Elounda is a small fishing town on the Elounda Bay, on the island of Crete, Greece. It is popular with European tourists and has several hotels. Elounda is also the closest major town to the former leper colony of Spinalonga. The town is close to the city of Aghios Nikolaos and the village of Plaka (Lassithi).
Elounda is the self-proclaimed "most luxurious resort" in Greece. It is home to many luxury 5-star hotels as well as budget accommodation. Most of the major luxury hotels are located out of town, set in their own grounds.
Many bars and restaurants can be found in Elounda, supporting and supported by the growing tourist industry there. In 2003, some British tour operators stopped offering holidays to the town - these places were quickly filled by European (mostly French, German) tour operators.
Dating back to the Venetian era and the Ancient Greek period, Elounda has changed dramatically 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.
There are many fine restaurants and bars in Elounda. These include the Friends Bar in the centre of Elounda, perhaps the most modern bar in the town. Restaurants in the town include the Kalidon, famous because it is set upon a floating platform. The town has a speciality fish restaurant (Nikos) and many Greek Taverna style eating houses including "To Paradosiako" (The Traditional) and "Dimitris' Steak House". Elounda was used for the filming of the popular BBC television series Who Pays the Ferryman? in the late 1970s.
In the centre of Elounda, there is a large taxi stand and a bus stop. The local bus company, KTEL, operates services to Plaka (Lassithi) and Agios Nikolaos on a regular basis.