Learn how to get to Elafonisi Beach without a car.
Elafonisi beach is a must-visit location in Crete because it has consistently been rated as one of the most
gorgeous beaches in Europe in recent years and is distinguished by its fine, pinkish-colored sand and blue, almost exotic waters.
However, if you can’t drive or don’t want to rent a car, its isolated location makes it less convenient to get to. Therefore, these are the top 3 non-driver approaches to visiting Elafonisi beach.
01. Consider spending the night in a hotel close to Elafonisi Beach.
You can reserve a few nights at one of the lodging options near the beach. Just be aware that you’ll need to make your reservations well in advance, especially if you’re travelling during the busy season.
You can just take the bus or make other travel arrangements with your host to get there. Since the local buses only operate during the summer, if you’re visiting out of season, you’ll need to obtain a private shuttle.
The following list includes some of the top hotels around Elafonisi beach:
Kalomirakis Family’s Elafonisi Resort
Rooms at Lafo
Elafonisi Beach Apartments with a Sea View
visit the cretan beach of Elafonisi
02. Take a coach, public transportation, or guided tour.
It may be simpler to reserve lodging in Chania if you plan to go by bus (which is also worth a visit by itself; check out my itinerary for 1 week in Crete without a car). Another word of caution: due to the highways’ passage through mountains, they are quite twisting.
There are three ways to get to Elafonisi Beach from different locations on the island of Crete:
a. transit bus
Every day at 9 AM, the public departs from Chania City and travels for around two hours to reach Elafonisi. The return trip is scheduled at 4 PM. On KTEL’s website, you may obtain the most recent timetables. The public bus only runs during the busy season, so be aware of that!
b. Visit the beach and lagoon at Elafonisi as part of a guided trip.
It won’t be difficult to acquire tickets because there are numerous travel agencies that provide day trips to Elafonisi beach. Here are a few excellent choices from a variety of well-liked areas on the island of Crete:
Elafonisi Island Day Trip from Chania: This excursion gives you access to the beach for roughly 4 hours.
Breakfast and coffee are stopped for quickly on the way to Elafonisi, and lunch is stopped at a nearby Greek taverna on the way back (expenses are not included).
Even if the trip from Herakles to Elafonisi Beach takes four hours, you will get to spend 4.5 hours at the beach, which is a sufficient amount of time.
From Rethymno, take the guided day excursion, Elafonisi Pink Sand Beach Tour, which stops briefly at Agia Sophia cave before continuing to Elafonisi beach, where you’ll spend around 4 hours.
Elafonisi-Falasarna Full-Day Shared Tour from Chania: By taking this tour, you can see Elafonisi and Falasarna, two of Greece’s most well-known beaches. You’ll visit the two beaches for a total of about 5 hours.
Private Full-Day Tour to Elafonisi: On this private tour, you are free to decide whichever sites you would want to see. Elafonisi beach, Topolia Gorge, and Agia Sofia Cave are all part of the typical itinerary.
The drawback of taking a guided day excursion is that occasionally the tours stop at other locations in addition to their original destination, taking away from your beach time.
So it might not be the greatest option for you if all you want to do is spend as much time as possible at Elafonisi beach. But if not, it can be a useful method to learn more about Crete.
c. Express/coach bus
In essence, these are shared or private transportation services to and from the beach. They are a decent choice for a day journey to Elafonisi because they make fewer stops and have no plan or guide.
03. from Paleochora, take the boat.
Take the daily boat ride to Elafonisi if you’re staying in Palaiochora. At 10 AM and 4 PM, respectively, the boat departs. An hour is spent on the ride. The boat may, however, be postponed due to poor weather.
If you get seasick, you might want to steer clear of this choice because even in fair weather, it can occasionally turn windy as you get closer to Elafonisi (the lagoon itself is known to have strong winds occasionally). alternatively is a cosy choice.
A speedboat ride to the lagoon is an additional option.
My first trip to Crete was planned, and Elafonisi was at the top of my list. However, neither I nor my boyfriend at the time had a driver’s licence.
As a result, we decided to spend a couple nights in Paleochora and split our beach time between two days in Elafonisi (by boat) and two days on the beach in Paleochora.
And it was absolutely beautiful that way, especially since I liked Elafonisi more than he did, although for him it was the opposite.
Is the sand in Elafonisi pink?
Sure and no. Near the water, Elafonisi beach often features fine, white sand with pink undertones. Depending on how many crushed shells are added to the sand, the pink’s intensity will vary.
Unfortunately, many visitors still take a small piece of sand home as a souvenir despite the fact that it’s against the law to do so (please, please don’t do this! ), which has led to a reduction in the pink hue.
The beach reportedly used to be quite pink while it was still relatively unknown, but as its popularity increased, the pink hues became progressively less vivid. And that’s really sad.
Worth visiting Elafonisi Beach?
It is definitely worthwhile, in my opinion. The sea’s colour is very amazing, and the sand is incredibly fine.
But those times when Elafonisi beach was a well-kept secret have long gone. So do plan on it being rather busy, especially if you want to go during the summer.
If so, I suggest you carry your own umbrella and traverse the narrow lagoon to the Elafonisi little island’s protected area. This place is typically considerably quieter and has less people.
Of course you should respect the area’s natural beauty and leave no evidence of your stay, but you should also be sure.
What time of year is ideal to visit Elafonisi Beach?
I think the best time to go to Elafonisi is the first two weeks of September. The reason for this is that although there are fewer tourists once the summer season ends, Greece’s temperatures are still warm enough to enjoy a beach vacation.
Does any infrastructure exist on Elafonisi Beach?
The area has a few beach bars, restrooms with showers, and a sizable parking lot despite its distant location. Sun lounges and umbrellas are also offered, though they do have a tendency to fill up quickly (in 2022, the cost for two sun lounges and an umbrella was 15 EUR).
Optimal methods for visiting Elafonisi, Crete(no car)
Overall, Elafonisi is your best option if you’re searching for a beautiful beach to unwind on throughout your holiday.
It is simple to understand why this beach has grown in popularity in recent years with its fine, fluffy sand and gorgeous turquoise sea.
However, if you want to visit the beach in the early morning or late afternoon, attempt to reserve lodging close to it. By doing this, you can escape the crowds and take in some quiet time.
Are you familiar with Elafonisi? How did you feel about it?