On the Greek island of Crete, Elafonisi beach ranks among the most stunning pink sand beaches in all of Greece. If you’re looking to spend a relaxing day at the beach, you’ll want to head to this hidden gem just south of Chania—it’s well worth the trip! One of its most unique features is that it’s not accessible by car; you can only reach it by boat or on foot, which makes it perfect for anyone looking to get away from their normal routine and relax in the sun. What makes Elafonisi so special?
The name ‘Elafonisi’ comes from the Greek word for ‘deer island’, as the island was once home to a significant deer population. Nowadays, the island is a protected nature reserve and is known for its dramatic pink sand beaches. The pink color is created by a type of algae that grows in the shallow waters offshore. When the algae dies, it turns a reddish hue which mixes with the white sand to create a beautiful pink color.
Countless beautiful beaches can be found on each and every Greek island, and Crete is home to some of the very best. Many tiny isles are located off its coast, but none of them compares to Elafonisi, best known for its stunning pink sand beaches.
Located on the southwest coast of Crete, Elafonisi aka “deer island” is one of Greece’s best-hidden secrets. It may not be as popular as Mykonos or Santorini, but it’s got its own charm: shimmering pink sands that put it on the map.
There isn’t just a magic to the vibrant pink sands of Elafonisi. Millions of crushed shells, coral, and other pigmented microorganisms lived together with the native seaweed in this area to create the pink sands. A Greek nature reserve has been established by government at Elafonisi, prohibiting its removal.
Near the terminus of the peninsula, the water reaches only a meter in depth and one can walk to the island during good weather.
Moreover, it also doesn’t hurt that Elafonisi is more peaceful and secluded than most other popular islands. The island provides the standard services including sun umbrellas, showers, and lifeguards, but it also has a lot of quiet coves where you can go when you want to get away from the larger crowds.