Falassarna to Elafonissi. Crete, Greece
If you leave Platanos and head south toward Sfinari you will travel on a very nice road (A3) that was recently paved. About a couple of kilometres before the village the road intersects a dirtroad (D3), which takes you down to the Red Cliffs Beach (Kokkina Gremna), a nice place that invites camping or swimming.
In Sfinari you will find a few taverns and Rooms to Let, which accommodate the tourists travelling to Elafonissos (also known as Elafonissi). There is no special reason to make a stop here, except perhaps for a swim at the small beach south of Sphinari or for a nice lunch at the cosy little tavern next to the water.
After Sfinari, the road climbs to a height of four hundred metres and you have a great view of the west coast. As you head toward Kefali, a landscape full of barren rocks and small villages unfolds before your eyes, a sight typical of the Cretan countryside. The villages consist of ten to fifteen stone-built houses perched on a mountain slope, lying close to one another as if in a tight embrace. Half of these houses have been long abandoned and the rest are inhabited by a few old people that insist on staying at the village and taking care of the few vines, olive or fruit trees which they grow on the terraced land surrounding it. (As for the terraces, they are a permanent feature of the landscape and are meant to keep what little soil there is from being washed away by the rains). One of the villages you will pass through is Amigdalokefali, where it is worth making a stop to visit the Byzantine chapel that is dedicated to Michael the Archangel. The church bell is Venetian and it dates from 1628.