Elounda is a small fishing village located in the Cretan prefecture of Lassithi, on the coast near the town of Aghios Nikolaos. Elounda has many hotels which are popular with European tourists.
The village is also home to many bars and restaurants serving European, Greek and Cretan cuisine. It lies across the bay from Isla Spinalonga (en. Long Thorn Island) and the historic Venetian Fortress of Kalydonia (commonly known also as "Spinalonga").
The settlement of Elounda dates back to ancient times. Roman city of Olous are situated only metres from the current site of the village. The archaeological site of Olous is submerged near Elounda's salt flats and can still be seen today.
In the early 20th century, the Cretan authorities transformed Spinalonga into a leper colony, lepers from the Cretan mainland were shipped to the island and lived in the ancient Venetian fortress. Infastructure on the island such as the hospital and shops can still be seen today. In 1952, the island was renamed Kalydonia by the Hellenic Government, but the name Spinalonga is still widely used among local residents of Elounda.
Elounda became a tourist hotspot in the latter half of the 20th century, following Greece's emergence as a tourist destination following the fall of the junta in 1974.
Throughout the 1980's and 1990's, the town saw a massive boost in tourism which resulted in the village and its population growing substancially. More recently, large hotel resorts catering for the luxury end of the tourist market have appeared around Elounda.