Crete’s Elfafonissi: Top 10 European beach!

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Consistently ranked in the top beach in the world (Europe’s Best 10 Beaches According to Trip Advisor) Elafonissi Beach is in the southwestern side of Crete and about 75 kilometers from the town of Chania.

Elafonissi Beach is actually a small island you can walk to and it’s surrounded by white and pink sand (from coral), though the pink sand is becoming more scarce. Named for the local deer ”Elafi” that could walk there, it’s great for families and children – waters are shallow. With the Cretan mountains as a back drop, it really is a stunning beach, though you have to wrestle with the busloads of tourists that arrive each day.



Top tips for visiting Elafonissi Beach

  1. Escape the crowds and walk out to the island (passed the sun loungers and umbrellas). Sometimes the water is so shallow you won’t even get your feet wet. 
  2. If you don’t feel like walking there, get a sun lounger and umbrella (8 Euros for 2 loungers/umbrella). We had no problem getting one at noon in the height of summer, but I can imagine if the stars don’t align for you and all the coaches arrive at once you might not be so lucky.
  3. Bring snorkelling gear! The water is so clear even just having a face mask would be fun.
  4. Bring your own food – Our tour bus stopped so we could get sandwiches and drinks to bring with us. We were glad because there were only snack shacks – no restaurants. Thankfully there are toilets!
  5. Bring lots of water – it’s hot and you’ll welcome the hydration.
  6. Use your suncream, you don’t want to be one of those tourists that come home with a sunburn.
  7. Pick the right swim suit. My Lands End tankini really didn’t make the cut. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll see!
  8. Take your camera! You’ll want to photograph this one (unfortunately so does everyone else). You’ll see lots of boyfriend slaves taking the perfect shot of their girlfriend for Instagram!



My 13-year-old’s perspective

On our 3rd day we took a bus tour to Elafonisi, one of the top 10 beaches in the world! Elafonisi is a spectacular beach in the South West of Crete. The tour was quite long (all day!) but we had lots of stops on the way. Our tour guide spoke in German which was quite interesting because I have taken a little German in school. Thankfully she spoke to us in English. At Elafonisi, the beach had a little pink sand and the and the water was very clear – it was like being in the Caribbean. The water is very shallow so you could walk out a long way.



Don’t miss

Just 5km north of Elafonissi is the Chrysoskalitisa monastery. Built in the 17th-century, this Orthodox Christian monastery is high on a rock and resembles of a fortress. 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.




Olympic Holidays For bookings call 0208 492 6868 or visit


Pin it for later! Top Tips for visiting Crete’s Elafonissi Beach. Consistently ranked in the top beach in the world, Elafonissi is a gorgeous beach and well worth the visit! See our tips for visiting.

*This post is part of #farawayfiles.

Disclosure: My trip to Crete was provided by Olympic Holidays for the basis of this review. All opinions are my own.










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  1. 18/01/2018 / 13:00

    Wow! A truly magnificent place, Susanna! I am definitely adding Elfafonissi beach to my bucket list. How many days would you recommend staying there?

  2. 18/01/2018 / 00:02

    This places looks amazing and I would love to take my kids here. One day!

  3. 17/01/2018 / 03:16

    These blue waters look stunning! Our boys were very young the last time we were in Greece. You’re making me want to plan a trip today!

  4. 16/01/2018 / 11:59

    This beach looks absolutely beautiful.Have never visited Greece but Crete is now on the radar.

  5. 16/01/2018 / 09:27

    It looks amazing! I haven’t been to Crete but now that we’re back living the UK I can see a Grecian beach holiday on the horizon very soon!

  6. 15/01/2018 / 19:18

    Looks gorgeous!! I haven’t been to Greece since I was a teenager and am anxious to get back. I love the hint of pink sand here..almost prefer it to full-blown pink. Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

  7. 14/01/2018 / 23:14

    My daughter would love this–the still waters are right up her alley. My family went to Crete without me several years ago, and now I know I’ll have to make the journey myself!

  8. 14/01/2018 / 20:08

    WOW! Elfafonissi in Crete just shot up to the very top of travel list, that water is simply perfect. Our daughter is also 13 years old so I’m sure she’ll love it just as much as we would. Great tips, especially bringing our own water and food. Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. 14/01/2018 / 17:33

    Wow, I never knew how beautiful this actually is — adding to my travel bucket list!

  10. Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    12/01/2018 / 19:55

    We’ve been to Crete twice now. It’s an absolutely gorgeous island and last year I totally fell in love with tiny Loutro just around the coast but we still didn’t make it to Elafonissi and it looks so stunning. Perhaps it’s time for a third trip? Thanks for fuelling my love of Greece on #FarawayFiles

  11. 12/01/2018 / 12:06

    STUNNING and officially day dreaming!! I haven’t made it to Greece yet, but I think the first place I would like to go is Crete! Happy New Year! #FarawayFiles

  12. 12/01/2018 / 05:11

    Well, this looks like one to keep in mind for future summers in Greece (of which, I hope there’ll be many). Lol at the boyfriend slaves taking pics…an unfortunate part of travel these days. The number of times I’ve seen someone crawling through the water like a tiger… *sigh. #farawayfiles
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