Elafonisi (deer island) is located 76km west of Chania and 5km south of Chrysoskalitisa Monastery. It is an oblong peninsula, which breaks in two parts by water, giving the impression of being a separate island.
Elafonisi is a Natura 2000 protected area, because there, the turtles Caretta – Caretta give birth. Exotic beaches with white sand and turquoise water, reminding of the Caribbean, are formed on either sides of the peninsula. The sand is pinkish in many places, taking its colour from millions of crushed shells.
Near the breaking point of the peninsula, the sea water does not exceed 1 meter in depth, creating a small lagoon, ideal for children. The eastern side of the beach, in front of the lagoon, is well organized with umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, changing rooms and snack bars.
Τhe Cave of Agia Sophia is located 47km southwest of Chania, on the western walls of the gorge Topolia. It is located near the main road to Elafonisi. On the left of the cave entrance, there is the small church of Agia Sophia. The entrance of the cave has a width of 25 meters. The cave has two rooms at different height, the surface of which is full of stalagmites and stalactites.
Agia Sophia cave means ‘Cave of the wisdom of God’. It is situated at an altitude of 400 meters, so there are quite a few steps to go before you reach the cave. It is named after an icon that originates from a temple in Istanbul. This temple was built by the Emperor Justinian and was taken away from the city by Cretan warriors.