Elafonisi island and the bay are located on the southeast tip of Crete, the distance from Chania is roughly 73 km and just 43 km from Kastelli. You can get to Elafonisi via local bus services which do regular trips to and from the island for a small fee. Many visitors of Crete Island but also the local people, says that Elafonissi is one of the top Cretan destinations that anyone should visit.
With stunning beaches Elafonisi is a great draw for tourists and locals alike who come to bathe in the crystal clear waters and lovely white sandy beaches.
This is a short guide with some useful information and pictures about the island of Elafonisi, but also the guide touches upon the history and dark past of the area.
Elafonisi General Information
As stated before the beach and island of Elafonisi sit on the edge of southeast Crete, and can be found by following the road from Paleohora or getting a chartered boat or bus trip. You can also rent a car from the likes of Autocreta, grab a road map and make your own way to the beach. This allows you to spend as much time as you want enjoying the pink sands and warm waters and also by renting a car you will be able to make a stop wherever you like until you arrive to your final destination.
If you’re visiting the beaches of Elafonisi then it’s recommended that you take a packed lunch and some bottled water, preferably in a cool box. If you forgot anything, you will not find any kind of market nearby this beach.
The darker past of this beautiful island is quite sad and tragic, but typical of the time. The story goes that in 1824 the Turkish massacred over 850 women and children hiding out on the island. The Turks were camped on the beach, many troops with horses were there and the women and children were hiding on the island. The Turks found a hidden path to the island where they found the women and children and killed them all. There is a memorial plaque at the highest point of the islet.
Apart from the past occurrences Elafonisi remains a popular destination for tourists who come to sunbathe on the glorious white sands and take some amazing photographs of the beach and the local wildlife and migrating birds that flock to this area year on year. In some words, Elafonisi is a destination that any visitor of Crete should visit.