Crete has an abundance of shoreline, and its Elafonisi Beach is one of the best in Greece. This sprawling piece of pink and white sand opens up to the turquoise sea. Lifeguards keep a constant watch, and so the beach is suitable for all ages. You can come here on a day trip from Chania.
Also nearby is the Chrysoskalitissa monastery, and the Agia Irini lighthouse.
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Hit up one of Greece’s most beautiful beaches
Elafonisi Beach seems like it’s at the end of the earth, save for the hundreds of umbrellas, snack bars and beach-goers who come here from near and far. For all intents and purposes, Elafonisi — not to be confused with Elafonisos Beach, just off the Southern Peloponnese — is about as removed as can be thanks to its remote location (in Crete’s southwestern corner) and the 90-minute drive from Chania, the island’s third-largest city. Though the roads are mostly paved, the route through the mountains is not for the faint of heart — or heights. But the reward is well worth it, thanks to the picturesque swaths of pink sand and Elafonisi’s turquoise, shallow and warm waters that seem to stretch for miles. Arrive early and don’t make any plans for the rest of the day, other than to hit the snack bar for an iced NESCAFÉ frappé, a cold Mythos beer or maybe a homemade spanakopita.