Elafonisi, located in southwest Crete, contains a beautiful lagoon and a south-facing swimming beach, both with crystal clear water and pink sand comprising an exotic scenery found only in a few places on earth. During the summer months, just north end south of the swimming area is found one of the best kite surfing areas around Crete.
Voted as one of the 10 best beaches in the world, Elafonisi is located in southwest Crete 75km from Chania which works out to about one and a half hours travel time by car. Elafonisi contains a small island about 200m south of the main swimming area north of which is the big shallow kite surfing lagoon no more than 1m deep.
For those who choose Elafonisi for kite surf vacations, there are some hotels and restaurants within 500m distance from the beach and some more in the area of 7km. On the other side, for those who want to stay in cosmopolitan Chania, local and international travel agencies organize bus trips to Elafonisi every day. An alternative choice is to rent a car.
Additionally, for those who choose to stay at Palaiochora village, they can catch daily boats to Elafonisi from the eastern harbor of Paleochora. Those boats usually arrive around 11 o’clock on Elafonisi and depart at 5 o’clock.
The beach is 200m from the island and you can walk on the coastline and pass the shallow lagoon with the green-blue water around you. The sand at the beaches isn’t just sand but masses of empty seashells, which explains the pink and red color of the beach. There you will find many small beaches to relax and feel the magic energy of this place.
The Municipalities of Selinou-Kantanou and Kissamou have designated Elafonisi a natural preserve through canteens for refreshment and snacks, which are located at the main beach organized together with lifeguards, showers, umbrellas, locker rooms, and trash disposal. The swimming beaches in most areas are shallow and totally safe for children. Across Elafonisi’s beach is Elafonisi island which may be visited
by simply walking through the shallow water. Behind the island, you will find a quiet small beach with clear blue-green water.
On the way to Elafonisi, you will notice the monastery of Panagia Chrisoskalitisa built on a hillside adjacent to a small peaceful village complete with restaurants and hotels.
Light House: A very beautiful path leads to the lighthouse at the west end of Elafonisi island from which you may see a particularly nice view of Elafonisi’s exotic scenery.
Palaiochora Elafonisi Path: There is an E4 path with spectacular wild flora leading to Krios beach next to Paleochora. The path has moderate difficulty though crosses through a beautiful cedar forest known as “Kedrodasos”.
Boat Trips: For those who want to see from different angles Elafonisi organized trips for 4-5 people with a large inflatable boat.
Wind conditions: The location is exposed to the northwest winds and is a side-on spot with steady wind and no gusts or changes in direction. During the summer months, the thermal winds guarantee planning conditions almost every day (with force 4 to 5 Beaufort). During the winter months prevailing southeasterly winds 6-8 Beaufort.
Well, and in spring there are very good conditions for kite surfing waves.
Lagoon: In the lagoon, there is waist-deep water ideal to enjoy kite surfing. Finally, if you are a beginner you will learn to sail in the tiny gulf in front of the kite station which is a natural sandy pool with waist-deep flat water.
Perfect playground: The training playground is extremely safe, ensuring children and beginners will enjoy a fun introduction to kite surfing in a secure environment.
It is a friendly place too for your non-kitesurfing partners. Perfect natural scenery, calm water to swim in, with a well organized vendor area for umbrellas, drinks, and cold food, combines everything you could ever need from a kite destination.
The lagoon: If you want to rest under a kiosk, wash your equipment with clear water or check it before leaving, the spot provides all these at an extra cost of 10€ per day.