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The lagoon of Balos, Crete, Greece. Author and Copyright Luca di Lalla
The lagoon of Balos, Crete, Greece. Author and Copyright Luca di Lalla

Balos: the most spectacular beach in Crete

Balos beach is located near the Gramvousa peninsula. This peninsula is located at the northwestern end of the island of Crete, west of Kissamos and north of the town of Kalyviani.

The peninsula is made up of craggy rocks that plummet into the sea and is covered with flowers during flowering periods. On the northwestern part of the peninsula in front of the island of Gramvousa is the wonderful Balos beach.

A BEACH OF FINE WHITE SAND

The beach is made up of fine white sand. This sand also covers the bottom of the sea giving the lagoon a beautiful blue color. In front of the beach there is the picturesque island of Gramvousa while behind it is Mount Geroskinos (762 m high).

Balos is perhaps the most famous beach in Crete, the one that appears on all advertising brochures. The beach is famous for the colors of the sea and for the breathtaking view that can be seen from the point where you leave your car (or rather off-road vehicle). From this point you go down, with a half hour walk, to the beach.

Balos, Crete, Greece. Author and Copyright Luca di Lalla
Balos, Crete, Greece. Author and Copyright Luca di Lalla

The hotel facilities of the towns of Kissamos or Chania (Chania) can be used as a starting point for visiting this part of the island. To get from Kissamos or Chania to Balos, you have to travel about twenty kilometers. The first 10 km are made quickly to reach Kaliviani.

The last ten kilometers are to be tackled at a walking pace with due caution on a bad dirt road that winds on the steep eastern side of the Gramvousa peninsula which is located at the north western end of the island of Crete. You will arrive at the church of Agìa Irini. From here continue a little further to the parking lot in front of the only tavern nearby. From this point, follow the path for about 1.5 km on foot until you reach the splendid Balos lagoon.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SEA IN CRETE

It enchants the view from above with colors that go from the white reflection of the sand, to all the soft colors of the sky, to the deepest blue of the sea. They are beautiful shades. Alternatively, you can take the boats that leave from Kisamos (Kastelli). This boat do not go directly to the Balos lagoon but bring tourists first also to see the remains of the Venetian fortress and to swim on the island of Gramvousa. While lunch is prepared for them on board (but in this way the actual time of stay in the Balos lagoon is considerably reduced because the return is scheduled at 5.45 pm).

The Balos lagoon is a truly unique place: you go from the pink beach to the speckled rocks of tar. Even the color of the lagoon sea is full of contrasts because in some places it takes on lighter shades of light blue, in others darker. This is a desolate environment. The island and the peninsula are devoid of vegetation. There is only one tavern which is also poorly stocked. But the place is full of people in the period of the landing of the excursionists from the boat that comes from Kissamos (Kastelli).

Written by Luca di Lalla. Photos by Luca and Niccolò di Lalla.

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The lagoon of Balos, Crete, Greece. Author and Copyright Luca di Lalla
The lagoon of Balos, Crete, Greece. Author and Copyright Luca di Lalla