Kolokytha is a small island just opposite the Peninsula of Spinalonga, 12km north of Agios Nikolaos and close to Elounda. Opposite the island there is the fantastic beach of Saint Luke, mostly known as Kolokytha.
To access the beach you should first follow a scenic route: From the town of Elounda, follow the road leading to the East, along the shore. You will pass the old salt pans on your right hand, which now host many birds, including flamingos. The road at this point runs along a narrow strip of land and heads to the Peninsula of Spinalonga (some call the Spinalonga Peninsula falsely as Kolokytha). On the route you will meet the small canal built by the French army in 1897 to connect the lagoon of Elounda to Mirabello Bay. There are a few windmills around, a picturesque bridge and boats in the canal, creating a unique landscape. Then the road turns to a dirt track and after 200-300m you have to turn right. Drive in this track and cross the peninsula of Spinalonga vertically, having stunning views of its rocky shores and the abandoned farms.
After 3-4 minutes, the road leads to the church of Saint Luke, where you should park. From there you can see the small island of Kolokytha, where thousands of gulls nest. Also, you can discern at the north, the Byzantine chapel of Saint Fokas, which was built in honor of the Byzantine emperor Nikiforos Fokas for liberating Crete from the Arabs in 961 AD.
From the chapel you cannot see the beach, although being very close. After following one of the 2-3 foot downhill trails, you will shortly see one of the loveliest beaches in Crete. It is a secluded cove with white sand and crystal clear calm waters, surrounded by old olive groves and wheat cultivations. Unfortunately it has become famous and attracts a lot of people. Especially if you come in August or when the excursion boats are here, you will probably get frustrated because the beach is very small. However, a visit early in the morning or late afternoon will convince you that the beach is truly unique.
If you want to stay isolated, you can walk southwards (beyond the right edge of the beach), where you will find two secluded bays with sand, rocks and several tamarisk trees. They cannot in any case reach the beauty of Kolokytha, but it is a right choice for nudists and those wanting to avoid crowded places, even during the tourist months. The area is called Vagi and is named after the Greek word vagia, which is the Cretan date palm. Next to the beach you can still see the remains of a small query of limestone.
The wider area is full with abandoned farmlands and you will see an old farm house in close proximity to the beaches.
See all Elounda beaches on the same map
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