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Elafonisi Paradise

Topolia Gorge and the Cave of Agia Sophia
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The uninhabited island of Elafonisi may be tiny but it’s bursting with personality. This journey to this islet off southwestern Crete is steeped in myths and legends and boasts historic buildings and amazing natural scenery – making it an ideal excursion for all the family.

Still in Crete, just south of Voulgaro – where there’ll be a coffee stop – is the start of the Topolia Gorge. The road bends and twists past lovely, whitewashed villages, skirting the edge of the gorge. Located above the main road, you’ll find the colossal cave of Agia Sophia, which is famed for its stalactites.

If you’ve a pure heart, then you’re sure to find the golden step in the staircase at the 1,000-year-old Chrissoskalitissa Monastery. It’s in a stunning spot, standing high above the bay of Elafonisi. The island is ringed by pink sands and light blue seas. Spend the afternoon swimming in the shallows or if you prefer you can take an optional boat trip to the port of Peleochora.

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