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“Fantastic sights!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balos Beach and Lagoon

Balos Beach and Lagoon
Gramvoussa peninsula, Kissamos, Crete, Greece
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$65*
and up
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Kissamos
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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Fantastic sights!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

If you are going to Crete, Balos Lagoon has to be on your list of places to go.

The sand is almost white and the water is so clear and shallow. There are areas of water that look green and these are where the water is no longer shallow and starts to get deeper.

I was staying in Kokkini Hani (the other side of Heraklion) and to get here was a hell of a journey and cost us 55euros but it really is worth it. The photos you take are simply amazing. I'm quite a fan of "tweeking" my photos so they look that little bit nicer but the area is just so picturesque they didn't need any editing...

I went on the excursion which included Gramvousa Island which before my holiday I knew nothing about but that too was a very pretty area and I would actually reccomend doing both. (there are excursions that go just direct to Balos)

It was busy when we went as the boat that took us had three floors and there had to be at least several hundred people on it. Thankfully Balos is actually very large so the trip isnt ruined by being overcrowded.

If you are travelling a long way like I did, you have to consider the weather. Would you still be happy to go if it was overcast? It took us 4-5 hours to get from our hotel to actually on the beach and it was very tiring. It was very, very windy when we went so the boat was rocky and sunbathing wasn't great unless you enjoy a good exfoliating treatment from the sand blasts.

It really is fantastic though. I'd say it was the highlight of my trip!

Visited September 2013
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Kamnik, Slovenia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

We were staying in Herosnissos (4 hours away from Balos) and decided to visit the balos beach.
After reading comments on tripadvisor we almost went to the Elafonissi beach but in the last moment we changed our minds and went to see it.
The road leading to the parking is very very bad and 7 km long (before entering you have to pay 1€ fee / person). Although we haven't had 4×4 car (VW Passat) we felt safe and reached the top with no problem.
After walking for 10 minutes we came to the most stunning view - the beach is even more beautiful than in the pictures, colors are amazing and it is a MUST SEE.

We would recomend it!!!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

Balos is a wonderful and paradisiac place. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!

Here some facts:

1) The water is awesome! Very clear, warm.
2) We decided to reach the place by car/walk. The road is not the best, but it's possible to drive with almost any kind of car (we had a Peugeot 107). I let my girlfriend drive for some of the road: that means everyone can make it without problems! For the walk from the parking to the beach bring some shoes and don't walk down with flip flops!!
3) We spent the entire day at the beach. It's better to reach it early in the morning, so you can find a good spot. 6 euros for umbrella and 2 chairs.
4) If you are hungry there is a simple but nice tavern that provides good food and drinks.
5) We went there in September and there was a good amount of people around. I can imagine how it would be in high season!

Visited September 2013
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Athens, Greece
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“splendid natural wonder!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

formation of lagoon within the bay, shallow water, incredible colours
human invasion is not pleasant at this length

Visited September 2013
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Windsor, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Incredible Experience - the journey is the reward”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

After reading some of the not so positive reviews about Balos, we almost opted for Elafonissi, but we are so glad we heeded the advice of some Cretan locals and went to Balos - it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen! The key to having a successful trip is as follows:

1. Rent a 4x4 car! You want to avoid the bus/ferry transport option from Chania for 3 reasons - 1)Less travel time and 2) You get to avoid the crowds if you leave early enough and 3) A 4x4 is absolutely required to feel safe driving up the unpaved path leading to the Balos parking area.

2. Leave early - around 7:30 - 8am is ideal because you the beach to yourself and a few others for 2-3 hours before the massive ferry unloads people a little after noon. But even after the people arrive, if didn't seem overwhelming. We chose to set up shop on the north side of the middle island and it seemed quieter there than on the south side.

3. Bring comfortable shoes for the hike down - although good sandals will suffice. After you park, you will still have to trek about 30 min to reach the lagoon. It's a spectacular hike thought, as you get panoramic vistas of the lagoon on the way down.

4. Bring food, water and cash. There is a little cafe down in the lagoon, but we found it so nice to just grab a couple of lounge chairs on the middle island and just relax. It costs 6 euros to rent these chairs for the day so make sure to bring cash.

This is one of those must-see parts of Crete and the journey there was truly an adventure we will never forget.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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