Balos lagoon - paradise beach in Greece


Kate The Traveller


„Paradise isn’t a place.

It is a feeling.”


When you are approaching the place, where the lagoon is, still on a ferry or in the car, you have this feeling, that you are going to see something outstanding. The adrenaline is building up every minute, when you are getting closer. Something there awaits you. Somebody, sometime told you it is beautiful there and your imagination is on the limit of excitement. Whether you are just at the beginning of the explorations of the world, or you have already traveled to places, awed by many landscapes, I promise you will be delighted by Balos. You will feel something special there. The tranquillity of the place, away from the human structures, the dramatic landscape of the high cliffs rising above the Earth’s bluest waters, will make you grateful that places like Balos exist. This experience will convince you for life, that you should do everything to protect this unique beauty.

Crete Island, Greece

The Balos lagoon that is a part of the Gramvousa cape, is a phenomenal coast structure of the Greek island of Crete, in its north western part, in the Chania province.

Nature phenomenon that has to be protected and respected

The natural beauty of Balos beach comprises a unique scenery and a great variety of rare plants and animals.

More specifically, about 400 species of plants have been registered, 25 of which are indigenous to Crete and 3 of which are indigenous only to the area of Balos.

In addition, Balos beach accommodates a great number of birds, that feed and breed in the area, or shortly migrate here. The caves of the cliffs serve as nests, for peregrine falcons and cormorants. Balos is also home to the protected Mediterranean seal and the Caretta-Caretta sea turtle, which visits the coast to feed and lay its eggs.

All above render the lagoon of Balos, a nature reserve of great ecological value and rare natural beauty. It has been claimed a Natura 2000 site for years and it is a strictly protected area, such as a lot of other places in Crete.

The natural reserve of Balos, can be visited and allows hiking on the Gramvousa cape cliffs, as well as swimming in its waters.

!Despite the protection, some canteens and umbrellas have appeared on the beach in recent years. The locals say that the sea currents transfer rubbish and tar to Balos!

Please be respectful! Don’t leave anything behind you.


Balos can be accessed in two ways:

  1. By ferry -the easiest option is to take one of the small boats, that depart from the port of Kissamos every day (Cruise to Gramvousa&Balos) and after an hour’s journey, you reach the magnificent lagoon. During the trip, you may admire the impressive, steep, rocky hills of the coast and hidden coves with sandy beaches, while the boat passes by the coasts. With this cruise, you visit also the island of Gramvousa. If you’re lucky, you might see wild dolphins, that like to accompany the boat.
  2. By carif you do not want to come by boat and you have a car or motorbike, you can drive on the dirt road, that runs along the Cape Gramvousa. The route starts in the Kaliviani village. You will have to pay a small fee, destined for the protection of the Balos Reserve and the preservation of the road. After 10km the road stops at a wide parking area, next to a canteen, just over the lagoon. The panoramic view of Balos and the island of the Imeri Gramvousa, is breath-taking. From there, you can walk down the 1km-long path, leading to the beach. Returning to the parking area, is quite strenuous and tiring, due to a very steep slope.

Crowds in summer

The paradisiac scenery and the lagoon, formed by the shallow seabed between the coast and the close island, as well as the tons of the fine white sand, attract during the summertime many tourists. If you do not like crowds, you’d better avoid visiting the beach during July and August. Also, a perfect plan is to arrive at Balos in the morning, before the boats arrive from Kissamos. These few hours of solitude, in such a heavenly place, will remain etched in your memory forever.