Elafonisi

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Elafonisi: Our most recommended tours and activities

Day Trip to Elafonisi Island from Chania

1. Day Trip to Elafonisi Island from Chania

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on this full-day trip from Chania. Spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving on Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterwards, you'll enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonissi Island Day Tour by Bus

2. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonissi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorgeand and have a stop for coffee and refreshments.  Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours free time to marvel at the different colors between the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

From Rethymno: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

3. From Rethymno: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Following pick-up by bus, journey to the southwest corner of Crete to spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape on the way to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4 hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach. Benefit from beach kiosks where you can purchase food and water to rehydrate and re-energize. Situated just off the shore of the main island, Elafonisi can be reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty. Depart by bus at approximately 16:00 and return to Rethymno for an estimated arrival time and hotel drop off at around 18:30.

Georgioupolis: Full-Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

4. Georgioupolis: Full-Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

On this full-day trip, you’ll travel from Georgioupolis to the southwest corner of Crete and spend a relaxing day on the pink beaches of the small island of Elafonisi.  During the 3-hour drive to the island, you can sit back and relax, admiring the beauty of the lush green landscapes, traditional villages, and a small church built inside a cave along the way. After taking a short break to stop for a drink, you’ll reach your destination, Elafonisi,  a picturesque bathing paradise with an island that can be easily reached by foot. The water on the island is shallow, clear and gleams with beautiful shades of blue and green. You’ll have plenty of time to unwind on the beach and to purchase snacks and drinks on the island before returning to Georgioupolis in the evening.

From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

5. From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

This is your chance to visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Elafonissi is truly a heaven on earth, with soft white/pink sand, exotic crystal-clear water and cedar trees that extend down to the coastline. It is located in the easily accessible, south-western side of Crete. You will be picked-up you from your hotel area in the morning. Your first stop where you will be able to have a short break is the Aghia Sophia cave. Here you can visit the cave, and have coffee or refreshments if you choose. Following this, you will depart for Elafonissi. On your way to Elafonissi you will be able to see small traditional villages combined with typical Mediterranean scenery, as well as the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge. Once you have reached Elafonissi, you will have 4 hours of free time to soak in the amazing sun and enjoy the spectrum of shades of blue that this beach has to offer. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned back to your accommodation in Crete.

Chania: Elafonisi & Milia Mountain Retreat with Lunch

6. Chania: Elafonisi & Milia Mountain Retreat with Lunch

Join a semi-private tour to explore a part of southwest Crete. Get plenty of time to admire the clear blue waters, pink sand, and unique landscape of Elafonisi beach. For lunch, relax at Milia Mountain Retreat. Start early in the morning to avoid the crowds at Elafonisi beach. A part of the Natura 2000 nature reserve, this beach is famous for its pink sand that was created from seashells over thousands of years. As you walk around the beach, get an insight into life in Cretan villages, olive oil production, local wine, honey-making, and the distillation of Cretan grappa. Learn about the regional culture, cuisine, history, and traditions from your guide. Then, tucked away in the lush mountains of western Crete, visit the eco-friendly paradise of Milia Mountain Retreat. Once a deserted 17th-century settlement, this restored property is your stop for a delicious local lunch paired with wine or beer.

From Chania Area: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island by Bus

7. From Chania Area: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island by Bus

Travel to the foothills of the wild mountain landscape of Crete’s White Mountains, and discover a relaxing beach in the extreme southwest of the island. Drive through the village of Topolia, and stop in the village of Elos. Elafonisi is a Natura 2000 protected area. The island is full of sand dunes with sea daffodils and junipers. The endangered loggerhead sea turtle and several more rare animals and plants find shelter on the island. It is strickly forbidden to remove any plants, animals, shells, and sand from the area. Before it’s overgrown by pine and juniper dunes, there is a flat and fine sandy beach that shimmers with pink in places due to the coral. On the opposite island of Kastelli, you can wade through the shallow turquoise lagoon where the water is no more than waist-high. On our way back to Chania we will stop at Elos village, one of the most attractive old villages of the Kissamos prefecture, with green surroundings and natural water sources.

From Rethymno: Elafonisi and Balos Full-Day Trip

8. From Rethymno: Elafonisi and Balos Full-Day Trip

Start your day at Elafonisi beach, with its shallow water and fine white sand. Relax on the shore for 2 hours or explore your surroundings in one of the most beautiful, remote locations in Crete. Dip your feet in the turquoise lagoon or simply stroll along the shore fringed with pink coral sand. Then, get ready for the wild road to Cape Vouxa. Ride 8 kilometers up a dirt track to the national park in a comfortable 4x4 bus. As you travel, enjoy the beautiful natural scenery around you. Finally, arrive at your destination. Step out and take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Balos Bay and Gramvousa.

From Heraklion: Day Excursion to Elafonisi

9. From Heraklion: Day Excursion to Elafonisi

Experience a very special Tour that leads you to Crete's most southwestern part on the small island of Elafonisi. Drive from the north coast to the southwest and enjoy a scenic ride through beautiful nature and picturesque mountain villages to one of Crete's most beautiful beaches. Enjoy pure relaxation on exotic beaches with white sand and turquoise water. Jump into the refreshingly cool water and admire the pink shimmering sand in some locations, which has arisen from broken shells. The small lagoon provides an ideal place for paddling and bathing for children as well. Cross the shallow lagoon and reach the small idyllic island, where you can admire beautiful dunes and the local nature. Towards the sea, Elafonisi shows a steep rocky ridge, which is the real core of the island. Between the ridge and the coast, the island arose from alluvial deposition over thousands of years. That's why the island looks like a big sandy desert. Elafonisi is the nesting site of the sea turtle Caretta Caretta and the last resting place for migratory birds on their flight from Europe to Africa.

From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

10. From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

Start your day of discovery with a pick-up service. Right after you board your comfortable, air-conditioned bus, you will journey to the southwest corner of Crete to spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape on the way to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4-hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach. Benefit from beach kiosks where you can purchase food and water to rehydrate and re-energize. Situated just off the shore of the main island, Elafonisi can be reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty. Depart by bus at approximately 4:00 PM and return to Heraklion for an estimated arrival time and hotel drop-off at around 7:30 PM.

Other Sightseeing Options in Elafonisi

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What people are saying about Elafonisi

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,019 reviews

We had a great day with Andreas our guide and Nasos. It was a well-planned trip, with excellent information shared along the way. Having small groups made it much easier to get a lot out of the experience. Elafonisi is beyond description - so beautiful - and we arrived early so there was very little in the way of crowds. They brought us a snack that was perfect to hold us until lunch. We learned a lot about the history of Crete and much detail about everything you can imagine along the road - products, economy, flora and fauna - you name it. If you see Andreas, be sure to ask him about his MMA experience too :) Milia Mountain is also breathtaking. To be able to see the beach and the top of a mountain in one day is very special. The food was great at the mountaintop retreat and we enjoyed the view as well as the tour there. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone wanting to explore these specific areas of Crete more thoroughly.

Great trip the bus turned up on time. a lovely stop on the way to beach with beautiful views. the roads are a little thin and winding but include some amazing views. the beach is so beautiful. I went at end of April and it was perfect just a couple of hundred people I'd guess so not crowded. I'd imagine it would be less enjoyable in busy time. water is crystal clear and my sons enjoyed snorkeling. Lovely stop on way back and had a snack and wonder around the small village. can't fault the day at all. very informative tour guide as well.

We had the most wonderful experience with George! He was so kind, shared so much good information, good driving, and great conversation. The beach was beautiful and not crowded. We had sun beds with an umbrella, a free drink of choice and the mountain retreat for lunch was amazing. The view and food was wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about this experience. I would 100% do it again.

An interesting route, narrowings, slopes, tight tunnels and mountains. Guide, majestic beach - I recommend you disconnect after some time and go left to the rocks along the road behind the pier. Delicious food at the inn on the way back at attractive prices. Overall, I recommend it :)

Very enjoyable day. Interesting stop at the cave. Fabulous beach. Excellent guide & driver.