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Balos Beach

Balos Beach: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

1. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Go on a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon by a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and spend the next 1.5 hours here. Enjoy the magical environment created by the Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island, that sits atop a steep rock. You can swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your 2.5 hours at the beach.

From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing Cruise with Lunch

2. From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing Cruise with Lunch

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Aegean sea and admire stunning views as you sail for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Take time to swim and explore these incredible locations at your own pace. Start your morning at Kissamos port and board a private sailboat. After learning the safety procedures on board from your experienced skipper, set sail on a private cruise for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Relax on board while taking in the spectacular views of the Cretan coast. Learn a bit about sailing on the trip with the help of your skipper. After 1.5 hours at sea, reach Balos Lagoon. Soak up the sun on the pristine shores of Balos Beach or even go for a swim in the clear water. Next stop: Gramvousa Island. Hike to the extraordinary castle built high up on the island and admire panoramic views of the horizon from above. Take your time exploring this rugged island or practice your snorkeling. At noon, relax on deck and enjoy a delicious lunch cooked on board. If it's too hot, take a break in the cabins. Admire the beautiful views of the sea once more as you head for the port.

Balos Gramvousa Cruise with Transfer and Boat Ticket

3. Balos Gramvousa Cruise with Transfer and Boat Ticket

Experience a full-day boat trip to the westernmost part of Crete and visit two of the most famous landmarks, Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa island. Spend time paddling and enjoying the sun at Balos Lagoon and have the chance to hike up to the castle on Gramvousa on this day cruise. Be picked up by an air-conditioned bus at a pickup point close to your hotel and you be driven to Kissamos port in Kasteli. There you will board a large comfortable boat with an open deck and a bar-restaurant. Begin your cruise along the coast and see the dramatic rockface from the water. Reach the well-known Balos Lagoon and be fascinated by the white sand which covers the area and the shallow clear waters. Relax here for a couple of hours and enjoy the divine nature. Sunbathe, swim, snorkel or even hike to the hills surrounding the beach and take memorable photos. Next, float over to Gramvousa island which used to be a pirate's cove. Enjoy at least 90 minutes of free time to explore. Choose to hike for 20 minutes to the Venetian castle which is built on a steep 137m high rock. Enjoy panoramic views over the Aegean sea and unique landscape from here. Finally, return to the beach, and take a quick dip before hopping back on the boat to Kissamos port. From here the bus will be waiting to take you back to your hotel area. Trip Itinerary 10:40 – departure from Kissamos port 11:20 – arrival at Balos Lagoon (or Gramvousa island depending on the captain's decision based on weather conditions) 13:30 – departure from Balos for Gramvousa island (or vice versa) 13:50 – arrival to Balos lagoon 16:30 – departure from Balos 17:45 – Arrival to Kissamos port

From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

4. From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

Start with pickup from Heraklion or the surrounding area. Drive over to Kastelli by bus to board your boat. Balos are Gramvousa are located on the West part of the island. Depending on the area your hotel is located is around 4 hours by bus to the place where the boats depart. Embark the boat from the village of Kasteli and head over to Balos Lagoon and enjoy plenty of time to swim in the quiet crystal clear waters, walk across the golden sand beach and soak in the sun as you relax. Cruise across the western Cretan sea and arrive at the tranquil Gramvousa. Swim along the coast and stroll up to the castle on the hill to admire panoramic views of the natural landscape as you hike up to that point. The drivers will be awaiting you at the port, in order to begin the drive back to Heraklion.

Chania: Balos and Falassarna Beach Tour with Lunch

5. Chania: Balos and Falassarna Beach Tour with Lunch

Discover the Balos lagoon from above and go for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Falassarna beach on this guided day trip from Chania. Travel aboard a comfortable all-terrain vehicle and stop a mouth-watering Greek lunch with wine or beer.  Hop in an air-conditioned vehicle at your hotel in Chania and relax on the drive. Follow your guide the Balos lagoon viewpoint. Admire panoramic views of the island's landscapes and the azure sea. Continue to Falassarna beach, a favorite destination of the locals. Have sunbeds and umbrellas already reserved for when you arrive at the beach for a smooth and easy trip. Relax on the beach or swim in the idyllic waters. Sip a cup of coffee or a soft drink.  Finally, savor a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant. Taste traditional food and wine at your reserved table and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Keep your energy up during your trip with fruit and local energy bars. Return to your hotel at the end of your tour. 

Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

6. Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

Set off on a day trip by bus and boat to the magnificent Balos Lagoon and the Gramvousa island, on the northwestern coast of Crete. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the port of Kissamos and board the boat for a cruise with swim stops and a visit to a castle. After an early morning pickup near your hotel, sit back and relax as you pass through beautiful scenery to get to the Port of Kissamos. There, you'll pay for the cruise and board the boat which will take you in the sea for about an hour till you reach Gramvousa island. Once at Gramvousa, you'll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the Venetian Fortress which offers breathtaking views from the top. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat to take advantage of the bar restaurant or you can relax at the beachside. Afterward, the boat will continue for about 20 minutes to reach the Balos Lagoon. There, you'll have 2.5 hours of free time on the beach. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe and explore the dunes in the background. In the afternoon, the boat will begin the cruise back to Kissamos and from there you will be driven back to your Hotel area in Rethymno.

From Chania Areas: Gramvousa Island Day Trip and Balos Beach

7. From Chania Areas: Gramvousa Island Day Trip and Balos Beach

Leave Chania behind and head on a day trip to Kissamos on a guided tour. Enjoy a boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon Beach and admire the landscape and panoramic views. Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pickup point with the bus. Depending on the option you choose, enjoy pickup from Chania, Kalyves, or Almyrida. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. If you've chosen the option leaving from Kalyves and Almyrida, your boat ticket and Fortress entrance are included. At about 10:40 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals, or snacks (at your own expense). You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened for over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa, you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat to purchase food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to your starting point in time for dinner.

Rethymno: Gramvousa Island Day Trip & Balos Beach

8. Rethymno: Gramvousa Island Day Trip & Balos Beach

Depart Rethymno at approximately 07:45 and travel by bus along the new national road towards the westernmost tip of Crete. Pass the bay of Souda and the former Cretan capital of Chania before your arrival in Kissamos. Upon arrival, climb aboard a boat and cross to Balos Bay at the northernmost tip of the peninsula. Relax on the 1-hour boat trip, and get 2.5 hours at Balos Bay to enjoy the soft white sands and unique blue and green waters of the lagoon. Next, take a 20-minute boat ride to Gramvousa Island for plenty of time to enjoy an unforgettable swim in the crystal clear waters. If you are feeling energetic, take an optional 137-meter climb up to the 16th-century Venetian Fortress for an incomparable view of the surrounding surroundings. Enjoy approximately 1.5 hours at peace on Gramvousa Island, and then take a 1-hour boat ride back to Kissamos. Upon arrival, continue to Rethymno by bus at the end of the laid-back tour.

Rethymno: Elafonisi Day Trip with Balos Lagoon Photo-Stop

9. Rethymno: Elafonisi Day Trip with Balos Lagoon Photo-Stop

Start your day at Elafonisi beach, with its shallow water and fine white sand. Relax on the shore for 2 hours or explore your surroundings in one of the most beautiful, remote locations in Crete. Dip your feet in the turquoise lagoon or simply stroll along the shore fringed with pink coral sand. Then, get ready for the wild road to Cape Vouxa. Ride 8 kilometers up a dirt track to the national park in a comfortable 4x4 bus. As you travel, enjoy the beautiful natural scenery around you. Finally, arrive at your destination. Step out and take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Balos Bay and Gramvousa.

Heraklion: Balos and Gramvousa Day Trip

10. Heraklion: Balos and Gramvousa Day Trip

Travel by air-conditioned bus to the west of Crete. Enjoy a cup of coffee or breakfast at the small village of Skaleta and then continue to Kissamos to board a boat and start your cruise. Admire a vast cave that was most likely an ancient shipyard. See sea turtles and dolphins playing in the water. Disembark on the island of Gramvousa, also known as "Pirates' Island". Here, you can encounter over 100 bird and 400 plant species. Enjoy plenty of free time to swim at a gorgeous beach. Alternatively, feast from an (optional) lunch on board.  Continue your cruise to the lagoon of Balos and discover one of the loveliest sites in Greece. Get a breathtaking view of the lagoon, before the return journey to the meeting point. 

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What people are saying about Balos Beach

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 3,890 reviews

It was a beautiful day! We had experienced Balos last year by walking down. Taking the ferry was much easier and allowed us to see the region and the absolute beauty. Only issue was that I tripped walking out of the water closet. I tripped over a crate and fell head on to the steel pole. Experienced major pain and a headache. Unfortunately no one on the ferry was equipped to help except for a bag of ice. My eye turned black and blue the next day and I ended up staying on the ferry snot getting to experience myths beach. I have been on multiple tours while here inCrete and a suggestion I have is that the tour providers need to have processes in place when dealing with adverse events.

Wonderful boat trip from Kissamos to Balos lagoon and Gramvousa. Boat very comfortable. All went well with our booking. A great day out.

Very good day ! The different times are perfect, and the places beautiful. Provide occupations for the short moments of waiting.

Amazing experience, beautiful views and enough time to enjoy those place!

An exceptional moment, but only if out of season as the place is popular