Chrisoskalitissa Monastery

Elafonissi beach

Elafonissi Beach

Sunset at Elafonissi



Elafonissi is one of the most popular tourist destinations for it has one of most beautiful beaches in Greece. It is located in the Chania prefecture at the southwestern seaside of Crete.

The Elafonissi island is a 3 square kilometer area. Along with the surrounding area, it has been named a NATURA protected landscape by the associated organization of the European Union. It is famous for its lovely beach and shallow waters.  A characteristic feature of the island is that, whenever the weather is mild and the sea is calm, one can walk to Elafonissi island along an inwater path that is protected by a shallow channel.


The history of Elafonissi

The history of Elafonissi runs deep into the centuries. Temples dedicated to Apollo and Ino were built here where ancient rituals were performed to calm the sea gods. It should be noted that the area of Elafonissi is very dangerous for passing ships. In 1922, after several shipwrecks, a navigational lighthouse was built which was visible up to 40 miles away. The lighthouse was destroyed by the Germans in World War II and has been replaced by a smaller, more modern lighthouse.

Elafonissi is also known for the massacre that happened here during the Ottoman occupation. Dozens of women and children were killed along with forty armed Cretans defending the island against the Turks. Today, there is a monument that can be seen to honor those that were killed and to serve as a reminder of the tragedy.

This entire area is an enigma, creating a strong contrast between today and yesterday. Isolated in silence, it comprises a landscape of unique natural beauty which beckons visitors to both enjoy and respect…



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