Elafonisos Island, Greece
Elafonisos is a lesser-known Greek island in the Lakonikos Kolpos (Bay of Laconia), between Kythira and Peloponnese (which is not to be confused with the island of Elafonisi by Crete). In the Peloponnese archipelago, Elafonisos is the largest inhabited island, measuring in at an area of 7 miles. It is also the only island in the Peloponnese to be its own separate municipality. The island’s beauty is reminiscent of the Cyclades, with pristine turquoise waters, and one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, Fragos (Simos) Beach. Tourists typically ride one of the ferries in Vingliafa to Elafonisos, and Athenians often visit on the weekends on their yachts – it is also just a 5-hour drive from Athens. Native residents are known for having one of the bigger fishing fleets in Greece (60% of locals are fishermen), as well as impeccable woodwork shipbuilding. Elafonisos means “Island of the Deers”, and in ancient times, the island was named “Onou Gnathos”, meaning “Donkey Jawbone”. Originally a peninsula, the sandy isthmus to this day is only 10 feet underwater. The Elafonisos Channel is the main passage for vessels sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in the 16th and 17th centuries was utilized by Corsairs and Pirates. In Greek Mythology, the Channel is also known as being the starting point for Odysseus’s epic journey. The oldest archeological town site, Pavlopetri, is off the southern coast of Laconia, and is 5000 years old, completely submerged in the sea due to a massive earthquake. Enjoying seafood, drinks, and the beach is what Elafonisos is all about. Although it is unclear if it is allowed, many beach-goers pitch tents among the dunes and trees at the beach, adding to the laid-back feel of this destination. Elafonisos’s charm lives in the intimate and natural beautiful environment. Be sure to explore the castle “Pyrgos ton Meladon” to catch a beautiful panoramic view of Laconic Bay!
We enjoyed every minute of our "yacht adventure" and it really is impressive to be addressed by name from the moment we boarded! [...] The crew is really first rate and didn't miss a beat in providing the best service I've ever experienced. Dale WhiteCamarillo, California
It was truly a Dream voyage!...The food was awesome! Not a single complaint from us! The wines, cocktails and all other beverages were excellent! Peter Lundgren & Hannes KarlssonStockholm, Sweden
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