Elafonissi Crete travel guide

Elafonissi is a remote beach on the south-west coast of Crete about 43 kilometres from Kasteli Kissamos and 76 kilometres from the west Crete capital of Chania.

Elafonissi is a pristine beach of white sand with rocky coves and tiny bays with a narrow spit of sand leading to a wild headland .

The beach was once too remote for regular visitors but new roads and heavy promotion have turned it into a must-see day trip destination.

There are now daily bus and boat tours from all over the west of the island, including Chania and Rethymnon, and the days when it was a deserted paradise have long since gone.

These days Elafonissi can seem very crowded despite the vast stretches of sand and there are sunbeds and other visitor facilities.

Those arriving by road have the double treat of a drive through the impressive Topolia Gorge and possible stops at the charming mountain villages of Topolia, Elos, Kefali and Vathi.

Elafonisi has a vast beach of white sand with a pink hue to the water thanks to the coral that grows in abundance.

The wild beach is not only outstandingly beautiful but has plenty of variety with some splendid rock pools, dunes and hidden coves.

It is possible to wade across the shallow water to the offshore headland islet and the crossing is easy when the weather is calm.

There is a small plaque in memory of the 600 Greek women and children slaughtered on the islet by the Turks in 1824.