Elafonissi is the south western point of Crete, at about 70 kms from the city of Chania. This is a very windy part of Crete with very wild beaches. Elafonissi and its pinky sandy beach, is part of them, even if its now well organised for tourism: umbrellas, showers, changing rooms, toilets, life guards, That’s make Elafonissi more and more popular touristic place in Crete and in Chania region. It becomes one of the excursions to do while in Crete. This small islet with white and pinky sand attracts the eyes of tourist at the first sight. Crystal clear turquoise water, not deep water for children, make it very popular. It was awarded by Tripadvisor customer choice one of the 25 best beaches in the world in 2014! More than this, Elafonissi beach reached rank 14, amongst famous destinations like Playa Paraiso (Cayo Largo, Cuba), Anse Lazio (Praslin Island, Seychelles), The Baths (Virgin Gorda, Virgin islands) or Playa Paraiso (Tulum, Mexico). One of the most exotic beaches in Europe.
Despite umbrellas, parking and other touristic infrastructures, that are the exception, the beach is protected area and hoppefully should remain paradise beach in the future. This beach of about 1.5km long, separated in small coves, small beaches, is part of Natura 2000 protection plan. This is an area for Caretta Caretta sea turtle nests. It’s also an important place for an endemic species of Crete that occurs on the coasts of northwest Crete, and also on the island of Elafonissi: the Androcymbium rechingeri, also called Colchicum rechingeri. The species, that grows on coastal phrygana (cretan bushes) is really endangered as it stays about 3.000 of these flowers on the native places of Elafonissi, Falasarna and Gramvoussa. More info on the IUCN Red list of Threatened species