or Elafonisos, the island of deer in Greek, is 76km from Chania (Hania or Chania), at the south-western tip of Crete. Beautiful white and pink sandy beaches and turquoise waters, reminiscent of an exotic Caribbean landscape. A protected area in the Natura 2000 network, with an exceptional ecosystem. These include the sea lily, the maritime cedar and the caretta caretta turtle. At the point where the peninsula breaks off, the water is no more than half a metre deep and a small lagoon with warm waters has been created, ideal for children. 

How to get there
By car, from Chania, take the highway to Kissamos, and from there, the direction of Elafonisi. Count 1h30. By bus, there is only one daily connection from Chania, leaving at 9am and returning at 4pm. To be confirmed with KTEL, the bus company. KTELthe bus company.

To know, to visit, to do
Elafonisi attracts a lot of people, especially in summer. Beaches as far as the eye can see, and in July and August, you have to go early in the morning and leave late at night. Between noon and 4 pm, there is a ballet of cars and buses. When you arrive on the beach, there are deck chairs, umbrellas and a straw hut. Around the site, almost no facilities, only a few rooms and small restaurants, in this region still not very developed for tourism, and fortunately! There are no permanent inhabitants. When you go along the coast towards the east, you will find signs indicating the GR E4 (GR = Chemin de Grande Randonnée). It alternates altitude and beach while offering beautiful views of the coast.

To visit in the surroundings
5 km to the north of Elafonisi beach is the monastery of Chrysoskalitissa.  Built on a rock and with a fortress architecture, was intended to repel pirate raids. According to legend, the last step of the staircase up to the monastery is made of gold, but it can only be seen by those who truly believe. 4km to the southeast, the beautiful beach of Kedrodassos (cedar forest in Greek) is worth a visit.

Five or six small restaurants at the entrance of Elafonisi.

Photos from Elafonisi

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by the french guide “Guide du routard”

Top 10 in Crete: Loutro – Elafonisi – FalasarnaBalos Chania Samaria gorgeRethymnon Knossos Agios NikolaosVai Beach