Elafonisi beach kids lying in the shallow waters
Elafonisi area beaches
elafonisi beach and forest Chania Crete
boy running in shallow waters Elafonisi Crete
Kid having fun at the beach of Elafonisi
pink sandy beach at Elafonisi Chania
kids snorkeling in the shallow waters in Elafonisi beach
Family on rocks at Elafonisi beach
pink shells in sandy beach of Elafonisi Chania
Sandy beach umbrellas and sunbeds in Elafonisi Chania
Elafonisi beach Chania

Elafonissi Beach

Elafonissi beach (or Elafonissos or Elafonisi) is located in the southwest end of the prefecture of Chania, approximately 70km from the city of Chania. The easiest and fastest was is to drive or take a taxi.

What makes Elafonissi so special and a must place to visit with the family in Crete is its exotic topography and natural beauty (Elafonissi is included in the Natura 2000 Protection Program).

Specifically, Elafonissi is a long and narrow peninsula with white sandy beaches on both sides, full of white lilies and sandstones. It feels like being on a small island with a natural lagoon around it. To reach the island you have to walk through the sea which all kids love since it is like an adventure.

All kids love the untouched dunes, the little sand islets, the long stretches of fine white and pink sand (made of crushed shell powder), the little coves ideal for snorkeling, the rocks full of sea life to observe and certainly the shallow turquoise water which looks like a lagoon.

The whole area feels like a summer playground for young and old alike. We guarantee that once you reach the first turning, one thing is for sure – you and your kids will be left speechless! A truly heavenly landscape that you should definitely visit if you happen to be in southwest Crete.

When to visit

The best time to avoid the crowds of tourists is late September and October. The weather is still beautiful and the water temperature makes it pleasant to swim, snorkel and play all day long! There are many smaller and bigger beaches and islets, and to reach the other side of the lagoon you may need to wade through its waters carrying your bags on your heads. Your kids will love it!

Families should know

  • In low season the boats and buses getting there are not very frequent, so bring your picnic and enough water with you as the local beach bars will probably be closed.
  • Bring beach parasols and sun hats for your children as there are not many shaded spots.
  • If you decide to use the boat services to see around, pay attention to the timetables. If you miss the boat, you may have trouble returning back.
  • You might get annoyed by the rows of sunbeds on the east side of the beach. If you want more isolation, it is worth walking further along the beach to discover the quiet sandy corners opposite the island located within the sea.
  • In summer time during the weekends Elafonissi can get really crowded. Week days are definitely less busy.
  • If you decide to get to Elafonissi by car, the roads are narrow and full of turnings. The majestic landscape will certainly compensate though.
Address: Elafonissi, Chrisoskalitissa, Kissamos


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Kids will love

  • Examining the pink sand and making pink sand castles. You children may want to carry some home but as it is a protected area, this is not allowed.
  • Getting on a small traditional boat that can take you to the nearby village of Paleochora, where you can stay overnight in one of the many family-run hotels, or be back the same day.
  • Exploring the bathing pools and coves to spot sea urchins and octopuses.

Parents will love

  • Elafonissi is a nature reserve, it is clean and the landscape is simply stunning.
  • The lagoon waters are shallow making it a safe place for children to swim and play.
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Best season to visit

  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter
  • spring
  • All

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  • If you get lucky, you might discover footprints of baby turtles that find refuge at the beach.

  • The best way to get to the lagoon is by a small boat that leaves from Paleochora. Takes an hour one way but it’s super fun for kids and very relaxing for parents.


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