The small island of Spinalonga is located in the northern part of the Gulf of Elounda in Mirambello province, in Lasithi, Crete.

During Venetian rule, the island was built up as a fortress by the Venetians, whereas from 1903 to 1957 Spinalonga was used as a leper colony to accommodate and isolate patients suffering from Hansen’s disease.

Up till then, these patients used to live isolated in various parts of Crete. The disease was contagious and there was great fear for spreading in the general population.

Therefore, Spinalonga presented with the perfect solution, as it easily communicated with mainland for transferring patients and food supplies. Following Crete’s union with Greece, the island was classified as International Leper Hospital and more patients were even brought there from abroad.

This small island’s great story, but also its natural beauty, urged us to pick it as a destination for one of our standard summer trips.

The excursion was co-organized with IPERVASI, the Association against prejudice of mental illness, and so we all had the chance to have fun, but also exchange views with the members and volunteers of the Association.

We had a tour on the island and we learned about daily life on Spinalonga. Following, we had lunch in the town of Plaka, where we enjoyed the view of the island, and we had coffee in Agios Nikolaos town. We relaxed, we had a good time and we look forward to our next trip.

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