Elafonisi Beach

The surreal beauty of this beach enchants anyone who visits and reminds you of an exotic place. In the south-western part of Crete, one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in Greece can be found. Elafonisi is a small island so close to the mainland that you can easily walk through the shallow waters from the beach. The turquoise waters in combination with its white and pink sand creates a landscape of unparalleled beauty. To add to its beauty and wonder, this area is also a refuge for the protected Careta Careta Turtles and is now included into Natura’s protection and conservation work.

Take in the lush green landscape as you travel through the many traditional villages and stop to admire the impressive Topolia Gorge; taking photos and trying local produce sold from roadside market stalls. It is here that you will have time to sample our famous local delicacies such as Raki, Rakomelo, Honey and many other traditional delights. After a short stop here we will continue on our journey. Once arriving at Elafonisi, you will have 4 hours to relax on the beach, swim in the crystal-clear waters and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Both the beach and the island are rich with wildlife and are something of a rare beauty.



Topolian Gorge has endless species of rare plants and is filled with many caverns, adding to its breathtaking beauty. The steep slopes and deep valley within this gorge stretch over 1,500 meters in length. In mythological tradition the legendary giant Talos rested in this gorge and danced to the rhythms created by the Fairies (Nymphs) that lived there. Talos was a bronze giant that was a gift from the god of fire (Hephaestus) to King Minos so he could protect the shores from invasion. Legend has it, he was tasked with walking the length of the island in order to not allow foreigners to step on Cretan Soil.

The highlight of this wonderful gorge is not only the breath-taking views but also the cave of Saint Sophia with its harmonious temple and stalagmite formations. And it’s here we will pause a while before continuing on our journey.



Elafonisi is at the south-eastern tip of Crete and it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire island. The crystal-clear waters of this lagoon are surrounded by pink sand that gives this beach its reputation to be a unique and unforgettable experience. Elafonisi is one of the few beaches in the world where pink sand can be found and it’s this that makes it such a popular destination with people from all over the world.

A short walk through the shallow turquoise waters will take you to the island of Elafonisi. And it’s here you will find many species of plants and wildlife that add to the raw nature and unparalleled beauty of this incredible place. To add to its beauty and wonder, this area is also a refuge for the protected Careta Careta Turtles and is now included into NATURA 2000s protection and conservation work.



At the highest point of the island of Elafonisi there is a plaque that is dedicated to the horrific event that happened on Easter Sunday (18th April) 1824 at the hands of the Ottoman Rule in Crete. Elafonisi Island provided shelter for over 850 local women and children but were discovered by Ottoman soldiers and as punishment for rebelling all 850 innocent people were killed.

If you walk around 20 minutes on the island of Elafonisi you will find a lighthouse which was built on this site after the maritime disaster of February 1907. The SS Imperatrix ran aground on the reefs when travelling to India with 120 crew and 20 passengers. 40 of these never made it to shore and were buried in an unmarked grave on the island shortly after. To prevent anything of a similar nature happening again in the future, a tall lighthouse was created to warn sailors of the dangerous rocks beneath. The original lighthouse was destroyed at the end of the Second World War but has now been replaced with a modern structure and this is what can be seen today.


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