Elafonissi Beach
Elafonissi Beach
4.5
About
Located on the southwest coast of Crete, this remote beach is best known for its pink sand. However, temper your expectations as the amount of pink on display varies with conditions and the season. Regardless, the crystal clear waters make this a popular summer vacation spot, attracting sunbathers and watersport enthusiasts alike. Also, hike up to the neighboring cedar tree reserves for a change of scenery. Visit in the morning to beat traffic and secure a chair and umbrella before the crowds arrive. Or come in the evening for a stunning sunset when most people have left. – Tripadvisor
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Emma
    St. Neots, United Kingdom44 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful but busy
    Beautiful place. Worth the day trip and hairy coach journey getting there around the small cliff roads ! Not much in the way of shade as all sun beds taken if you arrive around 11 ish. Take lots of SPF. Also don't sit near any scenic rocks as people horde hear to pose for pics. That can be exhausting, one guy lay on the sand to take pics of his girlfriend and kicked sand all over our towel folding it in half with his big feet. Lots of posers, understandably. Other than that, an amazing natural beauty spot.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 15, 2023
  • Boris M
    Piestany, Slovakia451 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Trip to Elafonissi
    I should definitely go to Elafonissi beach. I think that the sand is more white colour than pink, only small quantity of pink grains of sand is on the shore. If you will travel there don't forget the sun umbrella. Don't worry if you don't have any one, there are some trees near the beach where you can relax under them. The way from the parking area takes you 15 minutes to get there. Worse accessible with a baby buggy.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 29, 2023
  • minesh1303
    Andalucia, Spain25 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good beach. Busy and very little shade so bring an umbrella or similar for shade.
    A very busy beach with sandbars that allow you to go out far and remain no deeper than waist height. Water is warmer as a consequence and there are no waves so chose to lie on my back head resting on the sand and felt like having a lovely warm bath. Advice: very few fixed sunbeds and umbrellas and these will be taken very early in the day (before 10am I suspect). People are anxiously looking around for shade to set up camp so bring along an umbrella as you will definitely need shade. We didn't and daughter trekked up the hill towards the car park to the shops and bought two umbrellas for 12€ each. We managed to sell them to other beach goers for 10€ each on our way out to grateful fellow beach goers saving the environment because we had no use for them afterwards plus someone got discounted brollie for something that was used for 3 hours! Beach is very nice and worth the trek if you are staying say in Chania. Car park fee is €5. 750m or so to the beach from car park. Two ways to beach as the path forks ...the rocky descent on the left (for young and physically able) and the gentile stroll on the right which will take you two minutes longer but recommended.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 1, 2023
  • jemajumi
    Laukaa, Finland250 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Huge and very nice beach
    Big beach, clear water and red sand. At low water you can easily wade to small islands. Safe also for small children because there are two sides, a shallow cove and a slightly deeper sea side. On this side, small rocks where you can snorkel. The only bad thing is that there are a lot of tourists. Shops and restaurants in the area, toilets, changing rooms, etc. Bring plenty to drink and even a parasol, There are no shade places. Tip. When coming by car, it is not necessarily worth parking in the first area, but there are large parking areas closer to the beach, which are chargeable.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 4, 2023
  • Stevedeb23
    Swindon, United Kingdom54 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    We took the long road round to get here, the views on the way were amazing. Very few petrol stations on this route so fill up with petrol, more on the way back, different route. The beach is stunning, lost of places to get food and drink. No shade at all, so loads of people with umbrellas. The sea is warm and you can walk quite a way in as it’s very shallow. We went on a week day I would imagine the weekends would be packed, as it was very busy when we got there, parking 5 euros, for all day.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 5, 2023
  • Lizette B
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice sandy beach
    Loved the beach, if you want sunbeds and umbrella you need to be there before 11, at least in July. But you can buy one yourself, there is plenty of room to put it up somewhere. Not overcrowded. Parking is about 800-1000m from the beach. The beach is not that pink anymore but a very beautiful place
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 16, 2023
  • AnaPiussi
    London, United Kingdom1,741 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful beach but you should go early
    The most famous beach of Crete and considered one of the most beautiful of the world, has some value. We were told by our hotel to leave Chania before 9am as it when buses would start going there. We left at 8:30am the city. The road there it is around the mountains, many curves, some edges are horrible and very terrifying. Very tiny roads with cars from both sides. Arriving there after 1h30min drive you park the car and walk 1km. It then you arrive at the beach. You can really see the pink sand, in some sides more than others. The sea it is beautiful, almost a blue lagoon. Today it was really windy, so the walk down to the beach was not very pleasant, and it became even worst with the passage of time. As they want to keep the beach “untouched” there are limited number of chairs and umbrellas. We couldn’t get any. We sit in the sand and enjoyed some time. One hour later the beach started to het very pack and the wind increased. So we left. So always go early, by 12am it was not good anymore. I do believe on a day with less wind for sure should be better. But it is still beautiful.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 19, 2023
  • Jonathan N
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany40 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pink Sand but too many Instagramers
    Absolutely gorgeous beach but there were so many people that it was hard not to see THEM versus the scenery. Parking is €5 and a 15 minute walk from the beach during the hot, busy tourist season, and bring a couple beach umbrellas to make your own shade. Once you’re established it’s a great place to swim and enjoy the sun. (Yes, the sand is pink). Just watch out for all the posers “doing it for the ‘gram” … we saw too many of those!!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 23, 2023
  • Tomas Zeri
    Tirana, Albania68 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pleasant
    Its really great, trust me. But all the social medias really grew its value too much. There was little to no pink sand, and you could walk 100 meters into the sea, it would still be below your knees. Beware: dont come in July or August, u cant move because there are people everywhere. Overall really pleasant stay
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 24, 2023
  • lauribeth1979
    Liverpool, United Kingdom67 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take your own umbrella
    Unless you arrive mega early there’s no way you’ll get a sunbed . Take your own umbrella , there are signs and info online that says these aren’t allowed but EVERYBODY has one and if you go in the height of summer you need one. They sell them in the shop at the car park for 10 to 20 euros . The small cafe has a good choice of snacks and drinks. The water is beautiful and if you are a beach lover it’s worth the trip.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 28, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Nury
Genoa, Italy44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Couples
As the picture this beach has a variety of wonderful colors from light green to turquoise and dark blue. The only problems we had it was windy, therefore it was a kind of chilly getting out of the water. And secondly we went with an excursion group and there were not enough time to spend in the beach since at the very beginning we stopped like 45 minutes in a restaurant to eat breakfast... Too much time !!!
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ktemilara
United Kingdom95 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
Lovely beach & experience. Driving there can be tricky as very narrow, snake-like roads & driving down the mountains. I recommend taking the local bus €20 return, leaves 9am from Xania town arriving the beach @ 11am, leaves the beach @4pm. Really enjoyed wading in the water
Disappointed didn’t see much pink sand just a little shimmer
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hans E
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Couples
There is a reason why this beach was voted as one of the most beautiful places in the world. The pink sand, the crystal clear waters are very special. It is recommended to visit very early in the morning or after 6 pm when most of the people are gone. Amazing sunset.
Written September 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Natasa J
Ljubljana, Slovenia143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
This beach is the most beautiful functional beach I’ve seen so far and I visited several places (Cuba, Corsica, Sardinia, Croatia, some other Greek islands etc.). It’s not only extremely beautiful with clean water of all shades of blue it’s also very convenient - easily reachable by car and it suits its main purpose - you can swim and snorkle and admire sea world. Even in windy weather there are no waives. You can get sunbeds and umbrella (10 euros per umbrella and don’t be too late as they can be sold out by midday) there are showers, toilettes, drinks, snacks-everything nicely integrated in nature.
Whole family loved it and we visited the beach twice in one week although it took as about an hour and half in one direction. This year it is not crowdy due to coronavirus situation but I am affraid it could be overcrowded under normal circumstances at this time of the year.
Written July 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TASAlonen
Island of Malta, Malta15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Went mid-October, water was a bit cool but it was still warm enough to swim and enjoy sunbathing. The sand is pink - in places, but perhaps best seen through a snorkel? Bright pink stripes of sand over the greyer base. Sand is fine otherwise an the beach fairly shallow all over, with patches of rocks good for snorkelling.

The very shallow lagoon is beautiful and great for small kids.

I can imagine it getting a bit too crowded during summer months, as it was, there were plenty of people but not overcrowded as such. It makes sense to walk further to the Elafonissi Island, for the views of the sand dunes and the plants there, and for more beach space. I find the price of 10 € per umbrella spot a bit steep, especially as I was by myself, and just flopped on the beach past the umbrella area, I did not walk as far as you can go to the protected area. Bring your own umbrella there if you want, no shade is otherwise available.

Only thing maybe lacking was choice of food? I had a sandwich and a coffee, both fine, but there are not any choices of restaurants at the beach itself, perhaps further away from it there is more.
Written October 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KayeEast
United Kingdom15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
I LOVED Elafonisi. The drive is a bit crazy you will need to be a confident driver, but it is worth it in my opinion. People compare this to Balos beach - but both are complete paradise - I recommend seeing both! The drive to Elafonisi is a lot easier than Balos - if going with kids/elderly/disabled I would recommend this beach by far!! The water is crystal clear, plenty of places for pictures, places for food, toilet, beach floats/towels etc!! everything you need is here (unlike Balos beach) !! Really an amazing day and a must visit if you are in West Crete. We didn't see the pink sand but that did not change how amazing this beach is!
Written August 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IOANA V
London, UK10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
A stunning beach with beautiful crystal clear shallow water, warm enough to swim or snorkeling.

The sand is amazing, not as pink as you can see the advertised pictures but probably not the perfect time for the crushed seashells.

We have visited it off season (1st June) but still crowded in the morning due to plenty coaches arrived by 11am. You may not be able to find any sunbeds available but will be better after 2pm when most of the coaches will depart.

We drove from Georgioupolis (around 2h). Half of the way was on the E75/EO90 and before Kissamos we turned left on PEO90/PEO Kissamou Chanion, then turned right and stayed onto Epar.Od. Kaloudianon-Chrisoskalitissas (signs for Elafonisi/Paleochora/Topolia) , which is a small mountain road and you should drive carefully.

Sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented (€15 for 2 sunbeds and umbrella for all day -> €5/sunbed).

Plenty free parking spaces, toilet available on the beach (€0.50 tax), beach bars, cafeteria for something to eat not very far from the beach, showers and shop to buy beach accessories.

Also, kayaks can be rented on the beach (€10/hour for single kayak and €20/hout for double kayak).

A perfect beach to spend the day with family (suitable for small children as well)...a bit windy but nothing matters when you are in such an amazing place like this one.

Recommended 100%.
Written June 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ergin K
Malmö, Sweden311 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
Really pretty, clear water, white/pink sand... or rather would be pretty if you could get through A MILLION PEOPLE on it! It looked like those chinese beach photos where ypu don't see the beach from all the people.

Anywho, avoid in peak season but if you can get there in June/Sept I'm sure it's a wonderful experience.

Parking close to the beach is free if your car can handle sharp-stone-gravel and can fly after you're parked in by 4 other cars. Otherwise leave it 500m further up for 5 Eur/day and hope your feet don't melt on the way down/up.
Written August 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KKHMC
Gateshead, UK15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
So beautiful - warm, clear waters and clean, white sand. The colours are amazing. Easy to get to with a big (free) car park just a few mins walk to the beach. We arrived early (at around 9am) which was great as it gets very busy as the day goes on. A pair of sun beds and an umbrella were 10 euros but are all taken by mid morning. Snack bar on the beach.
Written August 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

elena j
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
We traveled to Elafonissi beach by bus from Tavronitis. The bus is from Xania and it stops on demand so we made sure that we signalled for the bus to stop. The bus journey is very exciting and takes ~1.5 hours of impressive scenery. The beach was fairly crowded and there is no entrance fee or any obligation to get a sunbed. The pink sand is still there! The sea is warm and there is plenty of rocks to explore. One can stroll waist-deep in a warm water to an island and back and along the beach. The cafes are not too crowded and the food is okay. Overall, we had a great day there.
Written September 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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