Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
Warsaw, Masovian, Poland
October 28, 2012
From journal A Long Weekend in Agios Nikolaos
ashbourne, United Kingdom
September 20, 2010
From journal With the grandchildren in Crete
New York, New York
October 10, 2005
Built in 1579 by the Venetians as a fortress and considered the strongest in Crete. Boasting 35 canons, it was considered impregnable. Throughout the 17th century the fortress was a refugee for Christians fleeing the Turks. In 1715 the Turks invaded, a treaty was signed and it remained under Turkish rule until it was turned into a leper colony in 1903 by decree of Cretan law and by the coaxing of Prince George. Leprosy was one of the most feared diseases of the time, believed to be a sign of impurity. These people were viewed and treated like criminals. In 1953 the island was evacuated and it has remained empty/a tourist attraction ever since.
I think the visit would have been more exciting if we had a tour guide. It was hard to appreciate what we were touring considering there was a major lack of information and/or signs around. It has a very ghost town feeling with steps, lots of steps everywhere. With the exception of a few small "rooms" that were open to the public and showcased old documents, pictures and plates - there was really not much information.
At the highest point on the island, the views were pretty but in all honesty the only thing to look at was the Blue Palace hotel and the ocean. We were able to walk around the entire island and still be back at the front meeting area with 15 minutes to spare (as was the rest of the group).
I am sort of confused as to why this island remains one of the largest tourist attractions in Crete. I assume it's partly sheer curiosity and partly because it's so large you assume it has to be incredible once inside. Tours are given daily out of both Ag Nic and Elounda and prices vary. I would recommend this excursion if your tour came with a guide, or if you had a lot of extra time; otherwise put it at the end of your list. I truly believe there are many more exciting things to see here.
Open 7 days a week, except holidays from 8am-7:30pm. Somewhat Recommended.
From journal Crete - Home to Zorba and Zeus
by Mark Nisenholt
Thunder Bay , Ontario
May 13, 2005
From journal Journey to Crete
Berwick, Nova Scotia
August 27, 2003
There are two entrances into the fort, don't make the same mistake that we did and virtually walk arounf the circumference of the island before finding our way in. Once the boat docks, turn left (NOT RIGHT) and you will find yourself in the old town.
Plan to spend at least two hours touring the site so plan accordingly as there are set times to catch the boat back to Elounda.
From journal playing in King Minos' garden