Elafonisi beach has been selected many times among the best beaches in Europe. And for good reason: It is a stunning beach, with shallow, crystal-clear turquoise water, and fine sand in white and pink color. The characteristic pink color of the sand comes from the reddish seashells inhabiting the area.
Opposite the beach lies the beautiful Elafonisi Islet. It is easy to cross on foot the 100 meters or so of sea that separate the beach and the islet, as the sea in that specific area is pretty shallow, forming a lagoon, and sometimes the sand even creates a natural "bridge" between the two. Generally, as the locals say, the Elafonisi beach changes from season to season, and from year to year, as the many repeat visitors to the area find out time after time.
Due to the popularity of the place, Elafonisi could get crowded in the peak of the high season in August. There is a big parking space in front of the beach, however, where you can find a place to park the car you have rented to get there (the only alternative being the sole daily bus connecting Elafonisi to Chania city, which leaves from the city in the morning and returns in the evening).
On the beach, you will find some basic amenities like sun beds, parasols, and a canteen serving cold water, refreshments and snacks.
The whole area of Elafonisi is an environmentally protected area by Greek laws and by the Natura 2000 Environmental Program of the EU. The stunning, one-of-a-kind coastal landscape, the crystal-clear water, the pink and white sand, are all characteristic features of Elafonisi. It is advised to leave the car you have hired in the parking area, and explore the surrounding area on foot, in order to help protect the local natural environment.
In the beach of Elafonisi, and in all the surrounding area, there is a rare species of cedar trees that grow on the sand. As these centuries-old trees grow by only a few inches every year, you should definitely avoid cutting or destroying part of their branches, as it is strictly prohibited by law, and can severely harm the local environment.
Apart from the special cedar trees of the area, the whole local flora and fauna is impressive in its variety and uniqueness, consisting of rare endemic species like sand flowers, sea birds, sea turtles and Mediterranean seals, among others.
Elafonisi beach and islet is a magnificent, rare place in southwest Chania that you need to hire a car to explore. It combines a stunning beach with a unique, very interesting natural environment.
Although the area of Elafonisi is relatively isolated, access to the area by car is easy, and if you also use Tellus car rental to hire the car that will get you there, you also make sure that your vacations to Chania, Crete will be as relaxing and trouble-free as possible.