Elafonissi, Crete Island, Hellas Greece.

If you come to Greece, Crete Island on holiday, Elafonissi is a name you are sure to hear. Elafonissi is a tiny island with white sand, separated from the shore by a lagoon no more than a metre deep.

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Elafonissi means “deer island”, but you won’t see any deer on the island or in the surrounding area. The island is 75 kilometres from Hania and it will take you about an hour and a half to get here.

On the way you will see Chrissoskalitissa (or Chrysoskalitissa) Monastery, visible from afar as it is a dazzling white and built on a great rock. Climb up to pay your respects at this historic monastery and look for the golden step which, according to legend, only the truly devout can see.

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Elafonissi is 5 kilometres from Chrissoskalitissa. On arriving you will see a large bare expanse used as a car park, a few dusty juniper trees and the wonderful colours of the lagoon.

The island is less than 200 metres from the beach and you can easily walk there through the warm, shallow water of the lagoon. On reaching the island you will discover lots of tiny beaches on its south coast.

The sand of Elafonissi is white, but in many places it is pinkish due to the thousands of broken seashells it contains. The limpid, blue-green waters will remind you of an exotic paradise.

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Thousands of people visit Elafonissi each summer, reaching 2,500 daily in July and August, so if you want to enjoy the island it’s much better to come at the beginning or end of the summer or avoid the hours from 11 to 4, especially at weekends. There are a few rooms for rent and tavernas nearby.

“The sea was calm and beautiful. The colors are intense—light blue water, pink sand. Paradise,” wrote a TripAdvisor reader about the beach of Elafonissi in Crete, Greece. The beach was voted the 10th most beautiful beach in the world by TripAdvisor readers, 3rd in all of Europe and first in the country.

White-Sand Beaches – Shallow Waters – Turquoise Sea

What characterizes the area of Elafonissos and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder.

The whole area is an endless summer playground for young and old alike.