The famous pink beach of Elafonisi is not really pink, but a wonderful kind of pinkish color at some times. It depends on the tides and weather.
The best way to visit this unique natural phenomenon is by an organized bus tour. For a relatively affordable fee, you skip the driving part, get explanations from a local guide, and enjoy free time on the beach.
1. Kalomirakis Tavern
If you’re hungry while visiting Elafonisi, Kalomirakis Tavern is a great place to stop. It’s located on the road leading to the beach, and serves fresh seafood and Greek cuisine. It’s also a short walk from a bus station, making it easy to get to. The restaurant is a good choice for families as well, and it offers a kids’ menu.
The best time to visit Elafonisi Beach is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and sunny. However, it can be busy at this time, so it’s a good idea to book accommodation in advance if possible.
In addition to its beautiful beaches, Elafonisi is a haven for nature lovers. The surrounding area is a protected nature reserve, and it’s home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. You can also go snorkeling or swimming, and there are several tavernas near the beach where you can enjoy local food and refreshments.
If you’re planning to spend the day on Elafonisi Beach, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat or umbrella. The sun can be strong, and it’s always a good idea to wear waterproof shoes in case you need to cross one of the shallow lagoons. Also, be sure to bring a towel and water with you. You can find a range of restaurants and tavernas on the beach, but it’s usually cheaper to dine at nearby places like Philoxenia Taverna or Panorama Restaurant.
Another popular activity at Elafonisi Beach is hiking, and there are a number of paths that lead to the beach. It’s a good idea to have a map and a guide with you, as the terrain can be challenging for novice hikers. In addition, you should be aware of the weather conditions, as storms and strong winds can occur at any time. You can also try wind- and kitesurfing at the beach, but be sure to check the conditions before you arrive. If you’re interested in trying this sport, be sure to ask about lessons and equipment rental.
2. Panorama Restaurant
This unique restaurant at the Dead Sea is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal and witness the famous jaw-dropping sunset. The sunset here is unlike any other you have ever seen. The blended hues of tinted skies will paint a canvas of reds, pinks, and oranges over the salty water, with awe-inspiring views that will teleport you beyond the horizon. You can choose from a variety of dishes, and your personal chef will flambé any dish at your table that you desire. This will include giant prawns, lobster and prime cuts of beef. This is definitely a must-see for any vacationer.
Located on Harbor Island Dr, the Panorama Restaurant is a trendy and modern bar with stunning bay views that serves a wide range of cocktails. The menu also offers a variety of comfort food options to keep your hunger pangs at bay, including fried chicken, pasta, and sandwiches. The restaurant is open all day, so you can enjoy a tasty bite at any time of the day.
What would a bar surrounded on all sides by water be without seafood? The enveloping salt air and bay breezes are complemented at the bar with east coast oysters, shrimp cocktail with a housemade harissa cocktail sauce, kampachi crudo, and that city-wide fad of a seafood tower ($125; $175 for lobster). The menu also includes low-high bar snacks such as truffled waffle fries and caviar nachos.
The restaurant is owned by Zoi Christanis and her mother Ioanna. Its name is a nod to her father, who established the restaurant in 1978, but died shortly after its opening. Christanis runs the restaurant alongside her son Jason, who does a bit of everything. She credits him with keeping the business going strong for so long.
The restaurants on board the Carnival Panorama are some of the most impressive on any cruise ship. The ship sails year-round from Los Angeles to Mexico, and the dining options are top-notch. For dinner, you have the choice of three different options in the main dining room, depending on your preference: early seating at 5:45 pm, late seating at 8:15 pm, or Your Time Dining where you can walk up to a seat and be seated at any time between those times.
3. Philoxenia Tavern
It’s a must to stop here on your way to Elafonisi because it is super cute and is close to the beach (about a 10-minute walk). There are no deck chairs here, only benches, so you have more freedom to spread your towel anywhere on the beach. The tavern serves some good homemade dishes and the staff is very friendly. The prices are pretty reasonable for this area and the quality is excellent, I highly recommend it!
If you’re not staying in the Chrysoskalitissa area, then there are plenty of other taverns in the surrounding area to choose from. Some of them even have impressive views of the beach! For example, Tavern Kochilas is a popular choice for local food like stuffed zucchini and Cretan salad. Another great option is Kosmos Fish Tavern, where you can find fresh seafood.
Kedrodasos (meaning “cedar grove”) is an amazing beach surrounded by cedar trees and offering crystal-clear azure waters. It is the perfect place for nature lovers and marine enthusiasts who want to escape from the tourist crowds in Elafonisi beach.
The secluded beach has no infrastructure for visitors, preserving its natural beauty. It is filled with juniper trees, which are often mistaken for cedars, and sand dunes that make the beach look like a tropical Lebanese beach. The beach is also home to a large lagoon and island that offers a variety of activities.
During the peak summer season, the beach can be very crowded with tourists, especially on sunny days. However, during the shoulder months (May, June, September, and October), you can enjoy a quiet day at the beach.
There is no public toilet at the beach, so you will need to bring a portable toilette with you. You should also bring towels, flip flops, and sunscreen. In addition, it is a good idea to bring snorkeling gear as the water in Kedrodasos is exceptionally clear.
When you’re ready for a break from the beach, there is a tavern at the entrance of the protected area that serves food and drinks. The tavern is named Spiliaraki and serves Cretan dishes such as stuffed zucchini and lamb chops. It is recommended to reserve a table in advance as the tavern is quite popular among locals and visitors.
Another great option is the restaurant on the way to Elafonisi beach. It is a family-run establishment that has been operating since 1980. Its menu is full of delicious traditional Greek dishes, including seafood and meat plates, which are served with a side salad or fries. The prices are reasonable, and the service is excellent.
If you’re planning a visit to the unique beaches of Crete, consider hiring a rental car. You can drive yourself or take a tour from Chania to visit the west Crete beaches and experience the beauty of the mountains and coastline. You can stop at taverns such as Spiliaraki and Chrysoskalitissa monastery on your journey, which is a beautiful sight to see.