Elafonisi may be the most famous beach on Crete. I knew it as the “pink sand” beach. Yet sometimes the sand doesn’t look pink depending on the tide and time of day. Atlas and I were lucky though, we saw pink sand! If you are thinking about visiting Elafonisi Beach with a dog, read on! Or watch the vlog below of our time there!
Location & Getting There
Elafonisi Beach is located in the South-West part of the island. It was fairly straightforward to get to from Chania. We traveled on the National Road to Kissamos and then turned left and followed that road. Luckily there were a lot of signs along the way to help, as the cell/mobile service is not very good out there.
The roads are a bit scary once you get off the national road. There are a lot of turns and hills and not a lot of room for two cars. You will drive through a small town that seems like it is in the middle of nowhere, with barely any room for a car to drive. The suddenly you’ll be in complete wilderness driving down a steep winding road.
Plan to take it slow and don’t worry if the crazy local drivers are riding your tail – just pull over to the side and let them pass! If you have been driving in Crete for any time, you will know that people pass each other ALL the time, whether it is safe or not.
It took me just under 2 hours to get there from Chania, it was shorter going back, maybe because I was more used to the roads!
There are plenty of places to park in a dirt lot next to the beach. There’s also a grassy area where a lot of camper vans were set up. Right before the parking, there are a few restaurants that are open in the summer – but not too many so I expect they will be very busy in the high season. I also passed plenty of places to stop for food along the way as well.
There are bathroom facilities, but I did not use them while I was there. I would assume they are not in the best condition – so use at your own risk!
While I was there I didn’t see any umbrellas or chairs, but I visited in March so that isn’t to say they wouldn’t be available to rent in the summer.
The beach is gorgeous! You walk directly onto the main stretch of beach from the parking lot. We saw pink side along the tide, which was so cool! I heard that the pink sand is decreasing though, in part because of tourists taking it home. So please leave the pink sand there!
There is an island that connects with the main beach during low tide or is
Elafonisi in March
While we were there, in mid-March, it was the busiest place in Crete I had been to yet. But it was still quiet. We rarely ran into other people. I did see a good few Instagram boyfriends taking pictures of their girlfriends though!
I let Atlas off lead while we were there as there was barely anyone around us. He was very good staying with me. If we went in the summer with more people out sunbathing and kids playing, I would have kept him on the lead. So keep that in mind if you go in the summer!
I wish we could have stayed there longer. It is a gorgeous beach and I got the feeling that it looks different at each time of day. Let me know what it is like visiting Elafonisi Beach with your dog!