If much of life in Crete is like a beach, remote Elafonisi is a beach and a stunning one at that. Tucked into Crete’s southwest corner, this symphony of fine pinkish-white sand, turquoise water and gentle dunes looks as though lifted from the Caribbean. Off the long, wide strand lies Elafonisi Islet, easily reached by wading through 50m of knee-deep water. The entire area is part of Natura 2000, the environmental protection program of the European Union.
Alas, this natural gem is hardly a secret and less than idyllic in high summer when floods of sun seekers put pressure on its delicate ecosystem. Come early or late in the day or, better yet, stay overnight to truly sample Elafonisi’s magic.