Traversing a steep hillside, a road with spectacular sea views runs north from Ayios Nikolaos around the gulf of Mirabello to the village of Elounda and the stark peninsula that surrounds it. The beaches tend to be narrow and pebbly, but the water is crystal clear and sheltered from the meltemi (the fierce north wind that blows in July and August). Elounda village is a full-scale resort destination: dozens of villas and
hotels dot the surrounding hillsides, and the shore of the gulf south of Elounda is crowded with some of the most luxurious hotels in Greece. Don't come here in search of Authentic Greece; expect to meet fellow international travelers.