It will be a real delight to discover Crete, the largest and the most populous island of Greece. A visit to this place will offer you the chance to admire picturesque landscapes, amazing beaches and the beautiful Greek architecture. It is the perfect opportunity to find out more about their culture, history and traditional dishes.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Crete, you should know that the lagoon of Balos or Balos Beach is one of those places you should not miss. Situated in the north-west of the region of Chania, at about 17 kilometers away from Kissamos, the lagoon of Balos is a part of the Gramvousa Island.
Balos Beach which is actually the iconic image of Crete due to its wild natural beauty and its exotic scenery is definitely the most beautiful beach in Crete. The stretch of pink and white sand washed away by the clear blue and turquoise water and surrounded by large cliffs creates a spectacular scenery. The sand is light pink due to the millions of crushed shells.
This special color of the sand together with the large cliff that embellishes the lagoon gives a special touch to the whole place. It is a perfect place to snorkel and admire the beauty of the sea life. The entire area is actually a nature reserve, under Natura 2000 protection program, because it shelters a variety of rare species such as: cormorants, shags, falcons, seals and sea turtles called caretta caretta.
You should know that there are actually three ways you can reach this corner of heaven: by boat, by car or on foot. The easiest way to get there is by boat or by ferry from Kissamos. This will give you the chance to admire the Gramvousa Island in all its splendor: its beautiful shores, the beach of Imeri Gramvousa with its old fortress and the shipwrecked vessel, but also the amazing lagoon of Balos.
This is a great opportunity, but in my opinion it is not the best choice because you will not have enough time to enjoy the beauty of the amazing lagoon. You will have only an hour or two to visit the entire place. This is the reason why I advise you to get to the lagoon of Balos by car. It is true that you will have to drive slowly from Kaliviani on a dirt road of about 10 kilometers, but it is not as bad as they say. It will take you about 45 minutes to get to the top of the cliffs, but believe me it is worth the effort because the sight is spectacular.
At the end of the road there is a parking place where you can leave your car and from there you have to walk about 10 minutes to get to this stunning place. The image seen from the top of the cliffs is simply breathtaking and its beauty cannot be described in words. You should know that from there you have to go down a path of almost one kilometer in order to get to the beach.
If you love hiking you have this possibility as well. If you start from Kaliavani there is a three hours walk. This is in my opinion the most difficult way to reach the beach but it will definitely be a memorable experience. No matter how you choose to get to this corner of heaven make sure that you take everything you need with you: water, food, sunscreen, suitable clothing and footwear and a good camera. An underwater camera will be more than perfect.
You will be so impressed by the beauty of this place that you will not stop taking pictures! You should also know that there are lounge chairs and terraces on the beach that urge you to sit down and relax.
As I have already told you, Balos Beach is one of those places that you should definitely visit during your trip to Crete. It would be a real loss to miss this Greek jewel.