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The Venetians built a huge, forbidding fortress on this small, narrow island in the center of the gulf of Mirabello in the 17th century. In the early 1900s the island became a leper colony, serving this purpose with cruelly primitive conditions for more than 50 years. Travel agents in Ayios Nikolaos and Elounda can arrange boat excursions to the island, some complete with a midday beach barbecue and a swim on a deserted islet; you can also just sign up with any of the many outfitters that leave from the docks in both towns (expect to pay about €10). The real treat is cruising on these azure waters, and as you sail past the islet of Ayioi Pantes, a goat reserve, you're likely to see the kri-kri (Cretan wild goat), with its impressive curling horns.
- Cost: Fortress €2
- Hours: Daily 8–7
- Location: Elounda
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