Elafonisos Island is located at the southeast of Peloponnese. Elafonisos is one of the most popular destinations of Laconia due to its tropical unspoiled beaches with turquoise-blue crystal waters, the unique nature monuments and the underwater archaeological discoveries.
Elafonisos is an original fishing island known for its special cuisine with traditional recipes based on seafood and local “natura 2000 area” products.
The main island along with three islets “Panagias nisia”, “Aglyftis” islet, “Pavlopetri” islet and Pounta beach, constitutes the Municipality of Elafonisos, an area of 23 km².
Elafonisos Municipality consists in five small villages. The main one “Elafonisos”, an original fisherman’s village with traditional taverns and coffee shops on the picturesque port and a small charming bridge towards to Agios Spyridon church. “Kato Nisi” village, with the great Panagia Katonisiotissa beach, “Lefki” with the worldwide famous Simos double beach, “Kapari” and “Pounta beach” which is actually the main gate to Elafonisos Island.
Within Elafonisos Municipality territory there is one of the most significant worldwide underwater cultural monuments, “Pavlopetri Elafonisou”. Visitors use to say that Elafonisos is a place where culture exists even on the seabed.
Elafonisos is a place also noted for its unique plant life. The island is included in the European network of protected areas Elafonisos Island NATURA 2000. The major elements of the area are the two significant bird waching spots, Strongyli and Limnitsa wetlands, the dunes and the endemic plant species found only in Elafonisos.
The population of Elafonisos Municipality is 1.041 according to the latest census. An unusual characteristic of Elafonisos community is that locals are mostly indigenous. Most of them are coming from the first natives of the island, who were actually the ones who developed the socio-economic status, as well as the local culture. Professionally occupied within the marine industry locals love their island and they protect sea environment. Proud of their traditional fishing fleet Elafonisos fishermen have a strong sea related culture and philosophy. They are also faithful to their ethics and values retaining their religious and cultural rite. Visitors use to say that staying in Elafonisos is like living in another era.
During spring and summer time a great number of visitors -from all over the world- changes totally the quiet and peaceful profile of the virgin Greek island. The island becomes an attractive destination with quality and convenient enough tourism infrastructure for all those who seek to experience the beauty of nature and the absolute relaxation. Elafonisos is a unique place, a distinguish destination with authentic natural and cultural beauties local customs and habits, hospitable and unpretentious people, a place where fisherman’s way of life is still alive.
Double Simos Beach at Lefki Village
The famous double beach of Elafonisos is located along the south side of the island, at Lefki. The turquoise water of Frango and Sarakiniko cove, the sand dunes along the beach and the exotic cedar forest gives you a sense of paradise.
Panagia Katonisiotissa Beach Kato Nisi Village
Kato Nisi is a peaceful and quite spot with interesting archaeological discoveries and unique nature beauty. Most of the visitors characterize the area as mysterious and authentic.
Panagia Katonisiotissa a small orthodox church, located on the hill of the village is the symbol of the area. The church was built in 1825 on the remains of an old Byzantine church that was restored in 1928. Frescoes and icons inside the church reveal its history. Panagia Beach, located on the west side of the island is a long, wide sandy beach, protected by three islets off the coast, the “Panagias nisia”. The supreme and stunning landscape with the cedar trees along the edge of the beach, captures you once and for all.
Pavlopetri is the ancient submerged town between Pavlopetri islet -across Agios Spyridon Church- and Pounta beach. Pavlopetri was an active trading port. Archaeological findings indicate that back in 2000 BC Pavlopetri was a very wealthy city and an important naval trading post due to its location. Pavlopetri can be visited by boat and can be explored by visitors just with snorkeling equipment. The broader area is protected.
The Pavlopetri Archeological Research Project is still in progress.
Pounta is the gate to Elafonisos. It is an extremely beautiful beach that actually indicates Elafonisos characteristics. It is commonly known that in the long past Pounta was connected to Elafonisos island and thus that small part of Peloponnese is so similar to Elafonisos island and at the same time so different from the rest of the nearby area.
At the west side of the island, there is a small pebble beach named “Aglyftis”. Agios Patapios, a small Orthodox Church was built on the beach many years ago. Across the beach there is the homonymous islet with an old cave interesting to explore. Only a good hidden path starting from Panagia Church can lead to Aglyftis, a truly a holy place for locals.
Elafonisos is the absolute place for visitors to enjoy virgin nature, peace and calmness in conjunction with the greatest traditional cuisine. It’s a place characterized by unpretentious hospitality which makes visitors to take real pleasure in, to experience relaxing vacation and to be physically revived.
Elafonisos is a traditional sun and sea destination where you can enjoy sea sports, as snorkeling, diving, surfing and kite surfing. It’s a unique eco tourism destination where you can explore secret paths, participate in local cultural events and experience a real gastronomic delight.
Elafonisos has naturally become a very special wedding destination, since couples from all over the world choose the blessed elafonisos landscape as the place to be for their most important day.
How to come to Elafonisos
The best way to travel to Elafonisos from Athens or Kalamata airport is by car.
Elafonisos is located at the southeast of Peloponnese. Towards the eastern shore of Laconia, follow the “Elafonisos ferry boat” signs. You will be directed to the Pounta Beach and “Ypostego”, the cordial welcome spot of Elafonisos. Ferry boat daily routes connect “Ypostego” with Elafonisos Island.
Note that you don’t need to make any ferry boat reservation. For further information, please visit www.elafonisos.gr