Spinalonga is a small island near Elounda in eastern Crete.
The name Spinalonga emerged around the 13th century by the Venetian conquerors godfathers, who were not as familiar with Greek, paraphrase the name "the Olounda" in Spinalonte initially and later to Spinalonga.
Another interpretation of the name Spinalonga want to have resulted from the shape of the island long thorn-like
(= thorn Spina, Long = long), a theory not shared by many.

The centrality of the rocky island Spinalonga to control and protect the harbor of Elounda could only be marked with a Spinalonga turbulent history full of fierce battles and much human suffering.
Spinalonga is known as the island of lepers because lepers are isolated from Crete and mainland Greece until 1957.

Today, Spinalonga visit every summer thousands of tourists by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka to tour the ruins of buildings, which is struggling to service the archaeological preserve.

The island of Spinalonga over the last 20 years of operation there leper hospital
chosen by Victoria Hislop as a backdrop in the first book, The Island

According to 2009 data, Spinalonga is the most visited archaeological site in Crete after Knossos.