ELAFONISI (island of deers)

Want to get away from the daily routine? Let’s move up to higher ground to unwind with beautiful views, then descent down to- one of a kind -coastal shores. Our excursion begins with a morning stop at Lake Agia for refreshments, cocktails, desserts and tasty dishes. As you rest by the lake you will be serenaded by the sounds of chirping birds and running water. It truly is a unique setting of natural beauty and unparalleled views.
On our way towards inland Chania, we will cross olive groves, fruit trees and endless vineyards and arrive at Ano Vouves, to find the oldest living, fruit bearing olive tree in the world, right in the middle of town. The history of this tree is centuries old and is in the “Olive Museum” located in the villages center (free admission).
Next stop, Marathokefala and the Cave of St. John the hermit. A most enlightening experience for any visitor. The energy, entrancing, and the views will leave you speechless.
Our next stop takes place in the western corner of county. A 17th century monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, built along the coast side, is of great historical importance and is home to governmental and ecclesiastical treasures revealing the monastery’s struggle and contribution against foreign occupation. As we destine ourselves towards Elafonisi, we first pass through the village Topolia and make a stop at the Cave of Agia Sophia where one actually pays respects to Mother Nature herself. This huge cave has shooting stalagmites of countless shapes and sizes. Inside the cave is the small church of Agia Sophia. Your soul is sure to travel back centuries, if not millennium.
We now leave behind the cave and stalagmites and descend to the exotic beaches of Elafonisi. The magnificent beaches of Elafonisi attract thousands of tourists from around the world every summer. The shallow waters of the lagoon are warm, and the sand color varies from white to pink to red. Amazing!!
Just 5 kilometers away is the Monastery of Chrysoskalitisas. Legend has it that those, free of sin, are able to see that one Golden step out of the 90 steps leading to the monastery.
The myths also say the name “Elafonisi” or “Lafonisi” comes from the presence of deer (elafi) on the island (nisi) and surrounding region. The area is full of sand dunes and sand lilies, cedars, and is home to the endangered careta-careta turtles and many other rare species therefore it is now protected under the Natura 2000 organization. Umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, cafeterias and locker rooms are available on the east side of the beach, facing the lagoon. If you prefer a more secluded spot, walk along the peninsula to pick the cove of your choice.
Time to leave this sea level paradise and head west into the mountainous landscape to capture the incredible views of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea from above.
Next, the fishing village of Sfinari makes for a wonderful place to stop. Choose one of the many traditional tavernas by the sea. Famous dishes, specially prepared by the locals for you.
On the last leg of our journey, we will visit the historic village of Maleme, where the heroic Battle of Crete began during WW2. We then conclude our excursion on the sea front road through the cosmopolitan town of Platanias and leaving you in down town Chania City.

 

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Contact details: Mr. Vamvakakis George:

Tel: +30 6973 740 085

[email protected]chania.com