Last Updated on: 15th July 2024, 06:00 am

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elafonisi pink sand

Elafonisi full day tour from Chania

  • -> Perfect for those who prefer to skip the self-drive
  • -> Pick up and drop off with air conditioned bus from selected spots in Chania
  • -> Visit the cave of Saint Sophia (on good weather only)
  • -> Visit to a local village (also depending on specific conditions)
  • -> Duration: 5-6 / 8-10 hours
  • -> Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (118 reviews)

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Elafonissi beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, Greece. Known for its pink coral sand and turquoise waters, Elafonisi is a must-see on any trip to Crete.

Located on the southwest coast, Elafonissi is about 80 km from the city of Chania.

This makes it relatively easy to reach, even on a day-trip from any town or resort in the prefecture of Chania.

There are several ways to travel from Chania to Elafonisi beach. Check them out to see which one best suits you.

suzuki jimny crete chania beaches

This is our merry gang in the Suzuki Jimny rental, on our way from Chania to Elafonisi Beach in Crete

Transportation Options from Chania to Elafonisi Beach

Since you’re keen on visiting Elafonisi to admire its pink sand and to take amazing photos like the ones you see online, let’s see what are your options to get there.

Before we begin, I’d like to emphasize that July, August and the first half of September are the worst possible times to go to Elafonissi Beach.

During the peak season, Elafonissi is chocked full of people on the sand and in the shallow water.

The sand won’t look as pink as during the winter. However, if you still insist to visit Elafonissi Beach, here’s how to reach it.

elafonisi pink sand

This is the only pink sand stripe I was able to find. It has a beautiful color, but not quite as the one I’ve seen in those artistic photos on the web.

Bus from Chania to Elafonissi Beach

The most common way to reach Elafonissi beach is by bus from Chania. Buses run several times per day and take about 2 hours.

There are direct bus routes from Chania bus station to Elafonissi.

The journey is approximately 75 km. Bus tickets cost around 10-15 EUR each way. Tickets can be purchased at the Chania bus station.

Buses drop off about 1 km from Elafonissi beach so some walking is required. This is a downside, particularly on hot summer day when the merciless sun of Crete makes even the rocks sweat.

Rental Car Drive from Chania to Elafonisi

This is exactly what I’ve done; got a car rental and drove it across the island.

My car rental in Crete this time was a convertible, a tiny Suzuki Jimny.

That’s a four-wheel vehicle with rigid suspensions. Riding in the back seat is challenging, particularly on bumpy or dusty roads. Otherwise, the car is a fun ride.

Renting a car offers flexibility to drive yourself from Chania to Elafonisi beach on your own schedule.

The drive takes around 1.5 hours along the coastal road. The route is very scenic. Stop along the way to enjoy views of charming villages and rough coastline.

As my friends and I returned to Chania from Elafonisi on our Suzuki Jimny, we stopped somewhere along the road to view the sunset on a wild rocky beach. To this day this is one of my priceless memories.

The parking at Elafonissi is near the beach. Don’t expect to find asphalt or concrete, as the so-called parking is only a void, dusty area scattered with pine trees and the occasional bush.

Rental cars can be picked up at Chania airport or at various locations in the city center.

I prefer to avoid airport car rental stalls. I usually book my desired vehicle online, then pick it up in Greece, on arrival..

When it comes to Chania, I highly recommend Auto Rentals Crete. Dimitris is extremely helpful. He will wait for you at the airport to hand you the car. The drop-off is also easy, as their garage is right near the Chania airport.

elafonissi trees

The biggest tree on a range of several miles around Elafonisi – photo taken from the parking lot by the sandy beach

Organized Day Tour from Chania to Elafonisi

Join a guided small group day tour from Chania to Elafonissi beach. This is the best way to go to Elafonisi if you don’t want to put up with driving and parking.

Tour operators would offer pick up from and drop-off to Chania hotels and handle transportation and guide.

They would stop for photos and swimming time at Elafonissi.

Prices for day tours from Chania to Elafonisi Beach cost around 50-70 EUR per person.

Taxi from Chania to Elafonissi Beach

– Taxis can drive you directly from Chania to Elafonissi beach in around 1.5 hours.

The price is around 100-150 EUR each way making it the most expensive option. This option is best for small groups who want privacy and convenience.

When you get to split the cost between three or four people, the taxi fare appears more affordable.

No matter how you choose to travel, arriving at Elafonissi beach is a breathtaking experience.

With its iconic soft pink sand and bright turquoise lagoon, this is one of Crete’s most photographed beaches.

If you’re on holiday in Chania and you go to Elafonisi beach, you may or may not be sorry for wasting your time with such a cliche.

However, if you don’t visit Elafonissi, you’re surely going to regret your decision.

Top Things To Do at Elafonissi Beach

Once you arrive at Elafonissi beach, there are a few things you must experience:

– Wade through the shallow coral waters between the beach and small island.
– Soak up the sun on the wide open stretch of pink sand beach.
– Go snorkeling or paddleboarding to see underwater life.
– Hike to the Elafonissi cave and enjoy the stunning views from above.
– Have a beach day relaxation at one of the seaside tavernas.
– Explore Elafonissi village just 1 km inland.
– Try local Cretan cuisine at restaurants.
– Visit the Chrysoskalitissa monastery atop a rock.
– Rent beach umbrellas and chairs.

Elafonissi offers a peaceful escape with a tropical atmosphere. Spending a day getting there from Chania and back makes for an epic Crete experience.

Don’t miss out on seeing this top Crete destination for yourself!

Check out other best beaches in Chania to make the most out of your trip to Crete.

Violeta Matei
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