Elafonisi beach is a cove on the coast of Crete. It is a popular tourist spot with a narrow entrance that can only be accessed by boat. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and has a small sandy bay. Its waters are clear and deep and are home to a large variety of marine life.
Elafonisi beach and the island and lagoon of the same name are located in the west of Crete, 75 km from the city of Chania, and 43 km from the town of Kissamos (Kastelli). Elafonisi beach is located quite far from other resorts. It is still appreciated by tourists and is world-famous for its unusual sand color – it is often pink in the surf zone. This sand color is caused by the abundance of small pieces of seashells, starfish, and corals. On the Cretan beach of Elafonisi, pink stripes of sand are interspersed with the usual white ones, and the pink-purple sand is best seen at sunset when fragments of shells shimmer in the rays of the setting sun.
In the sea, not far from the coast, there are small rocks, on which large seagulls often walk. The lagoon is shallow, and the sea entrance is shallow, so Elafonisi is well suited for families with children. The bottom near the coast sometimes forms small pools, in which children like to splash because the water there warms up especially well.
Crete’s Elafonisi beach is distinguished by very clear and transparent seawater. Therefore, scuba diving, snorkeling, and diving lovers often come to the beach.
Beach on map:
How to get:
Elafonisi is located 75 kilometers from Chania. You can overcome this path by public transport: buses from the Chania bus station leave daily at 9:00 am and return back at 17:00, the journey takes about two hours.
If you have experience driving along a mountain serpentine, you can go to Elafonisi beach in a rented car, choosing one of two roads – one goes along the rocky coast, the other – through the Topolian gorge.
If you wish, you can go to Elafonisi with an individual guide. In this case, besides the beach itself, you will see other popular attractions of Western Crete.
- During the month of April, May, and October you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F).
- On average, the warmest month(s) are June, July, and August.
- The months of January, February, March, October, November, and December have a high chance of precipitation.
- Elafonisi has dry periods in May, June, July, August, and September.
- The warmest month is July with an average maximum temperature of 30°C (86°F).
- The coldest month is February with an average maximum temperature of 14°C (57°F).
- January is the wettest month. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain.
- July is the driest month.
Water and beach cleanliness:
What the crowds of tourists who visit Elafonisi now are for is the amazing color and purity of seawater and a beautiful beach.
In some places, the sand really has a pink tint–but this is not the blood of innocent victims, but thousands of fragments of small shells.
Tourists planning to spend the night near the resort during the tourist season are advised to book a hotel room in advance due to the large number of people interested. The fact is that there are few hotels in this romantic place, and they are all small.
Cafes and restaurants:
Apart from a beach café, there is nothing much at the beach. You can find a few places nearby at Chryssoskalitissa.