The upmarket resort of Elounda is known for its sheltered bay, spectacular scenery and relaxed atmosphere. It's the perfect spot for those whose ideal holiday is sitting in a café watching the world go by. If you feel like exploring, there are small and pretty beaches and the famous island of Spinalonga is a short boat ride away.
The centre of Elounda has a selection of convenient mini markets for day to day essentials. In nearby Aghios Nikolaos, around 20 minute's drive away, you'll find a wider choice of boutiques selling locally produced crafts plus supermarkets for stocking up.
The seaside resort of Elounda has a small, attractive harbour with a variety of waterside restaurants and bars serving fresh fish and other local Cretan specialties. The neighbouring resort of Aghios Nikolaos has a real cosmopolitan feel, combining traditional architecture with modern touches. The seafront is a lovely spot for some Greek meze or a light bite. You'll also find a selection of restaurants around Lake Vouilismeni in the heart of Aghios Nikolaos.
There are a number of small beaches which can be accessed via public paths through the grounds of the hotels. The sandy beach of Elounda is a man-made beach with a variety of cafes and tavernas close by. Further afield, there are many more beaches to choose from including Ammoudara where there's water sports available, whilst further east there is the long sandy beach of Voulisma Beach, in Istron.
A tourist train runs between Elounda, Plaka and Aghios Nikolaos, providing you the opportunity to sample some of the small local villages, as well as the magnificent views from the road running from Elounda to Aghios Nikolaos. Or there's the glass bottomed boat at Aghios Nikolaos, taking you around the surrounding waters of Mirabello Bay. You may be lucky and see one of the Caretta carreta loggerhead turtles.
The famous Spinalonga Island is as must-see. You can get a boat across from the charming resort of Plaka, just a 10 minute drive from Elounda. This fascinating site has much of the village remains intact. Wander the cobbled streets, discover the history of Spinalonga and take in the panoramic views.
The Dikti Caves, on the Lassithi Plateau, are also worth a visit where myth tells us the Greek God Zeus was born. Plus, there's the Minoan Palace of Knossos, on the outskirts of Heraklion, as well as the newly renovated archaeological museum.