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|Elafonissos Island - Excellent beaches|
Elafonissos lies just off the south eastern tip of Peloponnese - Lakonia Gulf across from Neapolis and just 350m at its northernmost tip from at Pounta.
Exotic in its bays and its endless beaches with their dunes and cedar trees, but also tladitional in its genuine Greek island character, Elafonisos offers all basic tourism facilities. Nature-lovers, visitors are attracted by the good accommodation and the good food available.
Trademark of Elafonissos are the beautiful beaches: Kontogoni and Kalogeras are near Elafonissos village, Lefki on the western coast, the famous beach of Simos and the beach of the bay Sarakiniko.
The island covers an area of 20 sq.Km. and its coastline is approx. 25Km. Elafonisos though, has been inhabited since Neolithic times. New and significant findings confirm its importance in tracing the past. Human presence remained constant on the peninsula of "Onou Gnathon" (the "Donkey's Jaw") as it was called in older times. For centuries the peninsula was separated from the coast by a narrow isthmus, and was home to a temple to Athena and the grave of Kinadis, captain of Menelaos's ship. It became an island after the earthquake of 375 AD. Three centuries later, the Byzantines built a fortress there which was destroyed two centuries later by the Saracens. Then came the Venetians and the Turks -its waters witnessed three naval battles between the two adversaries. Then the French and the English, and then, following the War of Independence, it was finally incorporated into Greece in 1850.
Today, Elafonisos is accessed by either the ferry / hydrofoil of the line linking Piraeus with the South Peloponnese, Kythira and Kasteli, or by the local ferry-boat service linking Neapolis and Kythira. Journey time from Neapolis is thirty minutes. One other way to approach the island is by ...land, taking a small boat from the coast of Peloponnese at Antinognatho to make the six-minute trip over the shallow channel. Before they cross over, they can see the cobblestone streets of the peninsula as they were before it became an island, they can enjoy the excellent beach at Pounta or admire the Mycenaean tombs opposite the islet of Pavlopetri -the cemetery of a city sunk in the bronze age.
The main village and the port of the island is also called Elafonissos. At the south-eastern part is Megalo Tigani, the new harbour, with a beach offering tourist facilities. Nearby is the chapel of Agios loannis, and the road to the magnificent beaches. The first is on the bay of Lefki, on the eastern coast. The second is at the southernmost tip, at the bay of Frangos, on the south side of Elafonisos. The beach of Simos, is one of the best in Greece. Nearby is the large beach of the bay of Sarakiniko, along the southern part of the island. On the western side of the island is Nissia tis Panagia, another beautiful beach facing four small islaets. There is the second, small settlement on Elafonisos, Kato Nisi.
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