Elafonisi or Elafonissi Beach (Greek: Ελαφονήσι) is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the island. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pink sand, and stunning natural scenery, Elafonisi Beach is a paradise on earth.
The beach is located on the southwestern tip of Crete and is surrounded by a protected nature reserve, making it a pristine and untouched location. The shallow waters and gentle waves make it an ideal spot for families with children, while the rugged cliffs and rocky outcroppings provide plenty of opportunities for adventurers.
One of the unique features of Elafonisi Beach is the pink sand, but it would be best to set your expectations to a minimum from all the heavily edited photos you have seen online. The pink color comes from tiny crushed shells that have mixed with the sand over time, creating a beautiful and unusual color palette. The sand is soft and powdery, making it perfect for sunbathing and relaxing.
The beach also has several natural pools and lagoons, formed by the rocky terrain and the tide. These pools are perfect for a refreshing dip and provide a unique swimming experience.
For those interested in wildlife, Elafonisi Beach is also home to a variety of rare and endangered plant and animal species, including the Loggerhead sea turtle.
Elafonisi Beach is a true gem of Crete and should not be missed. Its natural beauty, unique features, and serene atmosphere make it the perfect destination for anyone looking for a little piece of paradise.
Whether you plan to go there by car or bus, brace yourself for one challenging ride. The travel time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes from the city of Chania if you go by bus and just under 2 hours if you go by car. For bus times please refer to our timetable page.
Tip: Big parts of the pink sand has disappeared due to change of the sea level, so set your expectations very low on the pink sand you see on various photos online.