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The tiny island of Elafonissos is located opposite the southeastern tip of Peloponnese. The history of Elafonissos island dates back to the Neolithic period. In the ancient times, it is believed that the island of Elafonissos was a peninsula by the name of "Onou Gnathos" (which means Donkey Jawbone).
Presently called Elafonissos (meaning the Island of the Deer), the island was a rich hunting ground in antiquity and even today, the island has a limited population of deer. In the 16th and 17th century A.D., the island is believed to have been used as a base by Pirates thanks to its strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean. Even today, the Channel of Elafonissos continues to be the main gateway for hundreds of ships that pass through it each day and night.
The island covers an area of 19 square kilometers and is home to a population of about 800 in the winter. It was settled in the middle of the 19th century by inhabitants of the opposite Mani region, Laconia, after the final annexation of the island to Greece from the English and also after the end of piracy in the Aegean. Fishing is the mainstay of the local economy. In summer, tourism also becomes an important source of revenue for the Islanders.
Elafonissos is known for its virgin beauty. It has grown into a popular tourist destination for many visitors who come here in summer to spend a weekend. The island boasts some very beautiful white sandy beaches with azure-green waters. Almost all the beaches on Elafonissos wear a tropical look. The popular one is Simos beach.
The tourist facilities on the island are enough to satisfy its visitors. The main tourist spots are Elafonissos village and Simos Beach.
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