Balos & Gramvousa
Chania, Crete

Balos and Gramvousa located at the northwestern corner of Crete, in the prefecture of Chania.

Balos is an exotic beach-lagoon formed between the peninsula of Gramvousa and cape Tigani , and Gramvousa (Imeri Gramvousa) is one of the two islands just across, while further north lies a second island, named Agria Gramvousa .

The beach-lagoon as well as the island of Imeri Gramvousa can be reached by cruise ship that departs from the port of Kissamos. Also you have the ability to come here by yourself, driving up to a point and then continuing on foot.

Beach & Lagoon

"Wonder of nature, exotic scenery, landscape of unparalleled beauty,
blue paradise, gorgeous beach."

These and many other characterizations tend to ascribe the beauty of this place.


As many ratings as you read, as many nice pictures as you see ... Nothing can make you realize how you will feel when you come here!

  • When you walk through the serene lagoon or lie in.
  • When you swim in its shallow, crystal, emerald, aquamarine waters.
  • When you relax on the white sandy beach, pink in some spots because of the crushed shell powder.
  • When you notice the wild natural beauty of the landscape, the cliffs and slopes rising above your head.

The island of Gramvousa

View Gramvousa in a larger map

Gramvousa island is a tourist's destination due to the existence of a Venetian Castle built (in the shape of an isosceles triangle) on the highest part of the island.

Granvousa's castle has its own long history. It began to be built around 1584 by the Venetians, in the context of a broader fortress construction program in Crete, to face the looming expansion of the Turks, in the area of Crete and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Over the years, it was conquered by the Turks, liberated, occupied by the British and the French, and dominated again by the Turks.

Visit the fortress of Gramvousa and see it from up close. Read more about the Castle of Gramvousa as described by the Greek archaeologists.

Do the cruise for Gramvousa and Balos. It is the only way to go to Gramvousa!

Cruise to Gramvousa and Balos 

On a daily basis during summer, mini-cruises to Gramvousa and Balos are conducted from the Kavonissi port of Kissamos.

Προβολή route of the cruise σε χάρτη μεγαλύτερου μεγέθους

Three ships depart sequentially at 10:00, 10:15, 10:30 in the morning and return the afternoon at 17:45, 18:00 and 18:00 respectively. Exclusively the months of July and August, another ship departs at 12:30 and returns at 19:30.

The cruise schedule is as follows...

The ship starts from the harbor cruising northerly through the Gulf of Kissamos and near the cliffs of the peninsula of Gramvousa.

Don't miss to observe the shoreline in order to see the geological phenomenon of soil raising on western Crete, happened thousands years ago because of an earthquake. The African tectonic plate moved beneath the Eurasian plate, resulting in the lifting. It is scientifically known that this phenomenon is still continuing at a much slower rate.

Obviously, the cave that you see was far lower, close to the sea level. It was an ancient shipyard, called Tarssanas in Greek.

At the northern corner of the peninsula, the ship passes between the cape Vouxa and the Agria Gramvousa and then turns to take a course towards the Imeri Gramvousa.

Reaching the ferry dock, you will see on your right a rusted wreck, and by completing 50 minutes of cruising you will make your first stop in Gramvousa island, where you have two hours at your disposal to spend as you wish.

Whether you climb up to the castle, or enjoy the beach.

If you choose to climb to the castle, despite the ascent difficulty up to 100 meters height, in about 20 minutes you'll be on top.

Make sure you do not run out all your time over Gramvousa's castle. After the ascenting, wandering the castle and descending under the scorching sun, a dip in the sea is more than required.

Leaving the Gramvousa island, 15 minutes into the deep-blue sea, separates you from paradise.

Reaching Balos, do not wait to get off. Dive from over the ship! And if you're thinking it... Use the ship's waterslide.

How to get to Balos on your own

View Route to Balos in a larger map

Another way to go the famous beach-lagoon is on your own.

Click here to see the road you' re about to follow, which turns into a dirt road, ending in a vacant lot place where you can park.

On that point, you' ll be almost over the lagoon. Walk the path, uphill in the beginning, that will lead you down to the beach.

At some point, the beautiful scenery will become visible in front of you. Countless photos and videos have been taken of this point.

You have the chance to see it on your eyes. That's an advantage if you're going to go to Balos on your own.

› Balos Beach & Lagoon

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