Elafonissi, is this Paradise on Earth?

Dear readers,

 

it’s been a while, since i last wrote a post here. The whole month of December has been a big adventure for us.

We were in 5 countries for a month- starting from Spain, going to Belgium, seeing Switzerland(with 2 nights in France :D) and checking out Germany’s capital with Potsdam on the go.
I am still reviewing the photo material from my summer vacation, and hope some day will be able to present you the aforementioned destinations.

This post is dedicated to another paradise on Earth, the island of Elafonissi, Crete. It is located in the Chania prefecture, some 75 km south west of Chania city. This little island and the mainland are separated by a lagoon also called Elafonissi lagoon, which is a very beautiful place.
Usually there are about 2500 people visiting daily this amazing natural reserve in summer months, and this makes it pretty annoying if you have human-crowd anxiety.
The waters are as shallow as 1m and if weather is good, you can basically walk from mainland to the island in the lagoon. The sand is pink due to the crushed shells and the water is a bit cold, as some parts of the lagoon are deeper than others, also due to sea currents.

The island has a tragic story. During Ottoman occupation, several hundreds of Greek families searched refugee on the little island away from Crete mainland, but once they were noticed by the Turks on Easter 1842, most of them were killed. The rest sent into slavery in Egypt. People say that the sand is pink because of the victim’s blood.

I would recommend that you take a tour from Chania to visit the lagoon. We had a Polish lady as a guide, she was awesome. On the way to the lagoon, you will see the amazing steep mountain hills along the Topolia Gorge, the road is tiny and extremely steep. If you sit on the left side of the bus, you will literally only see the abyss below you, pretty scary 😀
We stopped over a small cave called Agia Sofia in the mountain with a little church inside, bearing the same name. The cave is about 20 m high inside its cupola and 70 m in diameter. You can see the stalactites and stalagmites formations some of which are about 6m tall.

Topolia Gorge, view from Agia Sofia Cave

Bell at entrance of the Agia Sofia Church

Agia Sofia Cave formations

We spent about 10 mins reaching the cave from the road, where the bus stopped, by climbing several stairs. The path and the stairs are not very steep and the high at which the cave is , is about 285m. I think that visiting this cave will not last more than 30mins, but it is worthed.

After seeing the church inside, we went on boarding our bus to reach Elafonissi beach. I will recommend you to walk around the little island, staying at the beach might be a bit frustrating as the visitors are really thousands during the summer months. You can find peace by walking on the far-most side of the island towards the light-house. Here some splendour to warm you up in this cold January month 🙂

Elafonissi Lagoon

We tried checking for little fishes, but to be honest, no fish wants to swim close to so many legs and hands 😀 there was one diver further away from the beach who seemed to enjoy his dive uninterrupted in a calmer environment.

Elafonissi Island

View from Elafonissi Island

 

I truly hope humans will preserve places like Elafonissi and a small advice if our guide manages to read my post, do not mention the fact that tourists can take a bit of pink sand with themselves, i do not think this is a good idea minding the flocks of people visiting Elafonissi each year.

Stay tuned for more Chania charming beauty and colorful tiny streets 🙂

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