Pink sand and beautifully clear blue water greet you on the shores of Deer Island or Elafonisi.
A nature reserve on the island of Crete, Elafonisi is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see and it offers plenty of historical importance as well. Let us tell you about one of the local’s favorite spots, Elafonisi beach.
Where is Elafonisi?
Elafonisi is a small island, located on the southwest coast of Crete, in the Chania region. The city of Chania is only about 75 kilometers away, and you can usually take a bus or a boat straight from Chania city to Elafonisi. Sometimes, when the water is low, you may be able to simply walk to Elafonisi island. In fact, that’s how the island gets its name. Elafi means dear in Greek. Although there are no deer on the island, the Greek people called it that because you could walk out to the island on foot, like a deer.
Elafonisi Areas of Importance
The island offers plenty to explore, including several coves and interesting rock formations on the tip of the island. Naturalists love Elafonisis because it’s home to 110 plant species, some of which are very rare.
Crete is one of the oldest known areas of human civilization, so the island offers lots of history. On the highest point, there’s a plaque honoring the women and children who were massacred by the Ottoman soldiers during the Greek War of Independence.
5 kilometers north of Elafonisi, there’s the Chrysoskalitisa monastery. According to the legend, the last step of the staircase leading to the monastery is gold, but can only be seen by those who really believe in god. The monastery was built on a high rock and is thought to resemble a fortress.
No matter if you go to Elafonisi to explore or to just relax, it’s the perfect place to spend the day.