Balos, Crete: A tropical lagoon and a beach of extreme beauty in Northwest Chania
Balos, Crete, is one of the most especial beaches of Greece and the Mediterranean in general. In reality, Balos beach is a tropical lagoon in Chania!
Balos is in Northwest Crete, on the north part of Gramvousa Peninsula in Chania. The magnificent beach of Balos is not easily accessible. The only practical way to get there is by boat from the harbour of Kissamos. Every day, the boat leaves from Kissamos to Balos in the morning and returns early in the evening.
Another way to get to Balos beach is by a 4×4 vehicle, or an appropriate motorcycle, as there is only a dirt road leading to the beach. You will have to walk from the car parking place to the beach, but for only about 15 minutes. A good thing is that the view to Balos beach from the car parking place is truly spectacular!
A third way to get to Balos, Crete, is for the fit: on foot. The beach is in a distance of 10 kilometres from the village of Kaliviani. The hike takes about 3 hours.
Balos, Crete – a magnificent, one-of-a-kind beach in an excellent location
Balos is a special beach in Chania. It has white and pink sand and many-many seashells – actually, the pink colour of the sand comes from old seashells that have been transformed by the power of the sea. The waters are shallow, crystal-clear and warm. As Balos is a lagoon, swimming there is like swimming in a vast, very picturesque pool!
The exact location of Balos, Crete, is excellent: the beach lies into the homonymous scenic cove. At the mouth of the cove lies Gramvousa Island. The small island protects the cove and Balos beach from the northern summer winds, or “meltemia”, as they are called in Greece. As a result, Balos is tranquil and quiet, no matter the condition of the sea outside the cove, or the strength of the winds.
If you want to swim in deeper waters, you just have to swim beyond the lagoon. The waters here are also crystal-clear, but colder. The beach outside Balos lagoon is full of fishes and ideal for snorkeling.
A thing you should know before getting there is that there are not any trees or shade in Balos beach. As a result, you should take care to protect yourself from the hot midday summer sun of Crete. Also, in the beach there are no taverns, amenities, or accommodation, as the natural landscape is a protected natural area. However, there is a small beach café serving cool water, cafes and refreshments. Some people stay during the night in Balos beach, especially in the summer.
The area around Balos, Crete
The flora in Chania around Balos is fascinating: there are many rare species of wild flowers, and the land is full of bushes of thyme and oregano.
Balos, Crete, lies in Tigani cape, which is a very scenic place, full of wild nature. The same holds true for Geroskinos Mountain, with a total height of more than 750 metres, which is located just behind Balos beach, to the south.
Finally, north of Balos, at the edge of Gramvousa Peninsula, is the Korikon cape. In the cape there are the ruins of the small ancient Roman city of Agnion, known for its temple of Apollo.
Balos in Chania, is a marvellous beach in a lagoon that is unique all over Crete and Greece. Although getting there is a little harder than most beaches in Crete, Balos is a place you will remember long after your holidays in Chania.