Elafonisi (Greek: Ελαφονήσι [elafoˈnisi] "deer island") is an island located close to the southwestern corner of the Mediterranean island of Crete, of which it is administratively a part, in the regional unit of Chania. When the weather is fine it is possible to walk to the island through the shallow water. The island is a protected nature reserve. It is known for its pink sand beaches, created by tidal and wave-induced deposits of pigmented microorganisms living in a symbiotic relationship with native seaweed.
Activities in the area
Balos lagoon (by car this is about 9km on an un-tarred road however it is a 2km walk from Balos Beach hotel).
Visit the well known beach of Falassarna (10 km from Balos Beach, about a 10 minute drive). At this beach you will also find windsurfing, and kite surfing.
Visit the lagoon like beach of Elafonisos and stop at the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa along the way (about a 45 minute drive from Balos Beach hotel).
Gramvousa islet (take the ferry from Kissamos port).
Visit the ruins of the ancient city of Polyrinia (12 kilometers from Balos Beach Hotel, just 6 kilometers south of Kissamos). Polyrinia is considered to be the oldest city that the Dorians built in Crete (following the Minoan Period).
Visit the Archaeological Museum of Kissamos (6 km from Balos Beach Hotel) housed in a Venetian-Turkish monument.
Hike the gorge of "Samaria" (busses leave from the bus station of Kissamos with a stop at Chania central bus station).