A beachtour of a very special kind - in the southwest corner of Crete - to the island of Elafonisi.
We drive through the Topolia gorge and after a coffee stop we arrive at the monastery of Chrisoskalitissas («the golden stair»). We follow a street, down to the beach, and you can walk through pink sand to the island of Elafonisi.
It is a tropical place with white and pink coral sands. Head to the right for shallow water in a small enclosed lagoon ideal for the children. A walk through the lagoon to the islet is most worthwhile as you will discover this unique coastline. The coral sands and warm shallow waters attract swimmers, spear fishermen and windsurfers from the world over. The island is a nature reserve, in which, when the weather allows, you can walk through its shallow waters.
Elafonisi is also of historical significance. 650 women and children fled to the islet during the Turkish occupation of Crete in 1841. As the women and children were hiding, the Turks camped along side the opposing beach. One of the soldiers horses happened to discover the shallow passage to the islet. Subsequently the Turks discovered the women and children and slaughtered them in a tragic massacre. There is a memorial plaque on the highest point of the islet.
Moreover, there is a large wooden cross on the island in commemoration of the sinking of the Austrian ship Imperatrix, which sank in February 1907. The shipwreck is still on the island. All the passengers-victims of the ship buried there and since then, in order to prevent new shipwrecks, lighthouse was built on the island, which was destroyed by Germans in Second World War.
You have enough free time to enjoy the crystal clear water. On our way back we will stop in a village at a tavern... (about 07.00-19.00)