Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. Here, you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountainscapes, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture. Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover!
The region of Chania, on the western side of the island, is dominated by the impressive White Mountains and its famous National Park, which occupy the largest part of the region. The Prefecture of Chania provides tourist services and activities of all kinds, satisfying all the choices. The city of Chania maintains unaltered all of its characteristics, from the time of the Venetian Rule up until today.
Elafonissi is something like an island and a peninsula, because to reach the island you have to walk through the sea. It is located in the southwest end of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, about 70km from the city of Chania.
Elafonisi is a place of an exceptional natural beauty, and it has been included in the Natura 2000 Protection Program. Someone could say that nature made its wonder in Elafonisi. What characterizes the area of Elafonissi and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder.
South of Elafonisi is another area of wild and remarkable beauty – Kedrodasos or the Forest of Cedars. Dunes of white sand and the ancient cedars cover the whole vicinity. The main beach is sandy and boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Kedrodasos too is part of the NATURA 2000 programme: the age-old cedars are protected by a special environmental plan as their growth-rate is extremely laborious and slow (about one centimeter per year).
Samaria Gorge, one of the largest canyons in Europe, is one of the major attractions on the island of Crete and of course in the prefecture of Chania.
The hike in Samaria gorge starts at the southern edge of Omalos plateau, located about 40 km from the city of Chania, and ends, after six to eight hours of hiking, to the south shore of Crete, in the Libyan Sea. The 16 km trail descends beside cliffs and through dense forests with rare flora and fauna. The path crosses several times the riverbed into the gorge or is matched to it. Passes by the abandoned village of Samaria, and after passes through the narrow and steep walls of the gorge, ends in the seaside village of Agia Roumeli.