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Monday, November 22, 2010

Spinalonga Island revive as tourist attraction

The island of Spinalonga, a one-time leper colony whose history was recently dramatized as a highly successful television series based on the book 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop, is to reopen as a tourist attraction at weekends after an initiative launched by the municipality of Agios Nikolaos in Lasithi, Crete.

The municipality, local bodies and the 13th Byzantine Monuments ephorate have submitted a series of proposals to the culture and tourism ministry for giving visitors access to the island on a daily basis and are currently awaiting their approval.

The island was closed to visitors due to a lack of staff and will now open at weekends until a more permanent solution is found, as well as to large, organized groups on week days.

Local authorities had stressed that the extra publicity gained by the site due to the popular television series had greatly increased the interest of visitors and keeping the island open would satisfy demand and boost the local economy.

During the Christmas holidays the island will be open daily except on major holidays.

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