Balos and Gramvousa

Balos lagoon is one of Crete’s most famous beaches with its turquoise waters and expansive views, it ranks in the top beaches of Europe and the world. It’s located 56km of the city of Chania and northwest of Kissamos. The lagoon lies between the Cape Gramvousa and Cape Tigani. Standing above the beach on the hills, the views are spectacular and wild. Balos lagoon has white sand and crystal clear waters and the sea is very shallow, making it the perfect spot for families and young children to cool off in the hot summer sun. In some places, the sand is a light pink colour, making it a photographers heaven!

Beyond the sheltered lagoon, the water is much deeper, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling. The area is protected under the Natura 2000 program so an array of underwater wildlife can be found – if you are lucky you may even spot a loggerhead sea turtle.

Due to its unique beauty, thousands of tourists visit Balos lagoon in the peak summer months and arrive mostly by ferry. If you don’t like crowds, its best to avoid the area in July and August, or arrive early in the morning before the boats arrive and enjoy the peace and quiet of this special place.

Access – Balos lagoon can be accessed via a number of ways.


The easiest way, is by a ferry from Kissamos. Leaving in the morning, it allows you plenty of time to enjoy the boat ride around the shores of the Gramvousa peninsula and spend the day at Balos swimming and exploring. A rough cost is 25-30 euros which includes the Gramvousa reserve fee.


Balos can also be accessed via the road if you would prefer to come by car. It is a dirt road starting at Kaliviani. A small fee is payable as you enter the Gramvousa Reserve. There is a large parking area and fantastic views of Balos and the island of Gramvousa. From there, you can walk 1km down to the lagoon which can be quite strenuous due to the inclination of the path.