Elafonisi beach, Crete: how to get
Elafonisi is a corner of paradise on the southwestern coast of Crete, included in the top 10 best beaches in the world. To relax on the white and pink sand and swim in the crystal clear sea, guests of Crete come here from all over the island in all possible ways: by car, public transport or as part of an excursion group. How to get to Elafonisi on your own?
How to get to Elafonisi from Chania
It will take at least 1.5 hours to get from Chania to the beach. Elafonisi is located 75 km from the city. There are two ways to get to the beach by car:
- Along the west coast on the E65 to enjoy the views. The road goes past Kissamos, along serpentines;
- Through the mountains and past the Topoli Gorge along the road that cut through the interior of Crete. First you need to take the National Highway to Kissamos, then turn left from the E65 highway. This path will take longer, as you will have to move along narrow mountain roads.
Both roads are paved and equally picturesque. It is difficult to drive past Elafonisi: all the signs that you will meet along the way lead to it.
Chania is connected to Elafonisi by a bus service. The KTEL bus departs from the city bus station at 9:00 and returns at 16:00. One way trip takes about 2 hours. The ticket price is approximately 11 euros. This is a more complicated way than by car.
How to get to Elafonisi from Rethymno
From Rethymno to Elafonisi about 3.5-4 hours one way. The city is located 129 km from the famous beach. It is better to leave by car at 5-6 in the morning in order to be on Elafonisi as early as possible. Having traveled to Chania, then you need to head for Kissamos and turn inland or continue along the serpentines along the coast.
There are no direct buses from Rethymnon to Elafonisi. But you can get from the Rethymno bus station to Chania, spend the night in this city, and in the morning take a bus to Elafonisi.
How to get to Elafonisi from Heraklion
The road to Elafonisi from Heraklion will be long. This city is much further from the beach than Chania and Rethymno (210 km), so you need to leave at dawn (if by car) or plan a two-day trip (if by bus), making a stop along the way and completely devoting the second day to Elafonisi.
Guests of Crete get to the beach in two ways:
- By car, moving along the National Road towards the west. Then the path follows the same pattern as if you were leaving from Chania;
- By bus, which leaves from the Heraklion bus station to Chania. Here you can get out and go for a walk around the picturesque city, spend the night in Chania, and in the morning take a bus to Elafonisi.
What else do you need to know
- Elafonisi can be reached by sea from Paleochora . Boats leave this village at approximately 10:00 and return at 16:00. Services are provided by both excursion companies and private traders who do not have a set schedule. Due to the fact that it takes as long to get to Paleochora as to Elafonisi, a sea trip will only be relevant for those who are nearby;
- You need to come to Elafonisi as early as possible , so as not to meet the sunset on the mountain road. In addition, a parking space is difficult to find after 10:00;
- Do not forget about the alternatives: there are many travel companies in Crete that offer an organized transfer to Elafonisi. This can be beneficial for traveling alone. The price depends on the distance of the starting point;
- The best way to get around is to rent a car in Crete . You can get as fast as possible or vice versa, make stops in picturesque places along the way. On the website of the car rental aggregator, you can choose a car by looking at real photos of the car and studying honest customer reviews.
- You can combine a trip to Elafonisi with a visit to the monastery of Chrysoskalitissa and another popular beach - Falasarna, located at a distance of 44 km.
Despite the fact that Elafonisi belongs to a protected natural area, natural beauty is harmoniously combined here with minimal infrastructure. Nearby there are apartments where you can stay. And on the beach itself there is a kiosk and a bar, sun loungers are available for rent.