Elafonissi Beach

Elafonissi Beach - The Best Beach in Crete

Elafonissi (some people also call it Elafonissos or Elafonisi) is something like an island and a peninsula, because to reach the island you have to walk through the sea.

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

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.

That's why Elafonissi beach is such a popular destination in the prefecture of Chania, and a top of the top things to do / excursion from all over Crete. 

White-Sand Beaches - Shallow Waters - Turquoise Sea

What characterizes the area of Elafonissos 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.

The whole area is an endless summer playground for young and old alike.

Sightseeing Tour to Elafonissi

As you approach Elafonisi, the downhill road lets you glimpse the area from afar. You will see blue and turquoise colors of the sea, white-sand beaches all over the place and cedars scattered all around. 

The road ends at a dirt vacant lot. Park and walk to the sea over the wooden lanes.

The beaches are organized at points   1   &   2  , showing on the map below.

The beaches with the very shallow sea and the fine sand are perfect for everyone and offered to play racquetball and volleyball literally in the water. For several meters from the shore, the sea depth is approximately below the knee. 

Shallow Elafonissi Beach

If you are traveling as a family, can rest assured that your kids will love it, and you'll feel more confident about them as they are in the water. 

Getting to Elafonissi Island on Foot

At this point   3  , the sea has penetrated the solid ground and created something that looks like a shallow lagoon, or like a ranging river, if blowing enough that day.

You'll notice people crossing the "lagoon." Do the same, keeping your stuff up, out of the water. The deepest point is midway, up to the middle of an adult.

Getting to Elafonissi Island on Foot

After passing the lagoon, you reach Elafonisi island. Although the whole area is being called Elafonissi, now you  are literally on the island. 

Caretta Caretta Turtle Eggs on Elafonissi

One of the reasons Elafonisi is included in the protected areas of Natura, is that here lay the Caretta-Caretta turtles. 

The entire south side of the island has also a fantastic beach separated by scatters rocks. The only difference is that at this point there are no sun beds and umbrellas. 

What's on the Beach

  • Sunbeds & umbrellas, but not on the islet.
  • A Lifeguard.
  • A couple of canteens with tables and chairs in shadow.
  • Showers.
  • Changing cabinets.
  • W.C


  • Don't go to Elafonissos on a windy day. Choose to go another day. Why? 

Because if it is blowing, the wind will constantly bring the sand on your naked body and your eyes. You will live an experience not so pleasant. You will not be able to relax for a moment.

Ok, ignore this advice if it's the last day of your holidays in Crete. Elafonissi worth a visit, whether blows or not! 

  • Take your umbrella and perhaps a rattan, especially if you have children. You may not find free sun beds and umbrellas. 


  • It is forbidden to take with you the pink sand.
  • Free camping on the beach is prohibited.

How to get to Elafonisi Beach

You can get to Elafonisi beach by road or by sea, in the following ways: 

From Chania to Elafonisi Beach Driving Your Car

To get to Elafonisi from Chania or the other resorts of the north coast of Crete, you're heading to Kissamos town through the highway, and from there you have two options.

There are two routes, both equally picturesque and recommended.

If you plan to go to Elafonissos from Chania and return to Chania, I would suggest to go by one route and return on the other. 

If you follow the first route   1  , which is the shortest, turn left about 1km before Kissamos (maybe less) and follow the signs to the gorge of Topolia and then to Elafonisi.

The second route   2  , will pass you through Kissamos towards the village of Platanos, where is the junction to Falassarna, which is another of the most popular beaches in the county of Chania. You will not turn, continue through the village of Platanos, and then follow the signs to Elafonisi.

Throughout most of this route, you will be able to view the sea area west of Crete. 

West Road Way to Elafonissi

Want to Stay Longer?
Accommodation near Elafonissi !

If you are thinking about staying near Elafonissi, be aware that there are only a few rooms to let in the area.

However, if you are lucky enough and there is availability, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the scenery for yourself when all excursionists will have gone.

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