A postcard landscape composed of fine white sand and a sea with really clear waters: this is the lagoon of Balos, one of the best beaches that can be found in Crete. An uncontaminated environment where the beach meets with a nature at times still wild making this a real paradise that, for some, is second only to another magnificent beach of Crete, Elafonissi.
In the lagoon, shells and corals over time have broken into tiny pieces and joined the sand that then, at times, appears pink. Close to the coast for tens of meters the sea water is warm, clear and with a very shallow, characteristics that make it suitable for children. Moving away from the coast, heading towards the end of the lagoon, the sea is deeper and the water is cooler, making it the ideal place for those who want to snorkel.
In this area have managed to find their ideal environment some species of flora and fauna, including birds such as Eleonora’s hawk and cormorants that nest in the nearby caves. Result, however, now rare sightings of Mediterranean monk seal and sea turtle caretta caretta.
Here there are beaches equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas even if the structures that make the rental hardly open before ten in the morning, alternatively you can explore quieter parts of the bay and choose a free beach. Unfortunately, the lagoon is a very popular destination and therefore in high season can be very crowded, so you may consider organizing your visit in the early morning or late afternoon.
Balos Lagoon is located in the westernmost part of Crete, north of the Gramvoussa peninsula. To reach the Balos Lagoon you have two options: arriving by boat or by car.
From the port of the nearby town of Kissamos, ships depart daily that in almost an hour can take you to this place of extraordinary natural beauty.
As an alternative to the boat, you can consider reaching the place by car. From Chania, it takes about an hour and a half to reach this little corner of paradise, first along a highway, then a long stretch of dirt road and finally a final stretch on foot. It seems complex, however getting here by car will give you a spectacular view of the Gulf of Kissamos. For the last part of the route to be done on foot is better to wear a pair of comfortable sneakers and, being all under the sun, we do not recommend you to go during the hottest hours of the day.
One of the best cities in which to stay to reach the Lagoon of Balos is definitely Kissamos. From this town depart the boats to access the Lagoon and from here pass all those who decide to reach Balos by car from Chania. Kissamos is located about 17 km from the Lagoon and less than 40 km from Chania and can be considered a perfect base to visit the western part of the island of Crete.
As an alternative to Kissamos you can think of staying in the small village of Kaliviani, situated a couple of kilometers east of Kissamos on the road leading to Balos beach. This village surrounded by olive groves and agricultural fields is characterized by a quiet and familiar atmosphere and is therefore the ideal place for a relaxing stay.
Balos Lagoon is located in the north of the peninsula of Gramvousa, between Cape Gramvousa and Cape Tigani in the westernmost part of the island of Crete. This corner of paradise, located in the prefecture of Chania, is about 45 km from Chania and 17 km from Kissamos.