Balos Beach, Crete‘s hidden gem, is a turquoise lagoon fringed with pinkish-white sand, a true paradise on earth that attracts thousands of travellers every year. But how to get there? Today, we’re going to take you step by step through the preparations for your trip to Balos Beach, with tips and advice to maximize your experience.
Plan your trip to Balos Beach
Before setting out to conquer Balos, make sure you’re well equipped. Bring good shoes for walking, sun cream to protect you from UV rays, a hat to protect you from the sun and water to keep you hydrated. Don’t neglect these essentials, as walking can be difficult and the Greek sun can be intense, especially in summer.
When choosing where to stay, we recommend towns such as Kissamos or Falassarna. They are within easy reach of Balos, with good-value accommodation options and close proximity to the northwest coast.
How to get to Balos Beach? Boat or car?
There are two main ways to get to Balos: by boat or by car. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences and budget.
If you choose to travel by boat, several companies offer day trips. For around 30 euros, you can make the 45-minute crossing from the port of Kissamos Kastelli. You’ll be dropped off on the island of Gramvousa, just opposite Balos.
The main advantage is that you can enjoy a visit to the ancient fortress, a dive to discover the wreck of the cargo ship Dimitrios or simply sunbathe with a breathtaking view. Be aware, however, that your time will be limited: you’ll have one slot reserved for the island of Gramvousa and another for Balos, and you’ll need to be back at the boat by a specific time.
If, like us, you prefer the freedom to follow your own schedule, the second option is the car. This option requires a little more preparation: make sure you have a good GPS, as the road to Balos is poorly signposted.
Be careful, as some parts of the road are unpaved and can be difficult to navigate. Also, check with your car rental company, as most of them do not insure the vehicle in case of problems on this road.
The walking route
Once you’ve reached the entrance to Balos, you’ll have to pay 1 euro per person for access, as the site is protected. Then get ready for a 30-40 minute hike. The walk can be tough, but the views are well worth the effort.
A day in Balos
Once you’ve arrived at Balos Beach, the day is yours! Enjoy one of Crete’s most beautiful beaches, with soft white sand, sometimes tinged with pink, and crystal-clear water. You’ll find pools of varying depths, some where the water rises no higher than the knee, others where you can immerse yourself completely.
Please note that parasols are forbidden in Balos, but you can rent a deckchair with a parasol for around ten euros. The earlier you arrive, the better your chances of finding a space in the main parking lot, where you’ll find cold drinks, sandwiches and toilets.
A word of warning
Beware, if you park your car in the main parking lot, there are goats that climb onto the roofs of cars and can damage your bodywork. So it’s best to park a little further away.