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How to visit the stage of a Book and Movie Soaked in Emotions: Spinalonga

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Imagine arriving at a place that feels like paradise, only to discover it was a hellish nightmare for Cretan families, lasting around fifty years.

This unfolds in Spinalonga, Crete. Immersed in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mirabello, in the Aegean Sea, Spinalonga stands as a jewel steeped in history and mystery. But there’s more behind its captivating facade: the island has been the stage for a book and a film that captured the essence of its stories.

Since 1980, travelers have had the opportunity to visit and uncover its history and emotions.

Spinalonga, once a Venetian fortress and later a leper colony, inspired Victoria Hislop’s novel “The Island” and served as the set for Thanos Kermitsis’s film “To Nisi” (“The Island”). This dual representation has transformed Spinalonga into an icon of courage and resilience.

The Book

In “The Island,” Hislop vividly portrays life on the island during the leper colony period, weaving intertwined character stories that dive deep into human complexity and resilience in the face of adversity. 
The island‘s history intricately entwines with the locals’ humanity, creating an unforgettable tapestry.

From Novel to Film Set

The success of the book led to a cinematic adaptation. The set of the Greek series “To Nisi,” capturing the island’s beauty, turned it into a lively stage of emotions and human dramas. On set, Spinalonga transformed, exuding life and captivating tales. In the film, many locals appeared as extras, and in Plaka’s seaside taverns, you can find black and white photographs of the set and listen to stories from the relatives of that era.

HERE’S THE TRAILER FOR THE TV SERIES “TO NISI”

The Magic of Words and Images

Hislop, with her captivating prose, breathes new life into Spinalonga in the minds of readers. The book, along with the movie, creates a unique dialogue between words and images, transporting viewers on a visceral journey through time and history.

The Emotion Persists

Spinalonga continues to vibrate with emotions. Visitors can walk the same paths as the characters in the book and film, with Venetian ruins and architectural remnants bringing the stories back to life. Walking among the ancient stones is like flipping through the pages of a living book.

Spinalonga reveals itself as a unique place where reality merges with art, and characters come to life. The setting of an emotion-filled book and film, Spinalonga remains a fascinating stop in the journey through Cretan culture and history.

The first time I visited Spinalonga, I hadn’t read the book nor seen the film. After doing so, my perspective changed, and new emotions awakened in me. It happens every time I pass by Spinalonga and admire it from the sea.

I invite you to immerse yourself in the magic of Spinalonga by exploring its history-filled ruins and drawing inspiration from the pages of “The Island” and, if you want, scenes from the film.

Here you find the episodes of the TV serial “To Nisi”. 

Even if you don’t speak greek, you can perceive a lot and see corners of the area in the movie.

Visiting Spinalonga after reading the book or watching the movie is like walking through the folds of the plot. The ruins and landscapes transform into familiar backdrops, and the characters’ emotions blend with the island’s atmosphere.

Spinalonga, with its history full of poignant stories, invites travelers to explore its paths and immerse themselves in the unique atmosphere of this captivating island, letting themselves be enveloped by emotions. It’s a travel experience that goes beyond a simple tourist visit, turning into an intimate encounter with the island’s history and magic.

Image from a drone of Sara Traditional Motorsailing Boat in the Gulf of Mirabello

Sail with ValBel around Spinalonga

With Sara Traditional Motorsailer we sail around the island to see it from all its sides and enjoy thee complete view of this jewel casted in the waters in front of Elounda, in the Mirabello Gulf.
We can also give you information in case you want to visit the island, reaching it with one of the boats who bring the customers to the island during the summer months.

Veranda - View from Magic Aurora seaview holiday home in Almyros

Need a holiday home near to Spinalonga?

If you are looking for a holiday home near Spinalonga, in the Gulf of Mirabello, in Crete, you can have a look at our Magic Aurora Seaview Apartment in Almiros, Agios Nikolaos

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