Balos & Gramvousa

Discover the exotic beach of Balos and the Venetian Fort of Gramvousa

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Main Info

The Bay of Balos was once Crete’s best kept secret, only known by locals and avid hikers more than 20 years ago. Its stunning waters and breath-taking views make this a landscape like no other and a memory that you’ll never forget.

The best way to see Balos is by boat as the road is often treacherous and the descent down can be dangerous for inexperienced hikers. Our tour will begin by travelling to the port of Kissamos, around 40km West of Chania, where you will board a boat and relax on your journey to this incredible and natural phenomenon.

Your journey will take you to the Pirate Island of Gramvousa where you will have chance to relax on the serene beach below or, if you fancy a hike, you can explore the Old Venetian Fortress on the top of this incredible and uninhabited island. Only a short 15 minute trek to the top will give you the unforgettable view of the bay of Balos as well as the breath-taking views of the infinite expanse of the Aegean Sea. After descending, and enjoying time to swim in the crystal clear waters of Gramvousa, its time to board the boat and sail the short journey to the impressive lagoon of Balos.

One of the most compelling attractions of Balos is the beautiful sandy beach, the clear turquoise water of the sea as well as the stunning natural surroundings. Both Balos and Gramvousa are protected by the NATURA 2000 network, as they are home to many species of plants and animals, this adds to both their beauty and enchantment when you visit this incredible part of the island.


Your Hotel/ Accomodation

Departure Time

08:30 am

Return Time

Approximately 6:45 pm


  • Tour Guide


  • Souvenirs

Locations we visit


Today the island of Gramvousa and the Bay of Balos are places of natural beauty and pure serenity. Together they provide refuge for over 100 species of birds and 400 species of flora, they are considered one of the most important protected areas in the Eastern Mediterranean under the care of the NATURA 2000 network. The Regions many caves are known for breeding Monk Seals and the famous Caretta Caretta seek food in the waters of this breath-taking landscape.

The island of Gramvousa is triangular in shape with each side exceeding 1km. Its great size made it the perfect place to build a fortress to protect the island of Crete. In 1579-84 a Venetian Castle was built. The position of the castle provided protection for the entire North Coast of Crete and could hold over 3,000 men. The Fort played a major role in the outcome of the liberation struggles in 1825 and became the seat of the Revolutionary Committee of Crete. The island of Gramvousa is said to have sheltered 3,000 rebels during the liberation of Crete from Ottoman rule but after 3 years of providing shelter the islands inhabitants turned to piracy, hence now being known as Pirate Island.

In the shallow waters of the beach of Gramvousa, you will see a shipwreck of the Motorship Dimitrios P which ran aground in the shallow waters in January 1968. The ship dropped anchor 200m from the coast but due to bad weather one anchor broke free flooding the engine with water and sinking the ship. Today, it is an integral part of Gramvousa’s identity and character. The whole of this bay makes an incredible place to snorkel and explore the sea beds before taking the boat across to the incredible lagoon of Balos.


Balos is approximately 55km west of the city of Chania.  This beautiful and famous lagoon is one of the most photographed beaches in all of Crete and it’s not hard to see why. Its shallow, warm waters and areas of pink sand make it a memory to never forget.

The lagoon of Balos sees nature in its purest form. The shallow waters and large expanse of sand and sea were Crete’s best-kept secret almost 20 years ago and it is said that English Royals visited this beautiful beach before it became popular with tourists from all over the world.

The beach of Balos is located between the Cape Gramvousa and the small Cape Tigani which creates an awe-inspiring landscape provided by rare species of flora and fauna which are under the protection of the NATURA 2000 network. Not only does Balos have incredible scenery but it is also a protected area for the Eleonora Falcons, Monk Seal, and Caretta Caretta.

Spending time in this beautiful lagoon will create a memory like no other and is the reason it is so popular with many tourists around the world.



What this package includes:

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Luxury car with
    an English-speaking driver
  • Fuel and tolls
  • All taxes, fees
    and handling charges
  • Water and snacks

Not included:

  • Official tour guide (only on
    request upon booking)
  • Lunch, beverages, and meals
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Boat tickets
  • Entrance Fees
  • Extra hours

Price per group (1-3):

Price per group (4-6):

Price per group (7-9):

Tips/Other Information

Boat ticket for adults 27€,13€ for kids

The ticket price does not include onboard dining. The self-service bar is open throughout the cruise, offering Cretan traditional delicacies and other dishes

Before disembarking in Gramvousa and Balos, you may want to purchase, bottled water, soft drinks, snacks, coffee, sandwiches, beach items, etc. from the bar. Also, you may rent an umbrella, at a daily fee of 4€.

Upon request, we can arrange your lunch break for you and suggest a traditional “taverna” nearby, in order to experience the traditional Cretan cuisine

Upon request, changes to the itinerary may be made providing mileage and time limits are not exceeded.

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