Elounda is a luxurious resort town, situated 10km north of Agios Nikolaos, close to the northwest side of the Bay of Mirabello. It is renowned for its extravagant and exclusive hotels that welcome celebrities from around the world. In addition to its glamorous character, Elounda features some of the most picturesque landscapes in Crete. These views are mainly characterised by the magnificent small beaches of Elounda.
The most renowned beach in the area is located east of Elounda, in the Skisma region. It lies right next to the harbour and is well-maintained by the local municipality. Here, you can swim in the proximity of Elounda’s small hotels and taverns. The beach has a sandy shore and the waters are usually calm due to the tranquil Korfos Lagoon. In addition to the standard amenities (umbrellas, showers, etc.), there are beach volley facilities, a playground and water sports.
Not far from Elounda, you will reach the second beach of Hiona (also known as Poros). Note that there is another beach in the vicinity of Palekastro also called Hiona. The beach is sandy and well-organised, with umbrellas, showers, lifeguards and water sports. The road that leads to the Spinalonga Peninsula runs alongside the old salt pans and passes right by Hiona. This road, after a short and scenic route through mills, a bridge and terraces, ends near the chapel of Saint Luke. From here, the path to the stunning Kolokitha beach begins.
The name Chiona is derived from a Cretan dialect word meaning “carob storehouse”, referring to the storehouses that were commonly built near the shore as a place to store carobs for transportation by ships. Remains of such a building can still be seen on Chiona beach. Poros takes its name from the Greek word for canal, near the windmills of Poros.