The island of Elafonissos
Elafonissos is an island at the south-east end of Peloponnese. The island is within the Prefecture of Laconia and only 300 meters of water separate it from the mainland (Peloponnese). The perimeter of the island is about 12 miles.
Visitors to the island are ferried in 3 ferry boats of 50 saloon cars and 400 passengers capacity each. Transportation is available daily three times per hour from 07:00 am to 23:00 pm during the tourist season. During the winter time nine times per day. The island and its 700 inhabitants are engaged in tourism, fishing, and agriculture. The fishermen’s co-operation has 180 boat members and is the second largest fishery co-operation in Greece. There is an abundance of local fish, lobsters, shrimps, and octopus for the tourist trade even during the high season period. There is a village at the nearest point of the island to the mainland with approx. 2500 available rooms to let to tourists who visit the island from April to October. There is a harbor which serves the local fishing boats the ferry boats and about 15 yachts.
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Elafonissos is a tiny island independently managed by its owned municipality. This is advantageous to the materialization of the touristic development as it is the only island in Peloponnese and the Regional Authority is particularly interested in developing the island as a major tourist destination.
Drinking water is being supplied to the island from the land across with the use of an underwater pipe. On the island, there are plenty of resources of water appropriate for irrigation and cleaning use.
The island has magnificent beaches well served by a network of roads leading to the village. There are also many rural roads, which cross the center of the island and a peripheral road connected the famous beaches and the village.
The island is 328 km from Athens with most of the way being a highway.
The island of Kythira, 5 nautical miles from Elafonissos, has an airport which could be used by tourists visiting Elafonissos. Hydroplanes could also be used for serving the island as the morphology of the area allows the sea landing whatever the weather conditions are. A small airport is also located in Gythio 70 km from Elafonissos.
The island has small Boutique Hotel Units that have been built the last 35 years and one camping that can accommodate 1400 visitors. There are 25 restaurants, which are famous for their traditional cooking of fresh seafood and the island’s traditional cuisine.
Elafonissos is famous for its beaches and its bays which are available for swimming. The beaches of Sarakiniko, Simos, Lefki, and Panagia are the best known. The waters are warmer from the rest of Greece and as a result, the swimmers may start swimming at least a month earlier from other places in Greece and extend their swimming period for a month later in relation to the rest of Greece.
Statistically, about 70,000 cars and 250,000 tourists are visiting every year Elafonissos. However, the number of visitors can be increased and consequently this will lead to the extension of tourist period. Elafonissos has been incorporated in the current development plan of the National Government and termed as high priority for tourist development. It receives equal grants for such development with the frontier areas of Greece as it is considered as a remote area which deserves the highest grants and subsidies.
Between the village, the port and the channel which connect the island with the land across, the sea is only 2 to 3 meters in depth and at the sea bottom there lie the ruins of an ancient city which it is presumed that are the ruins of the city of the Mycenae. The remains of the buildings and the streets can be visible from the small boats that serve the tourists. Many Archeologists support the opinion that the famous ancient city of Mycenae was actually situated in this area as the city according to different descriptions had a port and a fleet. According to the description by Homer, Agamemnon the King of Mycenae had to cross from the Cape Maleas on his return from Troy to return to his kingdom.
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