Things to do in Elafonisi? To lie down on the gold sand, to swim in the clear and gleaming water, to hike in the green little island, to be amazed by finding pink sand. Just enjoy, relax and take picture of this paradise.
There are four ways to reach Elafosini: (1) Take the daily ferry from Paleochora, which leaves at 10 am and begins its return trip from Elafonisi at 4 pm. The trip is about an hour, but once you reach Elafonisi you'll have to walk a ways to the beach; (2) Drive. It's not a particularly difficult drive, though the fastest you can make it from Paleochora is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. There's ample parking, right next to the beach, some of it even shaded. (3) Take the bus from Chania. (4) Walk. It's a long walk along a tough trail though, so be sure you really want to do this.
I drove both times I visited Elafonisi. I beat the ferry from Paleochora both times (though not by much), and got to stay as late as I wanted after everyone who arrived by ferry or bus had to leave. Plus, I got to visit the monestary of Moni Chrisokalitiss located just a few minutes north of Elafonisi on the main road. It's well worth your time to stop there for a brief visit.
In the little mountain village of Voutas, still a long way from Elafonisi, you'll see the tempting sign seen in this picture indicating a shortcut of just 17 km to the beach. Being the adventurer that I am, I decided to give it a try. One hour and fifteen minutes later, after driving over a horrible rocky road through steep mountains, I finally reached Elafonisi. That's right, it took one hour and fifteen minutes to drive 17 km. Actually it only took fifteen minutes to reach the mountain village of Sklavopoula, and then an entire hour for the last 11 km. We never saw a single living creature on that mountain road other than two dogs. No vehicles either. If our car had broken down it might have been days before anyone had found us. We were lucky and made it without any trouble, but take my advice and do NOT take this shortcut.
Favorite thing: Well, not all the sand, not by a long shot, but Elafonisi definitely has pink sand in certain spots, mainly where the water laps up on the beach on the southern side. I've certainly never seen anything like it in my life. It's really amazing even if it's just in small areas.
Favorite thing: Elafonisi is actually an island lying just off the southwest coast, across a very shallow stretch of water that's easy to wade across. Actually there's a substantial beach on the coast itself that's also great, but I liked the island better. Here you'll find an enormous lagoon-like area so shallow that you can walk for more than 100 meters without getting wet above your ankles. On the opposite side, across a big flat expanse of sand, is a more conventional beach with areas of pink sand and countless little seashells. Even this side is shallow and well-protected though, making the water warmer than in the open ocean. There's plenty of room out here for the large masses of people attracted to this idyllic spot, and the farther west you go along the coast the quieter and more remote the beaches get.