Shops, beaches, tavernas and basically a hotel for cats, Plaka is a great village to visit (Plaka is also located across from Spinalonga, so it makes for a great place to catch a boat ride over to the island). I loved walking around the village and checking out the beautiful views, beaches, shops and the notes left by cats.
Now, let's talk about what's actually important: the food. My favourite restaurant in Plaka was Taverna Giorgos (Jiovanni's) and I ordered the sea bass (So delicious!). If you call ahead, they will reserve a seat right on the cliff (Not sure if sitting this close to the edge of a cliff is a good idea, but it sure looked nice). As you can tell from the angle of my photo, I did not receive special treatment, but I dreamed about sitting at this empty table all night....really wish I called ahead. One of the great things about this restaurant is that their menu shamelessly brags about how Lady Gaga and Rhiana had both visited the restaurant- and they had pictures to prove it! I unfortunately only have a picture of this 'reserved' sign. Maybe the cats left it.
Another restaurant I enjoyed was Captain Nicolas (Right next door to Giorgos). Dinner began with our waiter taking us into the kitchen to inspect their catches of the day. I was not exactly sure of what I should have been looking for, or what questions I should have been asking, but I did enjoy the experience. Their menu (and fridge) had a wide variety of food, but we ordered whatever it is that is pictured below....and it was also delicious!
Thanks for the hospitality, Plaka!
As I spent time along the coast of Elounda and Plaka, this island (pictured below) continued to intrigue me. After doing a little research (asking a local), I learned that the island is called Spinalonga and lepers in Crete and the rest of Greece were quarantined here until 1957. When I arrived to the island, I learned even more: the island was once a military fortress during Roman rule. When I got home, I also found this sensational article written by Elizabeth Warkentin: "The abandoned Greek island shrouded in mystery." No wonder I was so intrigued by this mysterious little piece of land.
How to Get to Spinalonga?
Boats to Spinalonga depart from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plakos. Explore Crete explains:
"Boats depart from Agios Nikolaos in the morning. Apart from the trip to Spinalonga, they also offer lunch and the opportunity for a swim off the beaches behind the Kolokytha Peninsula, before returning to Agios Nikolaos in the afternoon. From Elounda harbour, there is a boat to Spinalonga every 30 minutes throughout the summer. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the island, while the sea voyage sometimes includes a sail around the Kolokytha Peninsula."
Plaka is directly across from Spinalonga; boats leave from here and the trip is much shorter. I picked up a water taxi from this village- this awesome guy pictured below dropped me off, picked me up and gave me a little boar ride around the Peninsula for €20. I'd say this is the way to go.
Once there, tickets to enter the site cost €8. You can walk around on your own or pay to take a guided tour. Historical information is also posted throughout the site for visitors to read.
Pictured above is a hot view from the top of Spinalonga. The trip to this island made for an incredibly informative and interesting day.
My name is Sara and I love finding new things to do in a new city. This website is an attempt to share the things that excite me in a new place through stories, photos, lists, travel tips and tricks.