Elounda is a small fishing town on the bay of Elounda, on the northern coast of the island of Crete, Greece. It is part of the municipality of Agios Nikolaos, and the prefecture of Lassithi. It is popular with European tourists and has several hotels. Elounda is also the closest major town to the former leper colony of Spinalonga, located on an island officially named Kalydon, located at the entrance of the Bay of Elounda, a lake-like body of water enclosed by mainland Crete and the peninsula of Spinalonga. The town is close to the city of Agios Nikolaos and the village of Plaka (Lasithi).
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The earliest recorded settlement at Elounda was the ancient Greek city of Olous, whose people were in intermittent conflict with the citizens of Dorian Lato, until a peace treaty was eventually reached. Elounda has a later history as part of the Venetian era. Elounda has changed considerably during its lifespan. The bulk of the ancient city of Olous was reclaimed by the sea towards the end of the Ancient Greek period and is still visible, in part, when diving in the bay of Elounda. During the early 1900s, Elounda acted as a stopping off point for lepers being transported to the leper colony at Spinalonga.
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