Beaches, landscapes and sights
Elafonisos has a unique natural treasure, extraordinary landscapes and beaches, churches of historical importance, significant folklore based in the island’s naval tradition but also there are also good kept undersea secrets.
At the south side of the island at Leuki’s area and across from Kythera lies the worldwidely famous Simos beach. Sarakiniko divides the beach, creating two coves, Sarakinikos’ cove (big beach) that extends to “Kournospila” and Frango’s cove (small beach) that extends to Frango. The endless Simos’ beach has fine white sand and sand dunes on the inside that reach approximately 10 m. height, The numerous cedars are extended in a big area and unite the two beaches. The beach was named after the diver- “sponge-fisher” from Kalymnos, Simos, who was drowned in the area near Frango.
At the same area, Leuki, a bit easter from Simos and across Cape Malea, is Leuki’s Cove. A small beach that combines white sand with rocks, waters with rich seabed and beautiful emerald shades. Often, Leuki’s Cove is the refuge of small boats, since with eastern winds Leuki is the most peaceful spot of the island. The cove can be seen from the road from the settlement to Leuki, at the highest spot of the route. The view of Leuki at this place is charming.
Lower Island, Holy Mary’s Islands
At the west side of Elafonisos, at the area “Lower Island” and across the beaches of Mani, is the “Holy Mary’s beach”. It’s about a large sandy beach with deep cerulean waters. Across it, there are rare sand dunes and numerous cedars. The beach’s landmark are the known “Holy Mary’s Islands” ‘s three isles: “Kasela”, “Prasonisi” and “Lefto Island”. Along with the rocks, the isles surround and protect the beach. At winter, still waters, froms the flows and the rain, pool inside the beach, creating a small lake, the known of the locals “Limnitsa”. The beautiful beach with the crystal waters and golden sand is “staring from the above” the church of Mary “Katonisiotissa”. The Mary’s church and the beach with the isles, combined with the gracious yet quiet character of the area, are making a unique laconian landscape. Here, at the Lower Island, at Holy Mary’s beach prevails the Sun of Elafonisos.
At the same area, easter from Pounta and just across the isle “Pavlo Petri”, lies the small beach of Pavlopetri. At this very spot the visitors’ attention is focused, because the seabed from the beach to the isle “hosts” the drowned city, an undersea landmark of exceptional inmportance (BBC Pavlopetri). The area is guarded by the local authorities and the Coast Guard.
Kastania Cave – Petrified Forest (Agios Nikolaos Geopark)
Visit the Kastania Cave and the Petrified Forest of Agia Marina in Agios Nikolaos. These are two unique geological treasures that nature gave generously. Unique in their kind, they will impress you from the first moment. See about it at www.kastaniacave.gr and at www.keppedm.gr/geoparko. Access is via Neapolis and the distance is 26 km and 28 km respectively. In the Kastania Cave there is a ticket and a specific operating program, while the entrance to the Geopark is free.
At the westest spot of the island, further away from Holy Mary’s beach and across Cape Tenaro, is Agliftis. The small pebbly beach is protected by the homonym isle that lies a few metres from the land. The rutty and well-hidden path from the “Holy Mary’s Avlaki” leads to Agliftis, this inaccessible and full of secrets area of the island that hosts the Saint Patapios sacred chapel.
It’s about the highest spot of Elafonisos at 276 metres height. From here, one Can enjoy the beautiful view from Sarakiniko and the Elafonisos’ strait to Kythera and the famous to-be-included at the List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, Cape of Malea.