Balos: Fifty shades of blue

Balos: Fifty shades of blue

Balos (together with Elafonissi beach) is one of the most famous and most photographed beaches of Greece! I couldn’t wait to take my children and see their expression when they would see these colours. 

I was also looking forward to sharing this experience since I know this place so well, and there is one thing I can say for sure.

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Beach Family Experiences Blog

No matter how well described, no matter how beautiful pictures you will see, the feeling of being there and receiving the aura of the place is more than divine.

There are two ways to get you to this beautiful paradise and today we are choosing the easy one, which is the boat that takes you from Kissamos on a small cruise with an extra bonus. The islet of Gramvousa where you have the chance to enjoy the beautiful view from the Pirates Castle and swim at the crystal clear tropical waters.

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Beach Family Experiences Blog

The Castle was built by the Venetians in the Sixteenth Century but during the Cretan revolution, it was used by the local pirates to control the area.

The view from the top the castle is breathtaking, the smell of thyme and oregano are very characteristic and you will see Balos within a distance of two miles.

This will be our next stop. Crystal clear water in all the shades blue, tropical sand, and serenity. The place is big enough if you prefer to get isolated, so wander around and see what feels right for you.

If you choose to go by car till the parking lot, just be prepared for a half hour bumpy ride, followed by a thigh-burning hike down the cliff which is quite pleasant actually especially when the whole scenery starts unfolding before your eyes. To be honest this is my favourite way of visiting because this view needs to be seen and felt. With the kids, I picked the easy way with the Castle bonus.

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Beach Family Experiences Blog

The best advice I could give if you drive is to go light. You need nothing more than the very basics considering sun protection, water, light food and towel. Don’t carry too much, because it’s quite easy to go down to the beach, but after a long day, you have to return from the same route and trust me, you don’t want to carry a lot or not have enough water.

The best way to visit Balos with kids in a relaxed organized way is by boat trip. If you have your own transport to the port, I can recommend this boat tour: 

Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos Port

The boat departs from Kissamos Port and sails for about an hour in the bay, against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard. At the end of the bay, the boat will sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. The landscape is breathtaking against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon and Imeri Gramvousa.

It would also be more than ideal if you would not visit during the high touristic season of July and August. This is what I recommend in general to those who visit Crete and the repeaters do experience a major difference in services, traffic, beach quality, and tranquillity.

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Beach Family Experiences Blog

I will leave the final word to my little two travel experts whose favourite part of the excursion was “the pink sand with the shells and the goat in the back” and “the pirate whose eyes had the same colour with the sea”! I didn’t see a pirate but I can’t doubt the magic effects of the area…if you see him too during your visit give him our best regards!

How to get to the Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

There is much choice is organized day-trips to the Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa. Busses leave daily from the cities of Chania, Rethymnon and even from Heraklion (not recommended with young kids because Heraklion is far away, the drive is more than 2 hours). Prices vary, some include the transfer but not the boat tickets. When you buy your day trip tickets, check what is included. You can buy tickets at your local tourist offices, in some hotels or on-line.

If you are in Chania, this From Chania: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour is value for money, it includes the bus transfer and the tour guide but not the boat tickets. Click here for more information and to book your day trip from Chania. 

More beautiful beaches in Crete

I am blessed to live in a part of Crete that hosts many beautiful beaches. Have a look at my blog post about Elafonissi, a tropical paradise in Chania. I also love Falasarna beach, also located near Chania. These are some of the most famous beaches in Greece.

If you are in Rethymnon, this From Rethymno: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay is recommended. Click here for more information and to book your From Rethymno: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay

@familyexperiencesblog.com Balos with Kids in Crete

Anastasia Lainaki Zacharopoulou

Greek blogger Anastasia was born and raised in Chania, on the west side of Crete. She is the mother of two young children. Be inspired by Anastasia's local knowledge and join her in her journey around Crete.

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Family Experiences Blog

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I am Celeste, a mom of two (ages 7 and 10) who loves to travel. I live in Athens for 20 years and have travelled all over the mainland and islands of Greece. I did not stop that journey when I became a mother. I love to be out and about and to discover with my children. It became my passion to find unique family vacation destinations and experiences. I created Family Experiences Blog to inspire and to share remarkable places, quality activities and things to do with kids. Join me as I explore Greece with my family.

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