Balos and the Gramvousa Islands
The famous lagoon of Balos is located about 56 km northwest of Chania. It is certainly the most photographed beach in Crete, famous for its turquoise waters, pink sand, wild natural beauty and beautiful exotic landscape. The sea is very shallow and warm, an ideal destination for young children. Beyond the rocks, the waters are deeper and colder, ideal for snorkeling. In summer, hundreds of visitors arrive mainly by boat from Kissamos. If you don't like the crowds, then you'd better not come in July and August.
How to get there
Balos can be reached either by boat, from the port of Kissamos, or by car, driving carefully on a track that starts in Kaliviani, or on foot, leaving early in the morning, through the wild and dry landscape of Gramvoussa. In any case, don't forget to wear a hat and carry water.
To know, to visit, to do
Two uninhabited islands, Agria Gramvoussa (the wild) and Imeri Gramvoussa (the domesticated). The latter is known for its famous fortress, 137m high. Built by the Venetians around 1580, occupied by the Ottomans in 1692, and finally taken over in 1825 by the Cretan revolutionaries who left a bad reputation of pirates. Kazantzakis tells in his "Letter to El Greco" how his Saracen great-grandfather, " with a shaved head and a long braid", he attacked the ships carrying pilgrims to Mecca or Jerusalem and slaughtered both. One day he had captured a schooner loaded with spices, and not knowing what to do with them, he had them distributed in all the villages of Crete. The whole island was perfumed. (see the page in our blog)
Only one canteen in Balos, but if you want a light meal, you can have it in the boat on the way back.