Gramvousa and Balos : Essential Tourist Info

Our sea-view hotel in Chania has another perk. It is only 50 minutes away from the famous and awarded Balos lagoon. Ready for a swim? This blog will take you right where the action begins! 

Balos: A motive itself for vacations in Chania

The name of Balos and Gramvousa is for sure included in all travel guides, as they may be the most photographed destination in Crete. Balos lagoon is a shallow sandy beach, very close to Kissamos and it’s popular for the blue and green waters, the wild natural beauty, and the majestic exotic scenery. 

Balos journey Chania Crete- Despina Studios Hotel in Chania

Balos journey Chania Crete- Despina Studios Hotel in Chania

Many say that its crystal clear waters reminisce a lake, as they are crystal clear and tame just like a peaceful lake. Most of the tourists that are having vacations in Crete know about Balos, and almost everyone that is having a vacation in our hotel in Chania chooses Balos for a daily journey and for a good reason. 

Balos Lagoon: How to get there!  

There are three ways in reaching Balos. The first one is to take an organized tour that includes a bus transfer and a boat trip that leads you into the crystal clear waters of Balos and Gramvousa.

The other way is to get a boat ticket that originates from Kissamos Port and gets you to the famous beach. Travel time is 1 hour and there are food and entertainment options onboard the ship. 

The latter is to take a car (NOT a rental one, as you may have extra surcharges for car damages)  or an organized transport to reach Balos via the shore. Huge caution needs to be paid here, as the road is in bad condition in order to preserve the untouched nature and wilderness of Balos and Gramvoysa.

balos by car- road - Journey in Balos Chania Crete

Balos by car- road – Journey in Balos Chania Crete

Although many tourists are going there with their rental cars as part of a road trip we heavily insist that you don’t take your rental car on this journey. As we said, the roads are rocky, there will be traffic and parking problems in the tight parking spots near Balos lagoon and you will have anguish to prevent any damages to your rental car. You will be better off arranging transport with a rugged vehicle to explore this part of Crete stress-free!

How much does it cost to go to Balos Beach?

Apart from the cost of the boat ticket and the transfer (if you choose this option), there is a standard fee by the municipality of Kissamos to protect, preserve and highlight this natural paradise. At this time the fee is 1 Euro and must be paid in cash upon arrival, either by car or to the boat ferry when purchasing your boat tickets. 

Balos beach- Special Remarks 

Although Balos beach is an ideal swimming location, we already stated that the environment is wild and untouched. Therefore, hiking on your vacation may also happen, as there is a long downhill cliff that needs to be surpassed to reach Balos, your destination Beach in Chania.  

Descending into this cliff may not be difficult, however, this is not the case with the ascending route you have to take on your way back after your journey. We suggest taking comfy shoes and clothes, as well as sunscreen, eyewear, and sun protection (hats and kaftans ) to stay protected from the sun. Expect uneven terrain in many cases and also carry sports shoes alongside your beach sandals just in case. 

Gramvousa island (s): Part of your Balos vacation experience!

You may have noticed two little islands when approaching Balos lagoon, facing North. Those are the two islands of Gramvoysa, Tame Gramvousa, and Wild Gramvousa. Their name attributes (wild and tame) have to do with their life status, as the Wild Gramvousa is uninhabited, and it is the slim long island on the very north of Balos Lagoon. It has only a lighthouse and it is a tedious process getting there, as rocks and cliffs are unwelcoming. 

Balos lagoon-Vacation in Chania- Despina Studios Agia Marina

Balos lagoon-Vacation in Chania- Despina Studios Agia Marina

On the other hand, Tame Gramvousa has been inhabited for many centuries, as there is a fortress, a mysterious shipwreck as well as preserved wildlife in the vicinity which is protected by Natura 2000 laws. There is also a rated beach called “ Gramvousa Beach” that you will get the chance of seeing with the Gramvousa Boat Journey, alongside the Balos lagoon experience. This island is located west and is easily recognizable, as it is bigger and almost square compared to Wild Gramvousa.

Swimming in Balos Beach: Final destination

After your boat trip, or your car journey you will eventually reach “Kheri Thganiou” or the rocky shore named “Tigani”. The pictures of impeccable beauty that you have already seen are probably taken in this region. There are plenty of sunbeds for sunbathing and relaxation, and some small shops and traditional products sellers that can supply you with the essentials. 

We suggest that you take your time on this beach, and especially if you get there early in the morning or late in the afternoon, grasp the chance and see the sun rising and also the sunset, while on vacation in Chania.

Balos Beach Chania Crete

Balos Beach Chania Crete

Balos and Gramvousa: Unkown Trivia 

The popular beaches we discussed, as well as other top-rated beaches in the vicinity of Chania, were well known from recent tourist years. Especially for Balos and Gramvousa, it is a common truth that prince Charles with Diana – Princess of Wales have visited Balos lagoon years ago in order to feel the untouched wilderness. 

Being part of their honeymoon on the Royal Yacht Brittania, Charles and Diana stepped foot on this treasured beach which is now fully open to the public having their vacations in Chania.

Swimming in Chania: Just Before you go

 Don’t forget to bring with you a hat, as well as plenty of water and also be prepared that Balos area is not organized to preserve the natural habitat, but the view and the swim in the turquoise waters will sure be an experience you will remember for years to come. A small snack will always come in handy and an exploration attitude is crucial as you may come across some goats, sheep, Caretta Caretta turtles, and other wildlife on our island.

Cretan Goats- Balos- Despina Studios Chania Crete

Cretan Goats- Balos- Despina Studios Chania Crete

Explore Balos and other beaches from our sea view hotel in Chania

Our beachfront hotel is located in one of the most central and touristically advanced locations. This gives you an opportunity to stay with us and enjoy the ultimate beach vacation in Crete. 

Organized trips are being made every day from Agia Marina area as well as other special tailor-made and private excursions that will make your vacations in Chania an unforgettable experience. Check our Availability and plan ahead for your vacation in Chania!