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Balos Bay, Crete

Balos Lagoon and the beach of the same name are located 60 km from the city of Chania and 15 km from the resort of Kissamos, from where excursions depart and lead all the way to the amazing lagoon formed by the islands of Agria Gramvousa, Imeri Gramvousa and Cape Tigani. At this geographical point there are 3 seas: the Ionian, Mediterranean and Cretan.

The bay is famous for its crystal clear waters, which, according to local residents, have 20 shades of blue depending on the time of day and lighting. The sea surface changes color from piercing turquoise to dark ultramarine. The laconic landscape has little resemblance to the earth. Black volcanic rocks cut by narrow paths have virtually no vegetation. Soft yellow-white sand invites you to relax on the beach. The ruins of the Venetian fortress on the uninhabited island of Agria recall the fragility of human creations, in contrast to the masterpieces of nature, which have remained unchanged for thousands of years.

Balos Beach

The exotic beauty of Balos Beach attracts thousands of tourists who can relax in any season. Thanks to the rocks protecting the lagoon, you can swim and sunbathe here, even when winds and waves are raging in neighboring resorts. If you are looking for privacy, you should visit the bay early in the morning before boats and buses crowded with people have arrived.

To get to the coastline, you have to walk from a steep path, and if you arrived by car, then leave it in the parking lot on top of the mountain. During the walk you should look carefully not only under your feet, but also raise your head to enjoy the enchanting landscape.

The lagoon is separated by a sand spit, on which are sunbeds and umbrellas. The latter are not able to provide complete shade, so be sure to bring sunscreen and light clothing with you to escape from the scorching heat. The right side of the bay is deep, the left is shallow; children will like to dabble there. The abundance of small pink shells gives the sand a characteristic color and for a long time takes the attention of young bathers. The beach is officially considered wild, therefore, in addition to the tavern located in the vicinity, there are no benefits of civilization. This has its own charm: lifeguards, beach cabins, toilets and rental of water equipment would only spoil the landscape.


All paths go through the village of Kissamos. Buses depart from Hanni to the port of Kissamos every 50 minutes. The stop is on Partheniou Kelaidi Street. The cost of the trip is about 6 €. Travel time is approximately 1 hour.

Ferry or ship from the port of Kissamos
Independent travelers board a ferry or boat. It will take about an hour to travel. Navigation is from May to October. Ticket price – 20 €.

You can join the tour, the cost of which varies from 40 € to 60 € depending on the program and duration. The offer includes a transfer from the hotel and back, a boat trip with a visit to the waters of the Gramvousa Islands, a tour of the fortress and the actual stay on the beach.

Rented car
From Kissamos you need to overcome the distance of 2 km to the village of Kaliviani. From there, there is a dirt road to the lagoon (10 km). During the journey, use the Balos Beach Hotel and signs indicating the direction of the beach as a guide.

The road is difficult. It consists of stony bumps, steep descents and difficult turns. Transport moves in both directions, so sometimes you have to cuddle close to the rock.

Rent a car with high ground clearance to avoid problems. Local insurance does not cover primer driving. At the entrance to the peninsula you need to pay an environmental fee of 1 € per person.

Upon reaching the bay, the car should be left in the parking lot and go down the path to the beach, this is about 3 km. Do not try to cut the road, it is dangerous due to unstable soil and thorny bushes framing the path to the bay.

Bus from Kissamos
Buses run from Kissamos towards Balos Bay. Ticket price – 2.5 €. The final stop is located at the parking lot, not far from the only tavern in the district. The rest of the way must be overcome along the path.

Donkey taxi
If you do not want to walk along the path to the beach, part of the route can be passed on a donkey. Locals offer animals for rent right in the parking lot, where cars and buses stop.

The path to the sea will be long, so stock up on bottled cool water. The descent costs 5 € and the climb 8 €. Packed transport takes tourists to one of the viewing platforms, and picks it up on the way back there.


The nearest hotels are located in the villages of Kissamos (the largest part) and Trahilos. The distance to the beach is from 7 to 11 km. Almost all hotels have a category of 2-3 stars, rarely 4. As a rule, low-budget hotels accept guests who do not stay for long in these parts, but go on traveling.

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