip starts with a bus to Kissamos. From the port of Kissamos, the boat will depart to Gramvousa. While on the boat trip, you’ll observe the geological phenomenon of Crete, with the island rising out of the sea on the west side – and sinking in the east. Your first stop is the island Gramvousa, with its Venetian fortress, built between 1579 and 1584 by the Venetian occupiers. Take your time exploring the fortress, which was also used by pirates – a legend claims that there’s a great treasure buried there. An old shipwreck near the beach has become a part of the landscape, and the turquoise water is ideal for snorkeling. The next stop is the Balos lagoon, with its white sand and shallow, warm water, perfect for a swim. Due to millions of crushed shells, in many places, the sand has a lovely pink hue. The protected area houses many rare species of flora and fauna, such as Eleonora falcons, shags, and cormorants. Swim or explore, then head back after your full experience around these islands.

Crete: Knossos Palace & Heraklion Guided Tour

6. Crete: Knossos Palace & Heraklion Guided Tour

Start your day with pickup from selected regions in Crete and first head to Heraklion for a guided tour of Knossos Palace. Walk through this Minoan palace with your guide and find out how people lived here 4,000 years ago. The Throne Room, the frescoes, and the Minoan columns will allow you to imagine how the Minoans once lived. Continue towards the city center of Heraklion where you can visit the Archaeological Museum and the town itself. The Archaeological Museum brings together findings from all over Crete, covering over 5,500 years of the island's history.   Head to the Heraklion town center and walk through Daidalou Street to Lion Square and the famous Morosini Fountain of the Venetian era. Explore the permanent outdoor market of the town and the Valide Mosque, a remnant of Turkish influences. Explore the Venetian Loggia and head to the sea and the Koules Fortress before being dropped back off at your hotel.  

Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

7. Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

This tour will take you high into the mountains of the Lassithi Range (or Dikti Range), offering you an abundance of stunning panoramic views. Picking you up from your accommodation at 10:00AM, you will then start your climb up through several very picturesque traditional villages, one of which you shall stop at for a short break to shop or grab coffee. You will next go off road and move on up through the Kroustas Forest to a point approximately 1,000 meters above sea level. From way up there you will be able to see both the Lybian Sea (south coast) and the Aegean Sea (north coast). You will also be able to view the stunning peaks of the snow capped Mount Spathi (2,140 meters above sea level, second highest on the island), whose north face is home of the Psychro Cave, birth place of the Greek god Zeus. The views you will encounter throughout your tour can't be beaten, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs. Whilst in the mountains you will be taken to a traditional Greek taverna for a meze lunch with local wine, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned to your point of origin.

Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

8. Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

The first stop is the town of Rethimno, the third biggest town in Crete west of Heraklion on the north coast of Crete. Here, archeological monuments of the Ottoman and Venetian eras co-exist. Enjoy a stroll in the alleys of the old town, a visit to the Turkish minarets and the Venetian fortresses, or a coffee at the magnificent harbor. The next stop is Chania town, the second largest town of Crete on the north coast west of Rethymno. The city of Chania is divided into the Old City, with the gorgeous harbor, and the New City, beyond its Venetian fortifications. The Old City is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and is called “Venice of the East”. You can find Turkish minarets and mosques, Muslim neighborhoods, Venetian fortresses, dockyards, fountains, squares, arches, mansions, Loggia and the Lighthouse. Visit the famous Agora (market), which houses traditional little shops and taverns. The last stop of the day is Kournas lake, a beautiful habitat with natural freshwater, one of a kind in Crete. The whole area of Kournas is protected under 'Natura 2000', as it's a designated wetland. Vast greenery, steep cavities between hills, and rare species of fish and birds make Kournas the ideal place to enjoy an early afternoon walk.

Crete: Monastery, Lasithi Plateau & Dictaean Cave Day Trip

9. Crete: Monastery, Lasithi Plateau & Dictaean Cave Day Trip

Visit an Orthodox nunnery, the village of Psychrom the Dictaean Cave, and see a local potter at work in his workshop. Explore the Lasithi Plateau, and make a stop for lunch while learning about the Plateau's history. Visit a small traditional village on the slope of Selena Mountain, and enjoy beautiful views of Crete on this interesting and unique day tour. Visit the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera at an altitude of 650m. See the nunnery, famous for the icon of Mary believed to be miraculous, the nunnery's fortified walls, and its 14th and 15th-century murals. Stop next at the village of Psychro, and walk to reach the Dictaean Cave, just above the village of Psychro. See the cave, considered a sacred place of cult worship, and according to Greek mythology, it is believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia. See the most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites, before moving on to the village of Psychro, where a local potter displays the steps of ceramic art at his ceramic workshop, where anyone interested may give pottery a try. Reach the northern entrance of the Lasithi Plateau, and stop at Seli Ambelou for a lunch break. Take in a panoramic view of the plateau, where in the 1950s and 1960s, was one of Europe's first wind farms. Stop in Krasi, a small traditional village set on the slope of Selena Mountain, and see its huge ancient plane tree, where the leaves and the branches of the tree provide shade all over the square in a unique and unspoiled environment. Finish the tour at Krasi, and return to your hotel.

Crete: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

10. Crete: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

After pickup from your hotel in Agios Nikolaos or Elounda, you’ll head straight to the Omalos plateau, followed by Xyloskalo, the northernmost entrance to the Samaria Gorge. The walk begins with a descent into the bottom of the gorge, changing altitude by over 600 meters. Gaze up at the stark, lush cliffs that line the narrow canyon, keeping your eyes peeled for the rare kri-kri goat, a species endemic to Crete and known for its massive, curled horns. About halfway into the walk, you’ll find the ruins of the Samaria Village, whose inhabitants were relocated after the region was designated as a national park. After a small rest, you’ll continue through the Gorge, passing the church of Osia Maria, from which the gorge takes its name. Shortly thereafter, reach the most famous portion of gorge—the Gates, where the path narrows to less than 10 feet, while cliffs rise over 1,000 feet in the air. With the majority of the path behind you, you’ll soon enter the Agia Roumeli village, set against the stunning Aegean Sea, where you’ll hop on a boat bound for a bus to take you back to your accommodation.

Frequently asked questions about Elounda Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Elounda?

The other unmissable things to do in Elounda are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Elounda

Want to discover all there is to do in Elounda? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Elounda

This was a absolutely great day trip! Our guide Minas was the best, we really enjoyed the day with him. We were picked up in a nice Range Rover, first stop was Olive Oil plant, we leaned a lot and got to taste samples. Minas knew so much about the island, wild herbs as we stopped along the way, visited local villages, saw a gorge, stopped and met a local woman, tasted wild herbs, it was so much more then we expected!! The hike up to Zeus Cave was a bit longer and harder then expected, we were slower then the rest of our group, so we did feel a little rushed only having an hour total. ( Took us 30 min. up) But we all met up a restaurant nearby and had a wonderful authentic greek meal. Overall it was a fabulous day, with lots of stopes, and a great local guide, Minas made it even better!

From Heraklion to Kissamos about 2:30 hrs by bus on the highway was tiring but once you arrive at Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island it is totally worth the long journey. TIP: There are certain viewpoints in both places, but they are 20 minutes away, you should think twice about whether you do this or rather swim on the fantastically beautiful beach and enjoy the water.

Très belle excursion. J’ai trouvé ce que je recherchais au sein de celle-ci, c’est-à-dire pouvoir me déplacer sans me préoccuper de quoi que ce soit, découvrir différents endroits qui méritent d’être vu, tout en ayant du temps libre pour soi. Le guide est présent au sein de la journée sans être trop présent à mon goût. Je recommande!

The whole day was lovely, The guides Michael and Eleanor were helpful and informative, with just the right amount of information. Everything went to plan, time to have coffee and shop in Agios Nikolaus and Elounda and walk around Spinalonga island. Thank you to all involved on the coach and boats.

Nice experience to get out of the city and see some lovely towns