Did you know there’s a pink beach in Crete? With actual pink sand? No? Hold on, let me start at the beginning.
You can imagine I was pretty happy when I found out HouseTrip had rented cars for us to use during our stay with them on Crete in Greece. We needed them to drive to drive to our tours (I did a food tour in Chania and took a cooking class) the first day we were there, but on the second day we were free and got to use them to explore the island.
Amanda from MarocMama and I claimed a car together and immediately headed south. Our destination? The pink beach of Crete!
The pink beach, Crete
The pink sanded beach of Crete is also referred to as Elafonissi, but it seems there’s a bit of a mix-up in names.
Elfonissi is actually a piece of land that turns into a tiny island when the tide is high, located right by the pink beach. You can also walk to it from the pink beach when the tide is low. The pink beach of Crete itself is the stretch of beach between the small island and Crete. The waters there are very shallow, which makes it an ideal place to take your kids.
It is called the Pink Beach because in spring and early summer the sand colors pink. Locals told me it’s because of some corals, but apparently it’s a combination of red organisms that live on the corals, tiny pieces of broken seashells and other microscopic sea life.
When we got there the sand didn’t really seem pink and for a moment we wondered whether we’d driven to the right beach. We asked a local and it was then that he told us about the beach not being pink all year round. He did point us to an area where we could still see leftovers of pink and indeed, we did.
But even if the sand had just been the color of sand, the pink beach was definitely worth a visit.
The pink beach was the only thing we really wanted to see that day and as we had to drive 1,5 hours to get there, we decided to just stop whenever we saw something interesting.
The first thing we came across was this little church on a hill. There was some space to park the car alongside the road and so we decided to see if we could climb up to the church. We could and the view from there was amazing.
The church seemed well maintained, but we had no idea if it was still being used or not.
When we’d climbed up the hill to get to the church we were joking that now we’d done our exercise of the day. When we walked back down I took a photo of Amanda and remarked how funny it would be if she were to slip on the photo. Then she took a photo of me while pretending to slip and of course moments later… I slipped! Not badly though. There was no bum touching the ground!
You know when you’re driving abroad you sometimes see these signs pointing towards monuments? When traveling I often just follow them in the hopes of finding something interesting. While driving in Crete we came along a sign pointing towards a monastery and so we decided to follow it.
On the monastery’s parking lot there was a big sign (yes, another one) with information on what you could find there. There seemed to be several exhibitions and so we paid the €2 to get in. Turned out that all of those exhibitions could be found on about 12 m² and that the only other place we could enter was the monastery’s chapel.
Well, sometimes you discover something cool, sometimes you don’t.
Where to stay on Crete
If you’re looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I would recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first stay!
How to get to Crete
We flew to Heraklion International Airport and then had a rental car to explore the island.
This trip to Crete was made possible by HouseTrip, but the decision to enjoy it was all mine. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you book a stay through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting the site!