Balos Lagoon is surely the most photographed beach in Crete. You can actually find Balos in every tourist guide for Crete, probably in every tourist guide for Greece.
Balos is famous for its turquoise waters, the exotic scenery and the amazing natural beauty you will face after your arrival there. The best part is the amazing view when you walk down the path. Balos in certainly unique, picturesque and rough.
A must visit in Crete
Balos is famous for its turquoise waters, the unique landscape, the wild natural beauty and the beautiful exotic scenery. During the summer, it is visited by thousands of people, who arrive mostly by the ferries running from Kissamos port.
The lagoon of Balos has pinkwhite sand and exotic white, vivid blue and turquoise waters. The sea is very shallow and warm, ideal for families and young children. In many places the sand has a lovely pinkish color, because of the crushed shells.
The lagoon and the wider area, with rare species of flora and fauna, are protected under the Natura 2000 program.
There are 2 ways getting there. By car or by boat. In both ways you can possibly find positives and negatives… Let us explain.
Getting to balos by car
To get to Balos you need to drive along the northern coastal road past the town of Kissamos, then past the port of Kissamos (located 2.5km to the West of the town). About 1.5km after you pass the port take a right turn on a small road with a sign to Kaliviani. Pass through the village then keep following the road heading towards the North. The road will soon turn into a dirt road but it is drivable for normal cars if you go slowly and pay attention to stones and pot holes. But bear in mind that if you damage your tyres or the underside of the car this will not be covered by your car rental insurance.
Keep going on this very scenic dirt road for just under 9-10 km and you’ll get to the end where you can park your car. This “car park” could be very full in summer and you might have to park some way away. From there follow the path to Balos, about 20 to 30 minutes easy walking down (it’s less easy and much hotter coming back up).
Since 2013 (during the tourist season from April to October) there is a charge of 1 Euro per person levied by the municipality of Kissamos for the use of that road. This goes towards the maintenance and protection of the area.
This road can be busy because at times hundreds of vehicles might be going to Balos. So go slow and close your windows to avoid the dust.
The main advantage of going by car is that you are independent of time-tables and that you could also go early in the morning to avoid the crowds (the main crowds will come via the boat excursions). Balos is far more pleasant when it is not crowded and even better in winter where it is totally empty of people. But of course you will not be able to visit the island of Imeri Gramvousa and its Venetian fortress unless you take a boat excursion.
There is not any public bus service or something similar you will probably read is some tourist guides.
Getting to balos by boat
The bulk of the visitors to Gramvousa and Balos will come by boat on a daily cruise trip. You must just drive (or go there with a taxi) to the port of Kissamos. That’s it. The easiest way possible. You will be back in Kissamos in the evening.
A visit by boat is very convenient and of course perfect if you like boat trips but bear in mind that you will generally be part of a big crowd so you will not experience Balos at its best. But it’s all a matter of taste and if mass tourism doesn’t bother you it’s a very good option.
If you are not up to overcrowded places and beaches, if you need to know some secrets about Balos lagoon, try reading the ”Balos Lagoon – the secrets” session.
”In Kissamos” we love
We live in Kissamos and we really love ourplace. 2020’s quarantine days where too hard for doing nothing. So, ”In Kissamos” is our…quarantine child!!
Our blog, The goat says:
- Born in quarantine February 22, 2021
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