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Some of Crete's first luxury resorts were built around Elounda in the 60s, and it didn’t take long for this down-to-earth fishing village to became a glamorous A-List destination. And Elounda is still one of Greece's most exclusive resorts, and many of the best places to stay in Elounda offer five star luxury with all the t rimmings.
That doesn’t mean Elounda is open only to Leonardo DiCaprio, the boys from U2 and Ronaldo, there are plenty of affordable options in town - and town is a cute, cosmopolitan place with a cheerful nightlife within walking distance of several good, sandy beaches.
Some of the best places to stay in Elounda have their own private beaches, but even the main beach is very nice, if a bit busy at times. There’s plenty of facilities and it’s been awarded a Blue Flag.
When it comes to local sightseeing you’ll find it easy to find a friendly boatman to take you out fishing or for a look around.
- On the edge of Elounda you’ll find the sunken city of Olous, which isn't really a city, more of a sunken village, but it's still an interesting sight to see walls and windmills underwater.
- Spinalonga Island makes for an excellent day trip from Elounda. The island was a fortress guarding the South West entrance to the Gulf of Elounda. It's unoccupied now, but its ancient Venetian fortifications and pebbly beaches were once home to a leper colony - which only closed down in the 60s.
- To the south of Eloundra is a man-made causeway leading onto the Kolokytha Peninsula.
Crete is hugely busy during the peak summer months and the best places to stay in Elounda are extremely popular. So either book well ahead, or come in the cheaper and quieter shoulder season when the weather is still warm, but the crowds have gone.
For a private beach
- Elounda Mare is a five star luxury resort with a private beach, access to private yachts, a golf course, watersports facilities, an enormous spa and grand suites with their own private pools if your budget will allow!
- Domes of Elounda is situated on its own private beach overlooking Mirabello Bay. It enjoys idyllic views and has beautiful interiors. There are three good restaurants, a spa and oodles of activities for those who like a bit of action.
For an epic view
- The Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas is an indulgent hideaway in a spectacular location. As well as amazing sea views, the hotel has 204 rooms - from simple, airy spaces to relax and sleep in to palatial suites, a choice of restaurants - serving everything from Mediterranean to Asian food, a pampering spa and private pools, and all sorts of activities. So it’s perfect for doing as much, or as little as you fancy.
- If you're searching for a luxury family resort consider the Elounda Bay Palace, an impressive property surrounded by sub tropical gardens. There's an excellent kids club to keep the youngsters happy, and superb facilities for those who like to do more than sit by the pool.
- Or try the Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites, which has gorgeous views over Mirabello Bay, and luxurious decor and services, but it's only got ten suites and 18 self catering villas, so it's much smaller and more personal.
For private pools and ultimate luxury
- The Blue Palace combines the best of villa and hotel. Half the villas have their own private infinity pools, and there's a private beach. The hotel features fine dining and an award winning spa. Perfect for honeymooners, who may enjoy the champagne cruises available. Plus loads of other on site activities including Greek cookery classes.
- Elounda Peninsula is a deluxe hotel with stylish interiors and stunning views. All rooms come with their own pool and hot tub. Plus there's an award winning gourmet French restaurant. Families are well catered for too with flexible accommodation and kids club to keep the little ones entertained.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Elounda for you?
Best Hotels in Elounda
Elounda Peninsula 50 rooms from $367Elounda
Experience luxury in abundance at this peninsula hotel with contemporary, stylish decor and sea views. All rooms come with an outdoor pool and private hot tubs. An award winning restaurant, a superb wine list and a well-known spa on site. Total bliss.Families - Family suites and private villas with pools - plus babysitting services and a kids' clubFoodies - The Calypso - an award winning restaurant on site serves French gourmet cuisineSpa breaks - An award winning spa specializes in unique treatments and medicinal treatmentsDiving - Crystal clear waters and fascinating flora and fauna to discoverRecommended by - Tablet
Elounda Mare 74 rooms from $280Elounda
Five Star luxury that attracts some of the world's most wealthy. Private beach, yachts to charter, every watersport, golf course, enormous spa, restaurants and varying accommodation. Rooms, suites, bungalows, and separate royal suites with private pools. An indulgent choice.Spa breaks - Each month offers the option of a particular programme, be it cleansing, massage, facials or detoxChild friendly - A complete world for children from creche to dancing lessons up to football camps for teenagersActive Holiday - All watersports, tennis, gym oh and perhaps shopping?5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa 251 rooms from $263Elounda
Ultra-luxurious haven combining the best of villa and hotel facilities, with over half the villas having private infinity pools. Elegant, with private beach, fine dining restaurants and an award-winning spa. Perfection.Honeymoons - This is honeymoon stuff- blue skies, crystal clear waters, indulgent spa, luxury accomadation and sunset cruises.Spa breaks - Combining the benefits of Thalassotherapy with the commitment to luxury and personal attention.Sailing - Take a romantic sunset cruise around the coast, sip on Champagne and admire the starlite skies.Cooking classes - Learn how to cook your favourite dishes on the menu from the world class Greek chef.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Elounda Bay Palace 152 rooms from $238Elounda
Impressive luxury resort, totally insulated from the outside world in semi-tropical gardens. Large rooms offer mountain views or sea views from the large glass windows. Suites have private pools. An epic choice of restaurants and bars. Lovely beaches, ideal for a romantic break or family holiday.Families - The young ones are kept happy with loads of activities at the kids club and playground, while parents get time to relax.Active Holiday - Never a dull moment with mini golf, billiards, darts, tennis, scuba diving, sailing, waterskiing, fishing and more!Sailing - Either charter your own boat or take a skipper, and set sail directly from the hotel.Swimming Pool - Indoor and outdoor pool.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas 204 rooms from $286Elounda
Indulgent celebrity hideaway in a fabulous location. Luxury rooms and suites make the most of the epic sea views. A range of restaurants serving excellent food from mediterranean to asian. Activities to suit all and a truly pampering spa. A benchmark for luxury on Crete.Weddings - Overlooking the deep blue Mirabello Bay, this is a fairytale location for a wedding, plus the property has its own chapel.Total relaxation - With palatial suites, private pools, pampering spa, and unbeatable service you are sure to leave relaxed and refreshed.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Sailing - The resort will happily arrange boat trips to the surrounding islands.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites 45 rooms from $444Elounda
Ultimate, intimate luxury, combining self-catering villa living with hotel services. A welcome alternative to the larger resorts, luxury here is discreet, with a genuine personal touch. A charming and pampering hideaway with stunning views.Spa breaks - Spa villas have their own sauna, steam bath, and gym, while the Elexir Spa Gallery offers a whole range of expert treatments.Honeymoons - Wonderfully intimate and romantic, with secluded private gardens and pools, and butlers bringing you juice each morning!Families - Trust the team of professionals from the kids club to keep the kids happy and allow for parents to truly relax.Sailing - Sailing, motor boating and yachting are available at the hotel, an ideal romantic day trip.Recommended by - I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Small Luxury Hotels
Domes of Elounda 83 rooms from $290Elounda
A stunning hotel and spa resort on Mirabello Bay with its own private beach and dreamy views. Seamless rooms and suites with creamy furnishings, all the modern gadgetry, balconies, some with private pools. Three excellent restaurants, salt water pools and extensive spa. Luxurious.Child friendly - Numerous activities for children from tennis lessons and watersports to drawing classes.Families - Plenty of activities and kid's club to keep all ages amused.Beach nearby - Private sandy beach ideal for little childrenLuxury - You'll want for nothingRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith