Overview

Introduction

For Caribbean-like white sands shelving into a multi-hued turquoise sea, this speck of an island is a beach lover's dream.

Historically remote and difficult to get to, we can now arrange stays here as a side trip from nearby Kythira (either with a car or transfers); combine it with any of our Peloponnese resorts (car hire required); or as part of a touring fly drive itinerary.

Not to be confused with the better known Elafonissi in western Crete, Elafonissos lies just off the south eastern shore of the Peloponnese and measures just 19 sq. kms. Outside Greece it is little known, being far from an international airport or mainstream holiday area. But the island is far from unknown to the mainland Greeks, who come in numbers at weekends and during Greek holiday periods (August is definitely to be avoided!). Why? For the simple reason that Elafonissos is home to a pair of beaches that regularly appear on 'best in Greece' lists.

This is no idle claim. Both Simos and Panagia (aka Kato Nisi) beaches are long and wide, with near-white sand shelving into turquoise-hued water offering safe, sheltered swimming. They are organised with sun beds available, but also plenty of space for those who prefer their own towel. Thankfully there is no major development behind these beaches - Simos in particular has a protected area of sand dunes - although there is a sprinkling of chilled cafe-bars.

Elafonissos is also popular with Greeks because, for them, the island can be reached very cheaply and easily. Small ferry boats run frequently (every 30 minutes in summer) from Pounta on the mainland, take 10 minutes and cost last year just €1 per person and €10 per car. Pre-booking is not possible - it's a shuttle service so you just turn up and get on the next available boat. There are rarely long queues - only at peak weekend and bank holiday times.

The ferry docks at the only village on the island, also called Elafonissos. The village has a large working harbour, home to a substantial fishing fleet and overlooked by a photogenic little church. There is a perfectly good sandy beach to one side for those who don't wish to travel out to the star names, which are a few kilometres out of town. Most Greeks bring their cars over, as there is no bus service and only one taxi. If you do not have a car then our hotels can arrange transportation to/from the beaches (local charge) or the taxi fare is c €7 each way.

The harbour is lined with cafes, small shops, ice cream places and tavernas, which together engender a buzzing Greek holiday atmosphere in the evenings.

If you visit Elafonissos with a car we recommend you take your snorkelling gear and explore the oldest submerged town in the world… 5,000 years of history beneath you. Pavlopetri is directly opposite the island, just off the beach and next to Pounta where the ferries go from.

Discovered in 1967 and subsequently explored and excavated, this underwater town dates from 2,800 BC but the remains which can still be seen are Mycenaean, from between 1680 BC and 1180 BC. Pavlopetri was an important trading port and controlled the entire Laconian Gulf.

The submerged town, covering over two acres, lies 3m to 4m beneath the waves. You are not allowed to scuba dive here, but to snorkel is thrilling!

Read more

Getting to Elafonissos

From Kalamata

Self-drive with a hire car (3-3½ hrs) - an overnight hotel is recommended in Kalamata on arrival and departure. Local ferry from Pounta (10 mins. - paid locally).

From Kythira

Either with transfers or hire car. Ferry from Kythira to Neapolis (75 mins. - Sunvil will pre-book this), 20 mins. drive to Pounta (13 kms.) for the ferry to Elafonissos (10 mins. - paid locally).

 

Multi-centre options

With Kythira, Monemvasia, other Peloponnese resorts with a car, mainland fly drive.

Representative

We have no local representative on Elafonissos - our hoteliers speak good English and are happy to give advice and assistance if required. Our Kythira representative can always be contacted if necessary.

 

Useful information

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Mark Willson
Mark Willson
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 3 hours

Currency

Euro

Language

Greek

Average flight times

3 hours

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Elafonissos expert

Dudley Der Parthog
Dudley Der Parthog

Having been at university and unsure as to what to do following some temporary jobs, Dudley joined the family firm as a brochure packer in 1979. In those days distribution was from the office premises and Sunvil was just beginning to grow again, following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the company’s major destination, in 1974. He was then made responsible for travel agency sales. In due course he took over the running and brochure writing for the Sunvil Greece programme and the contracting of accommodation. He is now a director of the company and is the most knowledgeable and experienced member of the Greek team. He mixes work in administering the programme with taking reservations and he particularly enjoys tackling complicated and well nigh impossible itineraries.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4758

We're open tomorrow at 9:00 AM

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Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

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Elafonissos

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
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Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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