The Best Hike in Elounda: Discover Kolokitha Beach and Spinalonga Peninsula

Hike Spinalonga Peninsula

Are you wondering what to do during your time in Elounda? Look no further. Crete offers an array of thrilling hiking trails, and among these stands the best hike in Elounda. Curious to know what the hike is? Read on!
PS. Many refer to the Spinalonga Peninsula as the Elounda Peninsula or Kolokytha Peninsula.

Posts include affiliate links to products or services. I might earn a commission if you make a purchase.

>> Join our Facebook Group!

Be sure to book ahead of time to ensure availability!

🛎️ Find the best hotels in Crete here

📍 Top tours I recommend on the island:
Boat cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa
Ticket to Knossos Archaeological Site

🚘 The best way to get around Crete is by car. Check rental car rates for Crete here.

📲 Book a consultation call if you need help planning your trip to Crete!


spinalonga peninsula hike

Where is it?

First, let’s paint a picture of Elounda for you. Located in the northeastern part of Crete, about fifteen minutes from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda is a picturesque resort town that combines the charm of traditional Greek villages with the luxury of modern amenities. 

Elounda Attractions

spinalonga peninsula hike
Port of Elounda.

Known for its crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and marvelous views of Mirabello Bay, Elounda has more than meets the eye. This lovely corner of Crete is not just a stunning destination; it’s a captivating adventure that weaves together intriguing history, natural beauty, and the refreshing charm of local culture.

Elounda’s Rich History

spinalonga peninsula hike

Elounda’s history dates back to when the sunken settlement of Olous stood strong. The remnants of this ancient city can still be seen near Elounda, adding a touch of mystique to the town’s allure.

Elounda Today

spinalonga peninsula hike

Today, Elounda balances its historical roots with a vibrant present. The town has a thriving tourism scene with high-end resorts, charming tavernas, and bustling markets. But what truly sets Elounda apart is its proximity to some of Crete’s most phenomenal natural landscapes. 

Embark on the Best Hike in Elounda

spinalonga peninsula hike
The well-marked trail.

Imagine a fresh blend of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and cultural charm. It’s the go-to getaway if you’re looking to explore without driving. And believe me, it is nothing short of a fascinating journey through time and space. 

You will begin your walk on a small, paved road surrounded by the sea on either side. It will feel like you are walking on water at some point. Which is pretty incredible! 

spinalonga peninsula hike
The pathway connecting Elounda to the peninsula.

You will continue to the trail start, from where you can go right or left. If you begin left, you will end your hike at Kolokitha Beach (more on this later), and if you go right, you will start your hike at the beach; it is entirely up to you! We went left, and that’s our recommended route.

Soon, you’ll notice a lovely farm surrounded by trees and a pretty ocean view. Then, an incline will come after 10-20 minutes — nothing crazy, but just so that you know. As you approach the top of the first ascent, take a moment to look around. The views of Elounda village are captivating.

spinalonga peninsula hike
The landscape by the sea.

Continue, and you will find large, rugged rocks beneath your feet and green grass surrounding you. 

My favorite part is just before Kolokitha Beach, when you can walk along the rugged coastline, testing your nerves as you edge closer and closer to the cliff to look over the water.

spinalonga peninsula hike
The impressive natural landscape in the area.

It is an excellent spot to have a break and enjoy the sea air, but don’t wait too long because a nice dip in the Mirabello Bay awaits you at Kolokitha! 

The Journey to Kolokitha Beach

spinalonga peninsula hike
Kolokitha Beach.

One of the highlights of any hike in Elounda is a visit to the stunning Kolokitha Beach. Known for its turquoise waters and white sands, this secluded cove offers a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the more commercial beaches. 

The Path to the Beach

spinalonga peninsula hike
The windmills.

The path to Kolokitha Beach begins at the east coastal road near Elounda. Once you pass by the area’s old salt pans and the ancient windmills, you reach the Spinalonga Peninsula. From here, a narrow path leads to the serene shores of Kolokitha Beach. 

The Beauty of Kolokitha

spinalonga peninsula hike
Kolokitha Beach.

The soft white sands, clear turquoise waters, and surrounding tamarisk trees create an original scene you’ve not seen elsewhere. The calm waters make it great for swimming and snorkeling, while the beach is ideal for sunbathing and picnicking. 

We jumped into the sea in late February, so the water was freezing! You likely won’t have this experience, and I wish you the most enjoyable waters.

Exploring the Spinalonga Peninsula

The Historic Significance of Spinalonga

Spinalonga, the Leper colony and Fortified island, Crete

Did you know that the Spinalonga Peninsula is steeped in history? From the sunken city of Olous to the Venetian fortifications on the nearby Spinalonga Island, this area is a testament to the rich history of Crete.

spinalonga peninsula hike
Ancient ruins.

As you hike across the peninsula, you’ll encounter forgotten historical sites, including remnants of ancient walls. Of course, the highlight will be no other than the views over the notoriously famous island of Spinalonga in the distance. 

The Nature in Spinalonga Peninsula

spinalonga peninsula hike

The Spinalonga Peninsula is not just about history; it’s also a treat for nature lovers. From the vibrant wildflowers that dot the landscape to the azure waters surrounding the peninsula, the Elounda Peninsula will entertain every plant enthusiast.

Hike across Spinalonga Peninsula: Difficulty Levels

Hike Spinalonga Peninsula
Part of the trail.

Hiking across the Kolokitha Peninsula is relatively easy, with few ascents and descents that reveal awe-inspiring views and intriguing historical sites. As you explore the peninsula, you’ll also pass by old windmills, ancient ruins, and impressive vistas of the surrounding islands.

Who should hike the Spinalonga Peninsula?

spinalonga peninsula hike

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, the best hike in Elounda offers an unforgettable adventure. From the serene beauty of Kolokitha Beach to the historic charm of the peninsula, this hike is a must-do activity that will leave you with lasting memories. You’ll love it even more if you want a nature-filled break away from the hustle of modern Elounda.

Tips for the Spinalonga Peninsula Hike


While Kolokitha Beach is undeniably beautiful, it’s important to note that it has no amenities. So, if you imagine sitting back with a nice, rewarding treat after your hike, bring it in your bag!

Best Times to Visit

The best times to visit are early morning or late afternoon when the beach is less crowded. This will create a more relaxing atmosphere, especially after a rewarding hike. Of course, if you are visiting in the summertime, this will also make for less hot temperatures.

What to Bring

It’s recommended to bring your food, water, and beach towels, which, of course, can all fit inside a nice hiking bag.

Reading Time is Over – Time for your Dream Hike!

Elounda’s magic and surrounding landscapes are waiting for you to discover. So why wait? Plan your hike in Kolokitha Beach and the Spinalonga Peninsula today, and let it be an adventure you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Happy hiking!

spinalonga peninsula hike

I publish new content about Crete almost every day! Bookmark my Crete and Practical Guides pages to learn more before your trip.

Are you dreaming of a getaway to Crete but feeling overwhelmed with planning?

  • You can join my Facebook Group, Things to Do in Crete, a friendly gathering of Crete enthusiasts.
  • With my consultation call services, I have assisted countless travelers in crafting the perfect Crete experience. Email me for more information!

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Although Crete is a safe destination, consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones from unexpected situations.

>> Join our Facebook Group!

More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my ultimate guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Remember to explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets for an unforgettable experience.

Use this comprehensive Crete packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches, and check out the best times to experience its beauty.

If you are exploring specific areas like Lasithi or Heraklion, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Lasithi

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

More useful travel resources

  • Check out all the digital travel guides I’ve specifically written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.
  • Find convenient ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
  • To book adventures, tours, and cultural experiences, I recommend Get Your Guide.
spinalonga peninsula hike

Written by Dimitrios Tsevremes
Passionate about travel, spirituality, and sports, Dimi divides his time between Chania (Crete) and other countries. Writing is a way for him to express himself and his creativity. You can find out more about him and his work here.

📌 Pin for Later!
A Local’s Guide to Hiking in Elounda

Spinalonga Peninsula Hike in Crete

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.