Magical and paradisical, Elafonisos is a small island off the northeast coast of the Peloponnese. Its beautiful beaches are among the best in Greece and the whole Mediterranean, with their crystal clear waters, white sand and exotic beauty.
On Ferrthopper, you can learn all about holidays in Elafonisos, the top beaches, accommodation options, tickets and ferry crossings.
The dreamy waters and sand stretches of Simos in Elafonisos
Vacation in Elafonisos
Elafonisos’ unparalleled natural beauty offers unforgettable and relaxing memories for those eager to explore the island's secrets. Here, you can cool down by the sea, reconnect with nature and take a much-needed break from daily life. And for fans of water sports, Elafonisos is the place to be!
The quaint port, which is the main settlement of Elafonisos, has several little taverns where you can try out fresh seafood and fish, and even some bars for a late-night drink. Every corner of the island comes together to create a magnificent holiday destination.
Elafonisos is great for groups of friends, families, couples and even solo travelers! Most travelers choose to visit in the summer months, although weekend trips in late spring or early autumn are also popular.
How to get to Elafonisos
As the island of Elafonisos does not have an airport, getting there by ferry is the only way to get there, and also the right way to get in the mood for the Mediterranean holidays!
Boats to Elafonisos depart from Pounta, on the opposite shore of Elafonisos, close to Neapoli. You can get there by car or reach Neapoli first by intercity bus (KTEL) from Athens. From there, you can find a direct bus service to Pounta and its harbor.
While it is not possible to book tickets to this island online, you can learn more about ferries to Elafonisos below.
What to do in Elafonisos
What isn’t there to do in Elafonisos? Relaxation by the beach, exploring underwater sites and trying out mouthwatering local delights are only a few of the things you can enjoy in Elafonisos.
From sunlight to moonlight, there is something that caters to all tastes. Whatever you may choose for your vacation in Elafonisos, magical moments await you! Let’s discover the best of Elafonisos below.
Beaches in Elafonisos
The beaches of Elafonisos are popular all over Europe, thanks to their unmatched beauty. The crystal clear turquoise waters, white fine sand and unique dunes offer otherworldly landscapes.
Some of the most popular beaches in Elafonisos are the following:
- Simos beach: it is the most well-known beach on the island and is listed as a protected area by UNESCO. Some even believe that it’s the most beautiful beach in all of Europe. It’s split into two parts, Simos and Sarakiniko. Through its transparent waters, you can see its unique pink sand. The beach has amenities, but there are also free segments. You can get there by car or boat in the summer.
- Lefki: this is a tiny beach on the east coast of the island. Its beautiful blue waters, white sandy stretches and rocks impress even the most demanding travelers!
- Kontogoni: it’s located right next to the port and has shallow waters and fine golden sand. It offers sunbeds and quick access to the settlement’s amenities, making it a great family-friendly option.
- Kalogeras: its shallow emerald waters have become a popular spot for water sports and it is close to the main settlement.
- Panagia beach: this is a gorgeous beach on the west coast of Elafonisos, also known as “Kato Nisi”. The cedars, dunes and turquoise waters are worth-mentioning, of course, but the amazing views of neighboring islets and the sunset steal the spotlight!
- Agliftis: it’s the only pebble beach in Elafonisos and remains relatively uncrowded. Come here to enjoy moments of pure relaxation. You can access it by boat or through a path (around 40 minutes).
Beautiful panoramic view of Simos and Sarakiniko in Elafonisos
Sightseeing and activities in Elafonisos
Not only is Elafonisos a Natura 2000 protected area, but it’s also full of cultural attractions and underwater secrets. As such, take your time discovering every cultural, historical and natural corner of the island.
The team of Ferryhopper recommends the following attractions in Elafonisos:
- The church of Agios Spyridon, the patron saint of the island, built on an islet at the port of Elafonisos
- The church of Panagia Katonissiotissa, built on Byzantine ruins
- Stroggyli Lake (or Stroggyli Lagoon), on the opposite shore of Elafonisos
- Vardia, the highest location on the island with breathtaking views
- The underwater ancient city close to Pavlopetri
What about activities in Elafonisos? There are plenty of things to do, whether you want to get wet or wish to keep your feet on the ground. Out of all the popular activities, however, water sports reign supreme!
Here, you can easily try out surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing! Exploring the above-mentioned underwater city also makes for a great snorkeling opportunity! If you’re up for a sea adventure but prefer to keep your head above water, opt for a boat trip to the beautiful cave of Karantrea.
You can also hike through many parts of Elafonisos, or simply go for a walk at the picturesque port and main settlement of the island and the long sandy beach of Simos.
Important: while Elafonisos is great for hiking, most trails are unmarked. We suggest that you go hiking fully prepared (food, comfy shoes, sun protection) and get in touch with local groups.
Nightlife in Elafonisos
Apart from good food and refreshing drinks, Elafonisos comes to life at night in its own unique way, especially in the summer. Most happenings take place at seaside bars and buzzing spots, such as the beach of Simos. There, with the popular campsite, you can find plenty of opportunities to dance, have a refreshing drink and experience true Greek nightlife!
Food in Elafonisos
Meals with pure seafood and fish are an integral part of Greek cuisine, and Elafonisos is no exception to that. You can also find lots of meat-based and plant-based options, as well as international culinary elements (with good Italian meals, for example). Most great eateries reveal themselves in central points of interest, such as the port.
A rather unique product that you should definitely try is a local type of rusk that has been kneaded 7 times in total!
Icy tip: don’t forget to visit Koumparos in the port area for some delicious ice cream.
The idyllic location of Agios Spyridon in Elafonisos
Useful information about Elafonisos
Elafonisos has everything you may need for a perfect getaway by the sea! In the settlement of Elafonisos, where the port and main village of the island are located, you can find numerous visitor amenities, such as a regional clinic, pharmacy, supermarket, ATM, gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, bars and shops.
Regarding accommodation in Elafonisos, we recommend staying in central locations, close to the port area. There, you can find a wide range of accommodation options for all preferences and budgets. To get in touch with nature, you can stay at the famous campsite at the beach of Simos which is well-equipped and comfortable.
Tip: another cheap accommodation option is staying in the village of Viglafia, right across the island of Elafonisos. You can stay there and visit the island whenever you want by ferry.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Elafonisos
Here are some useful numbers for your holidays in Elafonisos:
- Elafonisos Shipping Company: +302734061122
- Multipurpose Regional Medical Center of Elafonisos: +302734061294
- Health Center of Neapoli: +302734022500
- Pharmacy of Elafonisos: +302734061363
- Municipality of Elafonisos: +302734061238
- Police station: +302734061111
Transportation in Elafonisos
For your vacation in Elafonisos, we recommend bringing along your car or motorcycle, as the island does not have a bus network. Lots of locations, however, can be casually explored on foot.
Ports in Elafonisos
Boats from Pounta arrive at the beautiful port of Elafonisos, located in the main settlement of the island. The port area is easily accessible and has numerous amenities and beaches within walking distance. The highlight of the port is a beautiful islet where the church of Agios Spyridon is situated.
Here, you can also book your tickets to return to mainland Greece (either at the port or on board the boat during the peak season).
Elafonisos ferry: schedules and tickets
You can catch a ferry to Elafonisos daily from mainland Greece. Specifically, boats depart from the beach and harbor of Pounta, close to Neapoli and part of the region of Laconia.
This route is operated multiple times every day, usually by the local company Elafonisos Shipping Company, and lasts around 10 minutes.
Majestic sunset and moments of tranquility in Elafonisos
Where to book ferry tickets to Elafonisos online
As of now, booking ferry tickets for the Pounta - Elafonisos route is not possible online. You can get your tickets at the harbor of Pounta and the port of Elafonisos, and reach the beautiful island of Elafonisos in just a few minutes!
Tip: for other ferry routes between mainland Greece and the Aegean Islands, take a look at our Map of ferries, gather inspiration for your next trip and book ferry tickets hassle-free!