Elafonissi Beach, located in the Chania region of western Crete, has become famous for its pink (yes, pink!) sand beaches. I had heard so much about the beauty of the area but had also been warned of huge crowds (especially in the summer!).
So, we had to see for ourselves, what was all the hype about?!
Read more below on my experience and tips for visiting Elafonissi Beach below!
– HOW TO GET THERE –
Elafonissi Beach is located in the Chania region of western Crete, approximately 47 miles southwest of Chania town. We set off in our little rental car and it took us approximately an hour to reach Elafonissi Beach from our house rental outside of Chania town.
The drive along the route was beautiful and scenic with winding roads through small towns and stunning gorges.
Take note that the roads are not large roads but are smaller and can be tight and twisty in some spots — but the views are excellent and the beach is well worth it!
There are signs indicating you are on the right path to Elafonissi Beach along the way but I recommend using a navigation app as well.
Once you arrive, there is a big parking lot for Elafonissi Beach and a short path that leads to the central area of the beach and lagoon.
– WHAT TO EXPECT –
After arriving at Elafonissi Beach, we fell in love! The path opens up to the central area of the beach with a gorgeous lagoon filled with the clearest turquoise waters.
The beautiful lagoon is filled with shallow, blue waters and opens up to a sandbar where you can walk to a small island beach.
Once we arrived, we immediately notice several chair rental options. At just before midday in the summer, these chair rental areas were already occupied! We decided to turn left and walk further down the beach — we discovered Elafonissi Beach is quite large and it was not difficult to find a more secluded area of the beach and additional chair rental options.
The chair rental prices ranged from €7-12 and there was a food vendor (think: small open-air shack) selling drinks and a few food options.
Once we settled into our chairs, we spent the next four hours relaxing, exploring and playing in the lagoon. Oh, and the pink sand? While the entire beach was not pink (as you might think with a nickname like ‘pink-sand beach’), there were areas where the sand was pink, especially near the water’s edge. We discovered that the pink sand was mostly in our farther secluded area rather than the central beach area — another bonus for venturing out!
– TIPS FOR VISITING –
- To reach Elafonissi Beach, you’ll need a rental car and navigation app (if you aren’t going with a guided tour).
- Plan to go early to avoid crowds, especially in the summer months.
- Have cash on hand for chair rentals and drinks/food.
- Bring your own towels, sunscreen, etc. as the chair rental includes just the chair and umbrella.
- Food options are limited so pack a picnic if you plan to go for the day.
- Enjoy the pink sand but don’t take any home with you as to not deplete the beach.
- We found that 3-4 hours was perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, exploring, swimming and enjoy some lunch + drinks.
- Windsurfing rentals are available (weather permitting).