Balos beach is with no doubts amongst some of the most used cover photos and surely you must have come across it, at least once in your life, while leafing through a magazine or on any travel websites.
The Balos Lagoon is a real paradise, second in beauty only to Elafonissi beach (Greece – Crete).
Balos beach is one of the most important points of interest in Crete. It is situated in the north west ofthe island. It is one of the best things to do in Crete. Apart from its incredibly clean seawater, what strikes the most about Balos is the postcard landscape which opens up once you’ll get there. Trust me, it’s a truly breathtaking view.
Other two beaches worth visiting near Balos are:
- Elafonissi Beach in Crete, an unspoilt paradise.
- Falassarna’s Beach on the west Coast.
How to get to Balos Lagoon of Crete?
You have two ways to go to Balos Lagoon beach: one more touristy and one less touristy.
To the Balos Lagoon with an organized tour
The touristy way is to go to the Balos Lagoon by an organized boat excursion from the port of Kissamos or other ports in Crete such as Chania or Heraklion.
Organized excursion definitely means people, easily crowded and seeing the lagoon already nice and full and not as pristine as you may find it early in the morning. Of course, you don’t yet know what the alternative to the boat trip is, but know that it is much more engaging and distinctive, albeit a tad dangerous.
For those interested in the Balos Lagoon excursion with an organized tour, I have selected the best tours departing from each of the locations. For those who do not want to take the dirt road or for those traveling with children and thus looking for something easier,
From the port of Kissamos to the Lagoon of Balos
From the port of Chania to the Lagoon of Balos
From Heraklion to the Lagoon of Balos
In this case it is possible to get picked up directly at your hotel, a service very comfortable with a tour that leaves from Heraklion (CLICK HERE).
To Balos Lagoon on your own
This second way to reach Balos beach is by car, driving along a dirt road. If you surf on the Internet searching information about the possibility to reach Balos by driving, you might find conflicting opinions. I’ll limit myself to explain to you why people are a bit reluctant about choosing this second route. Then the decision between car or boat will be left to you guys!
First of all, to get to the lagoon from Kissamos, you must drive towards west and get to the road signs to Kalivani and Balos Lagoon. You will then get to a toll booth where you’ll have to pay for the entrance, about 1 euro per person. From here onwards, the road becomes dirt, but do not expect a smooth ride.
Indeed, the road is very bumpy and it’s highly recommended to drive at very low speed. Watch out for the many brave goats who will suddenly jump out of nowhere and cross the road! They won’t make way for the tourists that easily.
After a 20-minute’s ride (30 minute max), you’ll get to a large car park at the end of the dirt road. Park your car there, keep going forward by walking for other 20 minutes and…there you are: Balos Lagoon. Do not let yourselves be put off by the 20-minutes’ walk as it’s very feasible for everybody.Be careful once on your way back though: if it’s very hot and you’re not accustomed to this kind of exercise, it might be better for you to walk up slowly and stop once in a while to take a short break and, why not, even a beautiful landscape photo.
If you want advice, the boat tour is definitely more comfortable, but to best appreciate Balos Beach it is preferable to get there on your own, this is for so many reasons:
- You can arrive at Balos Lagoon much earlier than the dozens of people who populate it around 10 am.
- It allows you to see the coast from a different perspective.
- You don’t have timetables to stick to. If you decide to leave the Lagoon in the evening, just make sure not to do it when it’s too dark as it might be difficult to clearly see the dirt road. Small tips: avoid walking wearing flip flops. Go for a good old and timeless pair of trainers to protect your feet from unwanted and unpleasant consequences.