Discover the stunningly beautiful Elafonisi, located 76 km away from the Chania city, in the southwesternmost tip of Crete. This oblong peninsula, often breaking in two parts by water, is a Natura 2000 protected area, full of sand dunes and rare plants and animals. Exotic beaches with white sand and turquoise water, reminding of the Caribbean, are formed on either sides of the peninsula, with pink sand in some areas due to the crushed shells. Near the breaking point of the peninsula, the sea water does not exceed 1m in depth, creating a small lagoon, ideal for children.
You can come by car (1.5 hours) or by bus from Chania. The road to Elafonisi is narrow and full of turns, but the beauty of the landscape is stunning; you will cross the beautiful lush green village Elos and the imposing gorge of Topolia. Moreover, there are many options for accommodation at Chrisoskalitissa village, 5km to the north. You can eat at Chrissoskalitissa or at Elos (on the way back to Chania). Besides, there is a huge area for parking and, even further, a few rooms to let.
Elafonisi has a rich history, dating back to ancient times when the ancient Greeks built a temple dedicated to Mousagetis Apollo on the islet of Mousagores. Opposite the islets, there was the temple of Ino, the daughter of Kadmos. It is also believed that the island was once occupied by pirates, and it has been named “Treasure Island” in Greek Elafonisi, derived from the treasures that pirates stored here. Near the parking area, you will see a monument commemorating a tragic story that took place in Elafonissi in the Easter of 1824. Moreover, during the Revolution of 1866, the historic ship Arkadi was destroyed during a battle on August 7, 1867 near Elafonissi.
You can also go on a trek for 20 minutes to the lighthouse on the edge of the island, located in the area called Agia Irini (Saint Irene). In order to get there, you walk through magnificent landscapes with dunes and beautiful coves. Lastly, 5km north of Elafonissi, there is the Chrysoskalitisa monastery. This monastery has been built on a high rock and was fortified. According to the legend, the last step of the staircase leading to the monastery is golden, but can only be seen by those who really believe in god.