At the entrance of Elounda bay lies the rocky islet of Spinalonga. From the ancient times it used to be the fortified protector of the city of Olous. Later in 1579 the Venetians rebuilt it and make it the strongest fortress in Crete. During the 17th century it remained in venetian hands even after the Turkish occupation of the island in 1669. The Christians fled for refuge to Spinalonga chased by the Turks. Finally in 1715 a Turkish Pasha conquered Spinalonga which was now inhabited by Turkish families who where afraid of the Christians.
In 1903 the government decided to turn Spinalonga into a leper colony. In 1957 the last patients left the island which is now uninhabited. The visitor can now see a real ghost town with shops and houses that show how the lepers had built up their own community. The acropolis at the highest part of the fortress offers a great view. Boats sail daily from Elounda and Agios Nikolaos to Spinalonga.