August 05, 2018

An Afternoon in Elafonisi

By Gabrielle Saifi
An Afternoon in Elafonisi

A tour bus transported us from our hotel to the western beach of Elafonisi. No exaggeration, it was the most breathtaking stretch of coastline I had ever seen. Its geography was made up of the main, aquamarine coast, and then a crystal clear lagoon not more than a couple of centimeters deep. The lagoon water was so transparent and camouflaged so well with the ground, that I’d be walking through the sand towards the sea and felt startled when I heard splashing and a sudden relief on my burning hot feet.

Fancy Troubles Sunglasses

Effervescent beach go-ers dotted the terrain with their colorful chairs and towels. Behind us, towards the mountains, campers parked their 1960’s-styled caravans in a single file line along the edge of the cliff. I’m guessing this was so no one would be partial to the view. Just where the waves broke and kissed the shore is where I found swirls of pink sand, one of the highlights of Elafonisi.


For a moment I lay down on my towel and closed my eyes, face pointed towards the sun, and had a moment of reflection. This idyllic moment reminded me of how I’d pictured the perfect beach day would be in my childhood imagination. Chatter and laughter in the background, delicate waves cresting onto the shore in its perpetual cycle, and the crisp and refreshing sound of dewey soda cans cracking open.


Yellow and white striped beach balls souring across the sky, past the sun creating a manmade solar eclipse for a split second. As I’m taking this all in, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys is playing in my head. 


I needed to capture all of this imagery and luckily Elafonisi was very photogenic. In the distance, I noticed a quaint beach hut where they sold sunscreen and towels, things of that sort. They also had disposable cameras! What better way to capture a stunning location, than to add in the factor of mystery. A disposable camera provided just that. Snapping away, it occurred to me more and more why this place was one of the most sought-after beach destinations on earth.