Get ready to discover Elafonisi & Falassarna, the Best Beaches in Crete

Get ready to discover Elafonisi & Falassarna, the Best Beaches in Crete

In Crete‘s grand landscape, Elafonisi and Falassarna stand out. These stunning beaches epitomize the Greek – Cretan beach experience. Elafonisi is famous for its pink sand, while Falassarna is known for clear waters. Both are reachable by car or boat, offering a journey as picturesque as the destinations themselves. This introduction leads to a detailed look at each beach, revealing their beauty and how to fully enjoy them. Get ready to explore these enchanting spots and learn what makes them so special.

Falassarna Beach

Discovering the Pristine Beauty of Crete’s Celebrated Beach

Falasarna beach_West Crete_Chania

Falasarna Beach


Falassarna, once a hidden gem and now a celebrated destination in Crete, is a beach that resonates with the heartbeat of the Mediterranean. Located on the island’s western coast, approximately 60 km from Chania Town* (open in google maps), it is famed for its vast, sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. As one of the most popular beaches in Crete, Falassarna attracts both tourists and locals alike, drawn by its natural beauty and vibrant atmosphere.

*which translates into about an hour’s drive, depending on traffic and the exact starting point in Chania


The Journey to Falassarna


Going to Falassarna with the Car

For those starting from Chania, the journey unfolds along the National Road towards Kissamos, a route that offers glimpses of Crete’s diverse landscapes. After passing through the quaint town of Kissamos, continue towards Platanos. Here, follow the signs leading to Falassarna. This final stretch of the drive is particularly picturesque, as the road meanders through traditional villages and olive groves, offering peeks of the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

The approach to Falassarna is marked by a stunning view from the hill above the beach, where the expansive, three-kilometer-long shoreline comes into breathtaking view. It’s a moment that captures the essence of Crete – a blend of natural beauty and serene landscapes.

Useful Info
  • Distance: 59km (from the center of Chania Town)
  • Time: Approximately 1-1.5 hours, varying with traffic and season
  • Car Rental Cost:Ranges from approximately 30€ per day, with higher rates for premium options.
  • Fuel Cost: Around 20 euros, subject to vehicle efficiency and current fuel prices
  • Taxi Rates: Ranges from aprroximately 160€ (Chania -Falassarna -Chania), 1-4 persons
  • Public Buses: For those without a car, public buses from Chania to Falassarna are available, although less frequent.


Private boat transfers in Crete and the greek islands

Going to Falassarna with a Private Boat

Taking a private boat tour to Falassarna is a unique way to experience Crete’s beautiful coastline. Departing from Chania, Kolymvari, or Kissamos, these tours offer a range of vessels, from sleek RIBs to luxurious yachts. Covering 42 nautical miles from Chania, 34 from Kolymvari, and 18 from Kissamos at around 25 knots, this journey isn’t just about reaching the destination. It’s an adventure that lets you explore the Cretan Sea, unveiling hidden coastal treasures along the way. The boat ride to Falassarna becomes an integral part of the experience, adding a sense of excitement and exclusivity to your visit.

Explore Crete with a private boat


The Beach Experience in Falassarna Bay

Falassarna Bay, with three distinct beaches, offers diverse seaside experiences. Livadi Beach, near the small port, is the southernmost, stretching 900 meters in length and 40 meters in width. Its seabed, a mix of rocky and sandy formations, and gradual depth increase, provide a unique swimming experience.

Northward lies Pachia Ammos, the heart of Falassarna Bay. Known for its soft, golden sand, it spans about 1 kilometer in length and nearly 150 meters in width. This area is a hub of activity, offering numerous beach bars and water sports facilities.

Further north, smaller beaches like Falassarna Small Beach offer quieter, more secluded spots, ideal for tranquility.

Falasarna beach_Chania_Crete

Falasarna’s main beach

Activities and Attractions at Falassarna Beach

Falassarna Beach is perfect for both adventure and relaxation. Water sports enthusiasts will find ideal conditions for windsurfing, kite surfing, and jet skiing. The beach’s clear waters are great for snorkeling, especially near the rocky formations rich in marine life.

For relaxation, the golden sands are perfect for sunbathing. As the day ends, the beach becomes a prime spot for watching spectacular sunsets, with its west-facing position. Enjoy these views with a refreshing cocktail from one of the beachside bars.

For local flavors, the quaint fish tavern at the port offers fresh seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. Falassarna Beach, catering to all desires, makes it a multifaceted destination.


Elafonissi Beach

A Journey to the Pink Sands of Crete’s Enchanted Shore

Elafonisi beach_Crete_ discover the best beach of Crete with the pink sand

Elafonisi Beach: Where the Sands Blush Pink


Elafonisi, a jewel in Crete’s crown of beaches, is a marvel of nature that captivates the soul. Situated on the southwestern tip of the island, around 75 km from Chania Town*, this beach is renowned for its unique pink sands and turquoise waters. An epitome of paradise, Elafonisi offers more than just a beach; it delivers an unforgettable experience. Here, the rare beauty of its sands, forged from crushed seashells, merges flawlessly with the warm embrace of the Mediterranean sun. As a haven for both relaxation and exploration, Elafonisi invites visitors from across the globe, enchanting them with its serene ambiance and breathtaking landscape.

*This translates to approximately a 1.5-hour drive, though this can vary based on traffic and the specific starting location in Chania.

How to go to Elafonisi beach

Going to Elafonisi beach with the car

From Chania to Elafonisi, the drive is as mesmerizing as the destination itself. Start on the National Road, heading towards Kissamos. Before reaching Kissamos, make a left turn near Kaloudiana – this is the most direct path to Elafonisi (open route in google maps), marked by road signs guiding you through the Cretan landscape. Alternatively, for a more scenic route, continue west, passing through idyllic villages such as Sfinari and Kambos (open alternative route in google maps). This longer path rewards travelers with stunning views of Crete’s west coast, where the azure of the sky meets the sea.

Whichever route you choose, each turn unfolds panoramic vistas and the opportunity to witness Crete’s diverse topography. As you draw closer to Elafonisi, the roads narrow, ushering you towards the famed beach known for its distinctive pink sands, a product of countless crushed seashells, and clear, shallow waters that invite you to wade in.

Useful Info
  • Direct Route Distance: Approximately 75km from Chania Town
  • Scenic Route Distance: Slightly longer, with added views of the coastline
  • Driving Time: Around 1.5 hours via the direct route; the scenic route may take an additional 20-30 minutes
  • Car Rental: Starting from about 35€ per day; varying with model and rental agency
  • Fuel Costs: Approximately 25 euros, depending on fuel efficiency and current prices
  • Taxi Service: Estimated at 200€ for a round trip from Chania to Elafonisi, suitable for up to 4 passengers
  • Public Transportation: Limited bus services to Elafonisi; check schedules in advance

Going to Elafonisi beach with a private boat


Motorboats are the best options for long daily cruises


Typical Cabin Lux RIB with outboard engines


Canin Lux Motorboat with inboard Engines


Adventurous Open Deck RIB for smooth rides


The journey to Elafonisi Beach by private boat is a maritime odyssey that offers a full day of sun, sea, and sand. Departures are available from Chania Old Port, Kolymvari, and Kissamos, with the trip from Chania being a lengthy but scenic 55 nautical miles. With an average sea condition and cruising at speeds of 25-30 knots, the voyage from Chania Old Port to Elafonisi takes approximately 2 hours.

For this adventure, RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) of 10 meters or larger cabin motorboats with dual engines are recommended for their blend of comfort and added safety. An 8-9 hour duration ensures not only a visit to the pristine Elafonisi but also allows for stops at other spectacular locations along the way, such as the famed Balos Lagoon and the majestic Gramvousa islets, as well as a view of Falassarna’s striking shores.

This trip is a splendid opportunity for those eager to experience the best of the Chania Region’s coastal beauty. It’s an ideal choice for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the grandeur of Crete’s most celebrated beaches within a single day.

Useful Info
  • Departure Points: Chania Old Port, Kolymvari, and Kissamos
  • Travel Distance: Approximately 55 nautical miles from Chania Old Port
  • Estimated Travel Time: About 2 hours from Chania Old Port under favorable conditions
  • Suggested Vessels: 10-meter RIBs or cabin motorboats with two engines
  • Trip Duration: At least 8-9 hours to include visits to Balos, Gramvousa, and Falassarna
  • Boat Rental: Costs vary based on boat type and rental agency, with premium options available for longer excursions
  • Essentials: Ensure adequate provisions, safety gear, and confirm weather conditions before departure
Elafonisi beach drone photography

Elafonisi Isle: Pristine South Shores with Pink Sands

Elafonisi Beach: A Local’s Perspective

Best Times to Visit Elafonisi

Elafonisi Beach is a must-visit in Crete, famed for its unique charm. The best time to visit is off-season to avoid crowds. July and August are busiest; early morning visits are recommended during these months, especially for those preferring amenities close at hand, ideal for families with small children.

Exploring Beyond the Main Beach

For a tranquil experience, don’t just stick to the main beach. Venture south towards the island to find secluded spots with more abundant pink sand. This area offers a peaceful retreat from the more populated parts of the beach.

Unveiling the Southern Secrets of Elafonisi Island

Nature lovers should explore the island’s southwestern tip, where a lighthouse, sandy cliffs, and a hidden bay await. This part of the island offers a serene escape and showcases the untouched beauty of Elafonisi.

Discovering Kedrodasos Beach

Kedrodasos Beach, southeast of Elafonisi, is accessible by a scenic walk or a short drive. Known for its unique cedar trees and popular among free campers, this beach offers a rugged, natural environment. It’s also a nudist-friendly spot, providing a sense of freedom and privacy.

Kedrodasos beach_cedar trees_discover_Crete

Kedrodasos beach is shaded by timeless cedar trees

Private Boat Trips: Exclusive Coastal Exploration

For an exclusive experience, consider a private boat trip from Chania. This allows you to explore both Elafonisi and Kedrodasos at your leisure, and discover other stunning beaches in the region. A private boat trip offers a unique way to experience Crete’s coastal beauty, away from the crowds.

Environmental Aspects: Preserving Elafonisi’s and Falassarna’s Natural Beauty

Elafonisi and Falassarna are not just stunning beaches; they are areas of significant ecological importance. Elafonisi is a protected area under the Natura network, and Falassarna is known for its role in the conservation of the Caretta caretta sea turtles.

Leave No Trace: Both beaches require visitors to be mindful of their environmental impact. Ensure you leave no garbage behind, including plastics and cigarette butts. Collecting your trash and picking up any stray litter helps protect these delicate ecosystems.

Respect Natural Treasures: In Elafonisi, the pink sand and shells are crucial to the beach’s natural beauty. Similarly, in Falassarna, the presence of Caretta caretta sea turtles is a natural wonder. If you encounter a turtle nest, do not interfere. Give them space and consider informing Archelon, the sea turtle protection agency. They will safeguard the nests with fences and guide the hatchlings to the sea. Be aware that bright lights can disorient the young turtles, affecting their journey to the sea.

New Parking Regulations in 2024 for Elafonisi: To minimize environmental impact, Elafonisi is introducing designated parking areas in 2024, preventing cars from parking too close to the beach. This measure aims to reduce the environmental footprint in and around the beach.

By respecting these guidelines and being environmentally conscious, we can all contribute to preserving the natural beauty of both Elafonisi and Falassarna. It’s essential not just for our enjoyment but for maintaining these beaches as stunning and ecologically significant destinations for future generations.


Elafonisi and Falassarna, among Crete’s most beautiful beaches, are must-visit destinations. Known for their stunning waters, each has unique features: Elafonisi for its pink sand and Falassarna for its long beach and clear blue waters, also hosting Caretta caretta sea turtles. To fully enjoy these places, visiting off-season or early in the morning is recommended. Exploring less crowded areas like Falassarna’s wreck, Elafonisi’s secluded beaches, Falassarna’s smaller beaches, and nearby Kedrodasos enhances the experience. Seaze The Day’s private boat charters offer a personalized way to see Crete’s best beaches in one day.


Explore More with Seaze The Day

If you found this article informative, you’ll also enjoy our guide to Balos Beach, which offers more insights into Crete’s stunning coastal landscapes. For an immersive experience of Elafonisi, Falassarna, and Balos, consider booking our Elafonisi & Balos Cruise: Discovering the Crown Jewels of Creteprivate boat tour. Embark on this unforgettable journey with us and explore Crete’s most enchanting coastal treasures firsthand!