Elafonissi beach – Excursion in Chania, Crete

If you would like to discover a small island covered with sand dunes and small trees, sandy beaches and tropical waters, then you must visit Elafonisi, one of the exotic beaches of Crete.

Elafonisi is at the southwest tip of Crete, 76 km from the city of Chania, protected natural reserve by the Natura 2000 European Act, a peninsula which breaks in two parts by water giving the impression of being a separate island. A lagoon, shaped at that point, is ideal for children. The sea is so shallow that you can cover on foot. The white sand which in many places gets pink shades of the thousands of crushed shells gives a different look to the beach. The crystal  – clear and blue-green waters, reminding also of the Caribbean.

Before you reach Elafonisi, you will visit the very known monastery of Chryssoskalitissa,  one of the landmarks of southwest Crete. It is simple, but an impressive building, which has kept alive the atmosphere of past centuries. Ninety steps lead to the top of the rock and tradition has it that one of them is gold. That’s where it gets its name.

On the way back to home, driving along the road you will reach  Elos, a village built in a verdant landscape with Chestnut trees, plane trees, and many fruit orchards. There, under the plane trees, you will have a dinner.

elafonisi beach

More about Elafonisi

Elafonissi means an island of deer but you will not see any deer walking on the island or in the surrounding area. It is 75 km from Chania and it will take about 1.5 hours to get there, but it is totally worth the amazing narrow peninsula, that reminds of a separate island, due to the sea level. The pink beach paradise of Crete has been included in the protected areas of “Natura” as it is full of sand dunes and cedars. Turtles are still nesting, while with a short walk to the sandy beach and a diving, you will find many rare species of animals.

Elafonissi has been the oldest base of pirates, and this is seen in every corner. His name (Lafonisi) took it from the spoils, which pirates hid at this point.

What is responsible for the pink sand at Elafonisi lagoon?

The pink sand is created by some tiny crustaceans called Foraminifera, which when they complete their life cycle and die, leave behind their reddish shells that remain in the water and are crushed in the sand, which in turn acquires this stunning shade.

You want holidays in Crete, full of relaxation on sandy beaches?? Check our beach excursions

Additional information

Ticket TypeAdults, Children (4-9,99) years old, Infants (0-3.99) years old
Language Tour GuideEnglish, Russian, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Czech


  • BUS transfer from and to your hotel.
  • Professional guide (EN, RU, FR, DE, PL, IT, NL, CZ) *available after request
elafonisi beach lagoon
elafonisi beach
elafonisi beach
elafonisi beach

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