Elafonisi Beach Crete

Elafonisi Beach Crete

Elafonisi Beach CreteElafonisi Beach Crete is something like an island and a peninsula, because to reach the island you have to walk through the sea. Elafonisi Beach Crete consistently ranks in the top ten beaches of the world. It is therefore also one of the top Crete attractions.

Elafonisi is a place of an exceptional natural beauty, and it has been included in the Natura 2000 Protection Program. Someone could say that nature made its wonder in Elafonisi. What characterizes the area of Elafonissi and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder.

Elafonisi Beach – Where is located

Elafonisi Beach is located in the southwest end of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, about 70km from the city of Chania.

Elafonisi Beach – What To See And Do


The sand of Elafonisi beach is white, but in many places it is pinkish due to the thousands of broken seashells it contains. It has clear green-blue waters, giving the impression that you are in an exotic paradise. Elafonisi beach is organized without losing its authenticity. You will find sunbeds and umbrellas, lifeguard, shower, canteens with seats in the shade, changing rooms and toilette. That’s why it is one of the most popular beach for family holidays in Crete.

Your children will love the shallow waters and you will feel confident enough in order to enjoy your swim. For several meters from the beach, the sea depth is approximately below the knee. You will notice many people to cross the lagoon. You can make the same in order to reach the small island. The deepest point is midway where the sea level reaches the waist of an adult. After passing the lagoon, you reach Elafonisi.

Water sports

Wind surfing in the pink blue waters of Elafonisi beach

Elafonisi beach is also offered for sports on the beach and water sports also. Your kids will love playing volleyball and rackets in the shallow waters and, if you are among the lovers of water sports, Elafonisi is ideal for wind surfing and kite surfing, as it combines the strong winds of South West Crete with the calm waters of the lagoon. However, we would recommend you to try those sports, when the beach is not so crowded, in order for you to enjoy them at most.

Rich nature

One of the reasons that Elafonisi beach has been included in the protected areas of Natura, is that here lay the turtles Caretta-Caretta. You will also find rich plant life and rare flowers in the surrounding area, as the island of Elafonisi is home to 110 plant species. Additionally,  the entire south side of the island is also a fantastic beach or if you want many small beaches separated from the scattered rocks. After walking a few minutes walking to the west, you can easily reach Kedrodasos beach, a peaceful beach with a beautiful cedar forest around it!

Elafonisi Beach Crete – Useful Tips

  • Elafonisi beach attracts thousands of visitors every summer, which in July and August may be about 2,500 daily, so if you want to enjoy more this beach, it is better to come at the beginning or end of the summer, or to avoid the hours of 11:00 to 16:00, especially in weekends.
  • If the day is windy you should avoid the beach as Elafonisi has strong winds that can be annoying and won’t let you enjoy your swim.
  • It is recommended to bring your own umbrella as you might not find free sunbeds.
  • It is forbidden to take along with you the pink sand due to its rare consistency of seashells.

Elafonisi Beach Crete – How To Get There

Boat trips from nearby Paleochora on the south coast of Crete regularly sail to this beautiful and unique peninsula. The boat trip can be fun and exciting. It takes about one hour to get to the beach. There is quite a rocky path to walk once you disembark from the boat.

The boat runs daily (sea conditions allowing) from Paleochora at 10.00am and returns (promptly) at 4.00pm. So whatever you do, don't snooze too long on your sunbed and miss the boat!

You can also get to this paradise beach by car (1.5 hours) or by bus from Chania town which is a very scenic, winding route. The road to Elafonisi is narrow and full of turns, but the beauty of the landscape is stunning; you will cross the beautiful lush green village Elos and the imposing gorge of Topolia. Moreover there are many options for accommodation at Chrisoskalitissa village, 5km to the north. You can eat at Chrissoskalitissa or at Elos (on the way back to Chania).

Here is a video showing part of the road to Elafonisi

Elafonisi Beach Crete – Where To Stay

In order for you to be able to enjoy the exotic landscape of Elafonisi every day during your holidays, we would suggest you to choose to stay in one of the hotels of Palaiochiora near Elafonisi.  By staying in a holiday home in the surrounding area, you will be able to enjoy unique views of the sea and the Cretan nature, calmness and privacy in your private space, as well as to explore also the beautiful villages of the west coast of Crete.

However if you are interested into exploring more of the isalnd of Crete better to check for Crete Accommodation as there are so many hotels with discounts.

Elafonisi Beach Crete – What to not miss

Don't miss to visit,  5km north of Elafonissi, the Chrysoskalitisa monastery. This monastery has been built on a high rock, resembling of a fortress. According to the legend, the last step of the staircase leading to the monastery is gold, but can only be seen by those who really believe in god.

Elafonisi Beach Crete Photos