Greek island + youngsters all the time = seashore – however if you’re on Crete, you don’t simply have the standard golden sands to tempt you, and I knew a go to to Elafonisi seashore in Crete with youngsters can be unmissable.
Crete’s pink sand seashore is likely one of the most well-known locations on the island, and never only for households. With snorkelling, the small lagoon to paddle and swim in, and a few beautiful surroundings, it’s effectively value maintaining on the checklist.
Round 90 minutes from Chania on the north coast, the place we have been staying for a part of our vacation in Crete, it pays to plan forward in case you are heading to Elafonisi seashore with youngsters – listed here are my high ideas.
Plan your drive
There are guided excursions which is able to take you to Elafonisi – or Elafonissi – seashore however should you’re completely happy driving on slim mountain roads, it’s a lot better to rent a automobile and head down there your self.
Firstly, as a result of it’s essential to get there early. Once we arrived simply earlier than 9.30, I might nonetheless discover a parking area within the shade and we just about had our decide of loungers on the seashore itself.
A lot of the coach excursions arrive later so it’ll already be busier (though clearly you don’t want to fret about parking).
The drive additionally takes you thru some wonderful mountain surroundings in direction of the tip – though I had my eyes firmly fastened on the highway, navigating some tight and twisty bends.
However with your individual automobile, you may cease en route should you fancy taking photographs. In case you have journey sick youngsters, you can even pause for a breather, plus they’re much less prone to be affected in a automobile than in a coach.
Should you positively don’t wish to drive your self, there’s a wide selection of excursions to Elafonisi Seaside, with pick-up choices across the island together with Chania and Rethymno but additionally Heraklion – keep in mind you’ll have an extended journey from the island’s capital although
Go to the appropriate automobile park
As you drive nearer to the seashore, you’ll spot numerous indicators for parking on the highway down – don’t be tempted to cease right here although (except you’ve arrived late and there’s no different possibility).
You’ll get charged to park and it’s a great distance all the way down to the seashore itself – plus a steeper climb again up after your day by the ocean.
As an alternative, simply proceed following the highway till it stops, as that leads you instantly into the free automobile park at Elafonisi seashore itself. In all probability, you’ll be following a string of different vehicles down there as effectively, as anybody heading right here is prone to be making their method to the seashore.
EDIT: Based mostly on the remark beneath from a go to in June 2023, it appears they might have closed the free automobile park
Whereas an increasing number of locations are shifting to contactless cost, you’ll wish to carry money to lease the loungers and seashore umbrellas.
In summer season 2022, these value 15 Euros per pair with a parasol and 5 euros additional per lounger. Contactless appeared to be an possibility however there wasn’t any information for the transaction, so fortunately we had sufficient to cowl it.
Should you don’t, be sure you carry your individual seashore umbrella and towels – there’s barely any shade in any other case. Elafonisi Island is likely one of the greatest spots to discover a extra shaded spot, however we determined it was effectively value paying for these.
The bathrooms by the automobile park additionally want money: it’s 50 cents to make use of these, though youngsters are free.
Not all of the sand is pink
The sand on the principle seashore, the place all of the loungers line the water, is extra golden than pink – the pink color comes from tiny ground-up shells so it varies relying on the tides and the time of 12 months.
However this space isn’t the place the place you’ll discover the rosiest shades anyway.
Wade over to Elafonisi Island and you will discover extra pink stretches, plus heat tidal swimming pools – as ever, it’s value heading there early on if you wish to snap photographs and benefit from the views with out too many crowds.
It’s not all the time apparent to see the place the shallowest sections are, however keep watch over the opposite folks crossing to identify the sandbanks, and be ready to go in as much as your waist not less than.
The sandbar which connects Elafonisi Island to Crete itself not often has greater than round a metre of water over it – youthful youngsters might must swim or be carried quite than wade, however older ones ought to nonetheless be capable of preserve their heads above water.
A dry bag will certainly turn out to be useful, in any other case you’ll most likely want to hold your belongings above your head sooner or later. It’s effectively definitely worth the effort as the color actually is unbelievable.
Discover Elafonisi island
The island is definitely a nature reserve, and feels very unspoiled – particularly by comparability to the string of loungers alongside the remainder of the seashore!
Do save a bit time to discover right here as effectively, though keep in mind it’s greatest to do that early too as there’s restricted shade.
Bringing waterproof sneakers (or carrying your flip flops over your head) can also be an excellent plan because the sand on the island itself will get highly regarded in consequence.
Dwelling to 110 plant species, together with some that are uncommon or distinctive to the reserve, you need to persist with the paths to keep away from damaging the crops.
Should you’re very fortunate, chances are you’ll even see turtles as they nest on the island, though they have a tendency to steer very clear of individuals so don’t rely on it.
Deliver a snorkel
Should you’re travelling with youthful youngsters, the shallow water is ideal to splash round in – in addition to the little tide swimming pools, which warmth up properly beneath the Greek solar, there’s a really gradual slope in the principle lagoon.
The ocean right here is a tremendous turquoise color and extremely clear, so should you’re visiting Crete with barely older youngsters, do pack a snorkel as effectively.
The sheltered lagoon could be very calm so it’s superb for novices and there are tiny fish swimming round. You would possibly spot different sea creatures as effectively, relying which space you swim in.
You’ll discover kayaks to lease too should you’re visiting with teenagers or extra adventurous youngsters who wish to enterprise additional out.
There are even lifeguards throughout the summer season months as an added precaution.
Amenities are restricted
In addition to parking and some bathrooms by the automobile park, there are stalls promoting costly seashore toys and a few snack bars serving meals.
The selection is restricted and it’s unsurprisingly pricy, plus with lots of people lounging on the seashore, you may count on queues. Finest to carry your individual meals and drinks should you can.
Alternatively, should you’re not planning to spend the entire day at Elafonisi seashore with youngsters, you may head off earlier than lunch because the temperatures rise, and enterprise over to a taverna elsewhere. One other bonus of getting your individual rent automobile!
As an alternative of retracing our route by the center of the island, we drove over to the west coast in direction of Sfinari the place there are some beautiful tavernas on this quiet seashore serving recent fish. There are extra loungers right here if you wish to end the day on a much less pink stretch of sand too.
For extra issues to do in Crete with youngsters, try my high picks
Disclosure: This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee. All opinions on visiting Elafonisi seashore with youngsters are my very own
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