Elafonissos
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THE ISLAND OF ELAFONISOS, ELAFONISSOS OR ELAFONISI IN GREECE - BEACH ISLAND IN THE PELOPONNESOS
map of Elafonisos, click to enlarge Nederlands

The island of Elafonisos is an attractive and relatively isolated island situated not far from the mainland in the Pelopponese area, a little southwest of the town of Neapoli and just above the larger island of Kythira. Formerly (until 1677) the island was connected with the mainland. The area is known as Cape Malea, and it is the second southernmost tip of the Peloponnese. It separates the Aegean Sea in the east and the Ionian Sea in the west. Historically the channel between Kythira and the mainland was a major transit route for shipping, but since the opening of the Corinth Canal the ships do not have to sail along the Pelopponesos anymore to go from one sea to the other.

The island of Elafonisos is 20 km2 in size and has about 750 inhabitants. The only village of any size on the island Elafonisos lies on the northern tip and is called Elafonisos Town. It's a nice fishing village where it is very quiet. There is no such amenities as a bank on the island. You will not encounter many tourists here. However, it is a beautiful island surrounded by a clear sea and there are beautiful beaches. The village is accessible by a ferry from Pounta (not far from Neapoli). Pounta is only a small harbor town and the distance to the island is approximately 300 meters. The trip takes about ten minutes and because it is so shallow and the bottom of the sea is sandy, you see a beautiful turquoise water. During the summer months the boats up and down to the island go quite regularly. Elafonisos Town has a port with some taverns and rooms for rent. There are also some luxury villas from (mostly) wealthy Athenians who have second homes here. So you see in the harbor also a number of luxury yachts.

THE SIGHTS OF THE ISLAND OF ELAFONISOS, ELAFONISSOS OR ELAFONISI IN GREECE

PavlopetriNortheast of the island OF Elafonisos lies the isler of Pavlopetri (or Paulopetri) at about 200 meters from the harbor town of Pounta. Near this small islet there is an ancient city which is completely under water. It is considered the oldest sunken city in the world. Although the old town is approximately 3000 m2 (300 x 100 meters) and large parts of it can be seen with the naked eye, it was only discovered in 1967. There are about 15 buildings, five roads, two tombs and 37 graves. This includes a palace with four rooms and a temple. Several artifacts were found on the seabed. The infrastructure of roads, buildings and tombs of this city are still reasonably intact. It is estimated that the city is 5000 years old and dates from the Bronze Age and the Minoan period. It was a port in a sheltered and sandy bay which was ideal for ships of that period. Pavlopetri probably sunk around 1000 BC, and the buildings are now 3 to 4 meters deep. The sunken city is experiencing a lot of damage from the dragging of anchors and from souvenir hunters. On Pavlopetri itself are remnants of walls from the Roman and Byzantine times and some 60 Hellenistic tombs. Some of these tombs have also been sunk in the sea.

In the port of Elafonisos Town there is a tiny islet with the small Byzantine church of Agios Spyridona. This little church is the main church of the island. It is accessible via a bridge.

In Kato Nisi, at the highest point, is the two-storey castle / tower of the Melas family dating back to 1863. The castle was renovated in 1993 and is open to the public. In Kato Nisi is also the Panagia church from 1825 which was restored in 1928. There are frescoes and icons inside. The church was built on the remains of an old Byzantine church. At a distance of 200 meters west of the church is a Mycenaean cemetery. Between 1600 and 1100 BC people were buried here in small caves. In Kato Nisi there is also an early Christian graveyard.

Elafonisos, Simos Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Panagia Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Panagia Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Panagia Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Panagia Beach  Diamond Resort
Elafonisos, Panagia Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Panagia Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Lefki Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Lefki Beach  Diamond Resort Elafonisos, Byzantine church of Saint Spyridona  Diamond Resort
THE BEACHES OF THE ISLAND OF ELAFONISOS IN GREECE

Simos Beach is located in the south of the island Elafonisos and it's a very beautiful and large sandy beach with beautiful turquoise waters, and it's a good place to snorkel. There are people that think that this is the most beautiful beach in Greece. The beach consists of two parts (two beaches, Frago and Sarakiniko) that come together and behind it are high sand dunes. In August and later in the year the rare and protected white sea lilies bloom here. From Simos Beach there is a view of the island of Kythira. On the beach of Simos are sunbeds and parasols for rent. There is also an organized a camping site near the beach.

Panagia Beach or Kato Nisi Beach is located on the west side of the island. It's a long, wide sandy beach that is protected by islands off the coast. There are some pine trees and bushes along the edge of the beach for shade, but there are some beachchairs and parasols for rent. In the summer the special Sempre Viva blooms here. It grows on rocks and has yellow flowers. It looks a little like a flower from a dried bouquet. The bottom of the sea is sandy and the water is crystal clear. The beach is accessible by car but the road towards it is not great. Just like on Simos Beach there are people here who are camping free. It is not really allowed, but people do it anyway. Kato Nisi is the only village on the island next to Elafonisos Town.

Lefki Beach is situated in a bay on the east side of the island Elafonisos. You pass the beach on the way to Simos Beach. It is a beach with some rocks off the coast. Sometimes there are also yachts at anchor. The color of the water here seems spectacularly beautiful.

Megalo Tigani Beach is the name of the beach on the southeast side Elafonisos Town, near the port and the chapel of Agios Ioannis. At the beach are facilities.

Kontogoni Beach is located just northwest of Elafonisos Town, within walking distance of taverns and other facilities of the village.

Kalogeras Beach is a continuation of the Kontogoni beach and is also north-west of Elafonisos Town.

Accommodations, hotels, studios, apartments and rooms on the island of Elafonisos in Greece
Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort
Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort Elafonisos Diamond Resort
Elafonisos Diamond Resort op het eiland Elafonisos in Griekenland

In an extent of 4 acres, the brand new hotel complex Elafonisos Diamond Resort offers modern, air-conditioned studios with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and beautiful views of the sea. The beautiful long stretch of sandy beach of Panagia lies just 250m away from the resort of Elafonisos Diamond, while the town and port of Elafonisos are just 4.5km away. The 3-star complex consists of 7 buildings. Buffet breakfast and private parking are complimentary. The complex also includes a children's playground, barbeque area and bar. Wheelchair access rooms are also provided.

Check availability and prices & book the Elafonisos Diamond Resort - click here.

For all hotels, apartements and studios on the island of Elafonisos - click here.


Hans Huisman, Elafonisos Diamond Resort, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2013
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