One Day Tour

POST-CONFERENCE EXCURSION

TO BALOS LAGOON AND ELAFONISSOS BEACH

On  Saturday the 29th June, we will offer a day-excursion by chartered conference buses to Balos Lagoon and Elafonissos beach.

1. The Bay of Balos

The Bay of Balos is situated in the region of Kasrelli Kissamou. It is simply stunning and one of the most picturesque sites in western Crete. If you get there by car you will have to walk about 10 minutes before getting your first glimpse of the bay and the peninsula of Tigani. Most people's first reaction is WOW!

Getting down to the beach takes about 20 to 30 minutes on an easy path from the car park.

The main attraction of Balos is the beautiful sandy beach, the clear turquoise water of the sea and the stunning natural surroundings.

Walk to the peninsula of Tigani - You can either wade through a little bit of water (sometimes there is no need to cross water, this changes from season to season and from year to year) or follow a line of rocks on the south-western side of the lagoon to reach the peninsula of Tigani. Apart from a small chapel there is not much on it but you can walk to the flat top (head for the chapel and carry on upwards along the north-eastern slope) where you will get excellent views of the area. You will also escapes the crowds (if there are any).

The lagoon - Beautiful water and generally very warm (even early in the year) because it is very shallow. Unfortunately it can be smelly as organic material stays in the lagoon. It's all natural but not always very pleasant.

2. Elafonissos beach

Elafonisi, in the South-West of Crete has become a very popular destination for day trippers who flood to this corner of paradise by car, bus or boat. Its main attraction to most tourists is the unique feeling of being in a South Seas lagoon whilst having a Mediterranean holiday.

The main attraction of Elafonisi is the beautiful sandy beaches fringed with pink coral sand and the crystal clear waters of the sea and the lagoon. As it is located at a remote corner of Crete you also get a sense of wilderness, being far from everything.

Walk to the island! Wade through the knee deep water of the lagoon (sometimes the channel closes and you can walk all the way without having to get your feet wet) and head to the island. There are many small beaches on the South side and the further you walk the quieter it gets. The water is generally quite shallow and safe for children.
At the western end of the island there is a promontory with a small lighthouse, and chapel (of very little interest). Being a little higher up you can get some nice views of the whole area.

Coral sand - The pink and red sand that gets deposited along the water's edge is produced by the large amount of red and pink shells that get ground up by sea action.

Plant life and flowers - Elafonisi is a protected area (Natura 2000 site as well as a Micro-Reserve for the protection and study of Androcymbium rechingeri). The small island is home to 110 plant species and is a dream for anyone interested in botany. Most notable are Sea daffodils, Androcymbium rechingeri, Marram grass and endemic Juniper trees.

The main beach is more or less taken over by sun beds and umbrellas during the tourist season. There are a couple of beach bars providing drinks and snacks. Free toilets, showers and a few changing cabins are also located nearby.

On the island itself, there is nothing of that sort but the Juniper trees have been roped off (to prevent being disturbed by visitors) and some paths have been marked (especially a path leading to the western tip of the island and the lighthouse that follows close to the rocky north shore) to discourage people wandering about and trampling all over plants.


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