Elafonisi means island of deer, and in fact in Venetian maps (15th century) it is referred to as Curvi (deer) probably because of the existence of deer on the island in the past. It is a place that is unique, enchanting, exotic, divine, a location that as soon as you see it you do not believe that it exists like it. However, it does exist and is located at the southwestern tip of the island and at a distance of about 200 km from Heraklion. The duration of the route is about three hours, with one or two stops to enjoy the scenery and coffee.
This route starts in the morning to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, so arriving at this unique destination we will stay the rest of the day. The options available are either under the natural shade offered by trees such as perennial cedars, tamarisk trees or the organized beach with umbrellas. More specifically, on the east side of the beach, in front of the lagoon, which is organized, most people gather. There are showers, refreshments and changing rooms. You also have the option to cross the lagoon carefully on foot and cross to the quieter and secluded part of the island.
Elafonissi is one of the most beloved and beautiful destinations for both locals and visitors to Crete.
Elafonissi is a place of special natural beauty, it has been designated as a Natura protected area and one of the reasons is that Caretta-Caretta turtles choose to breed there, many images of nature and unique beaches, pink, red and gold sand, dunes that give you the feeling that you are in an oasis in a desert. What characterizes Elafonisi and makes it an exotic part, are the small islets with the very fine white sand that in some places appear pink shades due to the dust of crushed shells, the lagoon that is formed and the turquoise shallow waters. Access to the island is by walking as the water does not exceed one meter, an ideal destination for children of all ages for safe swimming, after all many people call it a playground of all ages. We are sure you will not want to leave there and will be enchanted.
Returning from Elafonisi we pass by a nunnery called and known as the Monastery of Panagia Chrysoskalitissa, it is worth stopping there for a while to light a candle in the church admiring the unrestricted sea view. In the katholikon you will notice the miraculous icon of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary which dates back to the second half of the 17th century, while a small museum has been formed. Legend has it that anyone who actually believes sees a golden staircase from ’98 which is usually the last to reach the temple. It is common in every destination of Crete to learn about a myth that can be true.
We also suggest you when we return from the excursion to stop at some of the traditional taverns of the area and enjoy fresh delicious fish overlooking the sea.
- Departure from your location
- Stop for coffee/breakfast
- Arrival in Elafonisi
- Duration of stay
- Departure for the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa / length of stay
- Stop for food
- Return to your selected destination
The default stops may change according to your wishes, you can consult your guide.
Prices do not include entrance fees for archeological sites / museums, escorts / meals and ferry tickets.