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Elafonissi beach

Location

Elafonissi beach in Chania and Balos beach are among the most tropical beaches in Crete.
Elafonissi lies on the south western corner of the island, about 75km southwest of Chania town.

Characteristics

Access By: Car/bus Beach Type: Sand
Depth: Shallow Temperature: Cool
Natural Shade: Little Crowded: Yes*
Family-friendly: Yes Organised: Yes

Facilities

Umbrellas and sunbeds, showers, toilets, lifeguard, parking, kite surf center, canteen, cafes, taverns, accommodation, mini markets.

Notes

Elafonissi (or Elafonisi) beach has pinkish sand deriving from crushed corals and seashells which grant the water with a clear turquoise colour.
Elafonissi islet is just off the beach and can be reached on foot, since the narrow strip that unites it with the mainland has a very shallow depth, with a small lagoon between the two which is ideal for children.
The very interesting flora and fauna in the region, form a natural environment of astonishing beauty and uniqueness.
The islet features sand dunes with sand lilies and juniper trees, protected by the Natura 2000 Programme.
The area of Elafonissi is also a natural refuge for many species of sea birds and a breeding place for the protected Caretta Caretta loggerhead sea turtle.

Due to its popularity, the beach gets overcrowded during July and August, especially during the weekends.
If you wish to avoid the crowds, try to go early or late during the day or season of year.
If you want to experience a more secluded part of Elafonisi, bring your own umbrella and walk towards the south, where you can find hidden coves.
Elafonissi beach is a unique creation of nature and one of the most picturesque corners in the island.

How to get to Elafonissi

Access to Elafonissi is possible by private or rented cars/motorbikes and by daily public buses from Chania, which takes about two hours.
It is also possible to get to Elafonissi by public buses from Rethymnon though you will have to change buses in Chania.
The journey by private car from Chania town is about an hour and a half.
Follow the road to Kastelli-Elos-Kefali- Elafonissi during which you have the opportunity to pass by scenic villages and the impressive Topolia Gorge.
About 5km before arriving at Elafonissi, you will see the famous Chryssoskalitissa Monastery from afar, built on an impressive rock.
The alternative route, Kefali-Papadiana-Sfinari-Vryses-Platanos-Trachilos-Kastelli-Chania, is a longer one but equally enjoyable as you also will drive through beautiful areas along the route.

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Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. With an exquisite 1,000 kilometer-long coastline, Crete boasts about 400 beaches most of which have earned a Blue Flag. The innumerable beaches combined with impressive mountains, steep gorges and fertile plains make Crete the island with the most diverse landscape in Greece.

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Since the island's touristic development, which dates back in the 60's, Crete nowadays demonstrates from luxurious resorts to really cheap accommodation. The visitor will find countless hotels, apartments, studios and villas to ensure a memorable holiday. Moreover, the abundance of fresh products and the renowned for its life-prolonging qualities Cretan cuisine served at the island's restaurants, make Crete a holiday destination which has it all!