Spinalonga, an island on the North East coast of Crete, was successively occupied by the Venetians, who built a fort there, and by the Turks. Already under Greek rule in the last century and until the late 50 housed a leper colony until the discovery of a cure for this disease enabled its inhabitants to return to their families.
Patients of Crete and from the continent were brought to this island where there were a hospital, but those inhabitants also had the experience of a small village with shops, church, school for children and cinema.
The houses had doors and windows painted in bright colors and had flowers and plants through the streets. We can still walk the streets of the village and although many houses are already without roof and falling apart on the main street is kept a museum and a shop. During the summer there are regular boat trips from Plaka and Elounda, and the tour around the island is nice (if early in the morning or late afternoon). Spinalonga was the main scenery of the book The Island from Victoria Hislop.