“Help me, help me, help me sail away
Give me two good reasons
Why I ought to stay
‘Cause I love to live so pleasantly
Lazing on a sunny afternoon”.
It was this classic hit by the Kinks and not a greek song playing on the ferry radio the first time I visited Elafonissos. It proved to be the perfect soundtrack for the island. If you are looking for a “lazy” vacation, one you can just chill out on the beach, spellbound by the sight of turquoise waters, this is the place to be. It doesn’t’ really matter if are you the camping type or the “staying at the hotel with all the comforts” one. You can find it all on a tiny island (covering an area of mer 19 square kms), that you could easily miss in a map, but you should not miss the chance to visit.
Your first image is its “capital”, the main village, with its lovely alleys. Stroll around and make a stop at the taverns to try the delicious seafood and a glass (or more 🙂 ) of ouzo.
The beaches: On the south part of the island, you will find the impressive Simos. It is a carribean like beach, with 4 kms of white sand and crystal clear (usually warm) waters. It consists of two parts (Frago and Sarakiniko) that come together. A part of it belongs to the Simos Camping. For a family with children, however, a better choice would be the “Nisia tis Panagias” (Islands of Holly Mary) beach.
The activities: Though it is considered to be ideal for those looking for serenity, it also offers the chance for oganised activities like sailing, kite surfing and scuba diving.
…and the myth of Atlantis: According to Pausanias, Elafonissos used to be a peninsula with the name “Onou Gnathos” (Donkey’s Jawbone). Just off its coast lies what could possibly be the lost city of Atlantis. We are talking about Pavlopetri, a sunken settlement that dates settlement dates back some 5,000 years to the time of Homer’s heroes and thought to have been claimed by the sea around 1000 BC. It is the oldest and largest submerged town in the world according to the Anglo-Greek team of archaeologists that have explored it. The architectural remains are visible at a depth of about three meters.
Don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. The sun reflected on the white sand is just toooo strong.
Carry cash with you, for you will not find an ATM on the island
Fill the tank of your car, for you will not find a gas station either.
It’s better to avoid high season, but if you can’t, it would be good to book a room about a month before you visit the island.
How to get there: It lies off the coast of Cape Malea, in the south of Peloponnese. There is frequent connection between the mainland and Elafonissos via ferry.
Text by Natasa Stasinou, photos by Yannis Sarantopoulos