The scenery is dreamy. An exotic, easily accessible paradise!
- Have you seen promotional posters of exotic islands, with dreamy white beaches and emerald shallow crystal clear waters?
- Have you seen photos of cedars scattered by the winds like a thousand-year bonsai?
- Have you seen the blue sky change into the colors of the rainbow?
- Have you seen the night-sky far away from any light source, giving you the feeling that you are part of the incredible spectacle of the stars system?
- Have you found yourself swimming in the sea when suddenly a sea turtle is swimming beside you?
If YES, then you have visited Elafonisos (Deer`s island) of Laconia, which definitely does not have deers, definitely does not look like a deer, but whoever has picked this place for vacations has definitely adored it!
If NO, then you must definitely come!
Text & Photos: Errika Peloriadou
For the lovers of white sand and emerald waters, Elafonisos is the absolute place!
- For the lovers of the alternative tourism we advise what is valid for most dreamy beaches in Greece: visit them in June and July.
- During August, Elafonisos is the dreamy exotic island for the "almost alternative type of tourist" and the "almost naturalist type of tourist", who also wants to be a little trendy. For those who want to drink their cocktails and have their sun beds with umbrellas next to the waves, for those who like to go for a walk in the afternoon in the village alleys and in the evening to visit a bar... A perfect combination of an alternative and glamorous holiday package!
- For the Robinsons among us as well as for the activists, environmentalists, nature lovers and campers, Elafonisos is the alternative dream for the remaining ten months of the year.
Sarakinikos bay with the two beaches of Simos and Fragos, with the white sandy beaches and the emerald waters on one hand and on the other, the sandy dunes which accompany the unique bonsai like trees in their game with the winds, promises unforgettable holidays!
The small picturesque port of Elafonisos
Elafonisos in the old days and its name
Elafonisos is located in the southeastern part of Peloponnese, in the Laconian Gulf, southwest of the bay of Neapole and north of Kythera, in the area known as Vatika. It has an area of 19 sq. km. The village of Elafonisos and the settlements of Kapari, Kato Nisi, Lefki and Pounta, form the community department of Elafonisos. Pounta is the piece of land opposite the island from where the ferry boat that connects Vatika and Elafonisos departs. Pounta borders the beaches of Viglafia, Magano and Neratziona and the important wetland (protected by NATURA 2000), which consists of Lake Strongyli and the smaller lakes of Maganos and Neratzionas, a sanctuary for 132 species of birds and a unique habitat for the rare and endangered Cade. The inhabitants of the island are about 650 (according to the 2001 census), but they are doubled in the summer and especially in August.
In the old days, Elafonisos was exclusively fishermen's residence. That`s why it had one of the largest fleets of coastal fishing boats in Greece. As far as the name is concerned, in the old days the island was home to a kind of small red deer ("elafi" in Greek). Hence the name they gave to it. The opposite beautiful beach Viglafia (Vigla + elafi), is the place where the deer were observed. As for its shape, it is more likely to resemble to a donkey`s denture (as it was called by the amazing traveler of antiquity, Pausanias, "donkey jaw") and much less to a deer head.
Read more about Vatika here: Meet the portolans of Vatika, Neapoli Lakonias