Visit Elafonisos

Greece has plenty of islands, and that’s no doubt! So, with more than 2000 islands to see, how to chose the right one? Should you go to the most famous ones like Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, or should you go off the touristic track and try something more authentic? In case you agree with the last part of the statement, then I recommend you to visit Elafonisos. And yes, there is no mistake, it is called Elafonisos and not Elafonisi, the famous beach of Crete!

This tiny island (19 km2), located between Peloponnese and Kythira, it’s a true paradise on Earth! This is one of those few locations where you need no filters for your photos, as the blue of the sky, the turquoise of the water and the white sand, will make every photo a screensaver.

And you’re still wondering why you didn’t heard about it? Well, even if is the only inhabited island of Peloponnese, there are not many residents out there. During the winter is very calm and its population (about 500 inhabitants) has a very quite life, knowing each other as a big family. However, during the high season months, things are changing. The visitors are coming and the island starts to be busy and lively, reaching even 5000 tourists a day!

Now, let me tell you why you should visit Elafonisos and what to expect.

Elafonisos Village

In the Elafonisos’s official brochure I found this village called the fisherman’s village. And it makes total sense. Once you arrive on the island, the first thing you’ll see is this tiny charming village. Filled with boats, traditional taverns, souvenir shops and charming terraces, there is nothing more you can imagine to be seen in a traditional fisherman village – the simplicity and the beauty coexists harmoniously.

As it’s the start point and the end of your trip, I would totally recommend a visit to Elafonisos village. There are many things to be seen from beautiful souvenirs, charming restaurants with good food, a beach over the corner (Kontogoni Beach) and a small church – Saint Spyridon’s Church – watching over the village. Allocate about one hour for sightseeing!


If you’re reading this article there is already a high chance to be an island lover. And most probably, you are also looking for some good beaches. If that’s the case, keep reading as this island is for you.

Elafonisos may be small in terms of size, but it hosts some of the best beaches of Greece – if not in the world! And this is the reasons you should visit Elafonisos. Not for parties, not for cities or museums – as there are almost none – but for its splendid beaches.

Simos Beach

This beach is very well known among the Greeks and it gained its reputation of one of the best in the country. In fact, it was my Greek friend, Iro, who recommended it to me – even if she never went here! I need to say a big thank you to her, as this was one of the best beach I saw in my life. And I’m saying this even if I saw a few good ones in Africa, Asia and so on. Seriously guys, you have to visit Elafonisos as it’s worth in all the time and money!

Located in the south part of the island, Simos beach is a perfect definition of paradise on Earth. The cedar forest, the sand dunes, the white sand, the turquoise water and its colourful fish, are all you can imagine in a piece of heaven.

The beach is actually a double beach (divided into Serakiniko Bay and Frango Bay), split by Elena Cape, a high piece of land offering splendid views all around. It has several places for snorkelling, for those interesting to have a closer look to the beautiful colourful fish. As a big plus, this beach offers the best conditions for children, non swimmers, paddling or a relaxing swimming, as it goes very smooth to the deep.

Panagia Beach

During your visit to Elafonisos, you may try to experience more beaches apart from Simos. So, most probably, you will try Panagia, the second most famous beach on the island.

Smaller in size than Simos beach, it offers the same beautiful landscape, white sand and turquoise water. However, the water goes deep in a few meters from the shore, so it’s not ideal for children or non swimmers. There are also several places for snorkelling, so it’s a good alternative to Simos beach if you’re looking for a quitter time.

Kontogoni Beach

This beach is located near the village, so it’s very easy accessible from the port. It is as beautiful as the other beaches, with the same sand quality and cobalt waters.


If you’re looking for something more interesting and authentic during your visit to Elafonisos, pay a visit to the submerged town of Pavlopetri during a scuba diving session. According to the archaeologists, it dates back to 2000 BC. When I went it wasn’t open for visitors, but I hope you’ll be able to see it!


The only way to come to Elafonisos is by ferry from Pounta. The ride is very short, about 10 minutes and it costs 1€ per person – one way. If you have a car you need to pay extra, about 13€ one way. During the summer the ferry operates from 7am till 11pm, every half an hour – but check the details here for accuracy!

Inside the island there is no public transport. So, either you walk by foot, either you take a taxi. Honestly, I didn’t saw any taxi on the streets when I arrived. I know you can call one if needed, but as I didn’t had any active phone number in Greece, I preferred to walk. The island is not big, and from the port to the Simos beach or Panagia beach it’s about 1 hour walk, around 4-5 km. In the summer it may be very hot, so ensure you have enough water as there is no shade.

My adventures

Actually, there is another option you have – to hitchhike! On my way to Simos beach, my flip flops caused me a pain so I started to walk barefoot. But man, it was painful… the road was hot – even at 8 am – and it wasn’t so flat and nice neither. But, as always, God took care of me. A few minutes after, a car stopped and ask me if I need a ride to the beach. And of course this wasn’t the time for a no! I don’t remember the names of the guys, but they were Elafonisos locals taking care of the cleaning of the island. They were heading up to the beach, so they left me straight on it, ready to jump in the water. Thank you, guys, I will never forget your kindness, God bless you!

Also, when I was coming back to the port, I thought to try my luck and hitchhike on the way. And I did it well, as another local lady gave me a hand! She was living in Athens now, but every summer she was coming home, to Elafonisos, to support the home business. Thanks again for your trust and the ride!

From Neapoli

In case you’re not sleeping on the island, but in Neapoli – as myself (the biggest city nearby, 14km away), I have good news. You can take the local bus from Neapolis to go to Elafonisos. One ride till the port of Pounta costs 1.6€, but you need to check the hours as the rides are not too often. The first bus goes around 6.30 am and the last one to come back to the city is around 2.30 pm. But, for the way back you can call a taxi from Neapoli to pick you up from Pounta, for the price of 15€. In the end, it may be cheaper this way especially if you’re sharing the costs / you’re not alone.

In my case, I had no phone number and no active sim to call one, but I received another lift for free! The guys working on the ferry talked to a delivery guy, to take me to the town on a scooter – as they knew each other and it was safe. It took like 30 minutes to reach the city, but the guy was super nice, he showed me the surroundings and explained me about the agriculture and the local businesses around. And this is how you make new friends!

From Athens

This piece of information comes straight from the locals. Many Greeks come to Elafonisos (especially from Athens), as it’s cheaper than going to other islands. Wondering how is this possible? Well, let’s think of a family of four. If you’re coming from the land the cost of the gas is the same for 1 person or for a family of four. Then, you save lots of money for the ferry, as Elafonisos is only a 10 minutes ferry ride from the mainland, comparing to long hours or overnights trips to Santorini, Mykonos, Crete and so on. The cheapest ticket you can find from the port of Piraeus to Mykonos / Santorini is 35€ per person, per ride, excluding the vehicle tax. Now, do the calculation for a round trip for 4 people and you’ll understand why.


When I looked for accommodation in Elafonisos I got scared. The prices were so high, more than 100€ for a room per night, even if I was alone. Instead, I decided to look for a cheaper alternative in Neapolis. This is the biggest city in the area, having more options for accommodation with the prices much more lower – at least during the pandemic year 2020! As an example, I spent 3 nights in Vergina hotel for only 30€ per night! So, you may want to check the surroundings too before the trip!


Now, it’s time for a great tip. Greek people don’t use online booking so much, or better said, not every accommodation is advertising their rooms online. I know this as I love interacting with locals, so I know it straight from the source.

Vergina hotel is not published anywhere. I found this place by walking on the streets at 11pm, with the help of other locals advising me where to try my luck. The owner told me he is almost always at full capacity, so he doesn’t need to pay additional fees to Booking or others to advertise his hotel. It is true he was in his 70s so maybe a bit more old fashion, but he succeed to keep his business alive even in this new connect world. So, everything is possible even without internet!

Also, another day I was in Elafonisos an elderly couple offered me a ride to the port from Panagia beach. Discussing about accommodation with them, they mentioned the same thing. Many people are offering accommodation on the island for 40€ per night, including them! And of course, none of them it’s publishing this on internet.

To conclude, if you’re brave enough just go and knock on the door. I travelled around Greece for 16 days, alone, with only 1 night of accommodation booked in advanced – the first one – and this was only because I was obliged to declare it in the covid-19 formulaire! And, I never slept under the clear blue sky. I always found a nice place to spend my night. It is possible, believe me!

The end!

Well, that’s it from my side! I hope I convinced you to visit Elafonisos – and Simos beach as it’s truly one of the best beaches you’ll ever experience in your life. If you’re looking for more travel destinations around Greece and not only, check more articles here.

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