Victoria Hislop is the author of the historical fiction book The Island. It has received multiple honors, including the 2007 British Book Awards' Newcomer of the Year. The book was nominated as well. We will have the opportunity to visit the island and have a tour of the inside of the walls, which are currently used as a museum, during our kayaking excursion. The mentioned price does not include the cost of admittance.
About Spinalonga island: The island was subsequently used as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. It is notable for being one of the last active leper colonies in Europe.
The last inhabitant, a priest, left the island in 1962. This was to maintain the religious tradition of the Greek Orthodox church, in which a buried person has to be commemorated at following intervals of 40 days; 6 months; 1 year; 3 years; and 5 years, after their death.
Other leper colonies that have survived Spinalonga include Tichilesti in Eastern Romania, Fontilles in Spain and Talsi in Latvia. As of 2002, few lazarettos remain in Europe.
Paddling distance: We have two alternatives for paddling, just like on the other adventures we were on. The second will circle the Kolokitha peninsula (20 km), while the shortest (12 km) will take place inside Elounda Bay. In all situations, we will travel to Spinalonga, unless it is extremely windy nearby, in which case we would modify our route.
Equipment: Kayaks are available in single or tandem (double) versions. Unless you want to attempt a single, people with no expertise will be assigned a tandem kayak because those are easier to paddle. Skilled kayakers can purchase excellent vessels from Valley, North Shore, P&H, Nigel Dennis, and 3kymia sea kayaks. On our outings, we primarily use composite kayaks.
Do you provide transfer?
Transfer is an extra 20€/person assuming you are staying near by the motorway from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos. That includes cities like Annisaras, Chersonissos, Malia etc.
What to bring?
If you don't want to have lunch in the taverna be sure you pack your lunch. Other than that you will need 1.5lt of water (ideally in small bottles),sun glasses, hat, sunscreen, swimsuit, lycra shirt or any t-shirt ideally with UV protection. You will also need shoes that you do not mind getting soaked as you will get your feet wet. Ideally a light neoprene shoe will work great. It is not required to wear shoes but they will help as the majority of the beaches are with small pebbles.