The famous Balos Lagoon is the most photographed beach and a touristic spot in Crete. Balos Lagoon is located approximately 56km northwest of Chania and 17km northwest of Kissamos, between the Cape Gramvousa and the small Cape Tigani and below the range of Platiskinos.
Balos is famous for its crystal clear waters, its natural beauty, and its beautiful scenery. During summer time, Balos is visited by thousands of locals and tourists, who arrive mostly by the ferries from Kissamos port. If you do not like crowds, you’d better avoid visiting the beach in July and August (especially after midday). The perfect time is to arrive at Balos is early in the morning, before the boats arrive from Kissamos.
Accessing the Lagoon
The best and most convenient way to visit Balos blue lagoon is to drive there. No matter where you are located in Crete, just take a car and start your journey early in the morning. Bear in mind that the road from Kaliviani until you reach Cape Gramvousa is not premixed. Once you reach Kaliviani you’ll be required to pay a fee, per person, which is used for the preservation of Balos. After a few miles, you will reach a wide parking area. Make sure to drive slowly and enjoy the scene. On the way, you’ll get to see many goats.
Bear in mind, if you visit the beach with a ferry you won’t get to admire this wonderful view, so I strongly recommend you to go there by car or bus in order to view the lagoon from the top of the hill.
From there you’ll have to walk down to reach the lagoon. My first advice is to wear trainers and NOT FLIP FLOPS! My second tip is to have water with you.
Balos Lagoon has white sand and exotic white, vivid blue and turquoise waters. The sea is very shallow and warm making it ideal for children. In some areas, the sand has a slightly pink color, because of hundreds of crushed shells. Beyond the rocks at the boundaries of the lagoon, the water is deeper and colder, ideal for a snorkeling. The lagoon and the wider area is protected under the Natura 2000 program.
Moreover, the area is a shelter for the protected monk seal and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Despite the protection, some canteens and umbrellas have appeared on the beach in recent years. You can buy water from there but there are no places to have food so make sure to bring your own snacks with you.