Balos Lagoon
Balos Lagoon
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
10,643 reviews
Excellent
7,670
Very good
1,900
Average
668
Poor
254
Terrible
151

Tomlas23
Brisbane, Australia41 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
This is a scenic destination and very popular with tourists to Crete. It’s one of the “must see” Crete destinations however it’s not for the faint hearted, particularly those who drive to the destination and need to negotiate the stairs to the beach.
We got some very good advice from the locals to get there early and leave by lunch time which is when the large passenger ferries drop off hundreds of people onto the beach. We viewed the ferries coming in first hand from a high vantage point and it looked like ants swarming the beach.
My advice is to get there early, around 9am if you’re driving. There’s a very long, bumpy, dirt road which you need to negotiate on the way in. Getting there early assures you won’t be pushed wide onto the edge of the goat track like road at times to allow oncoming vehicles through. It also ensures you will get a park in the car park closest to the stairs.
BEWARE, the stairs are difficult to descend and ascend. We are relatively fit and in our late 40’s and we found it a very solid workout to get down and particularly to get up again.
The beach itself is beautiful and worth the effort however I strongly recommend you fork out for a chair and umbrella because it gets hot.
There is a canteen which sells snacks and cold drinks at a reasonable price considering it’s location.
Written August 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dorin
37 contributions
Jul 2022
We arrived at 8:00 in the morning, we were one of the first to arrive to the location, which was perfect. Parking empty, lagoon empty, we managed to get really good pictures with perfect lightning and no people behind, everything until people starting to arrive around 10:00.
We stayed on a set of sunbeds but around 10:00 a guy came and asked for 15 EUROS for an umbrella and a set of sunbeds, even though there is no sign about this anywhere. When I asked if there is any sign or where is it stated that we have to pay for this, I was told I can stay on the sand if I don't want.
We wanted to leave at 13:00, as the place was waaaay too crowded, a few ships with tourists came and invaded every space left. A lady asked us if we are leaving so she can take our sunbeds, even offered some money but we wanted to give them for free, I even gave her the bill I received in the morning for the sunbeds. The "staff" guy jumped in quickly to forbid us to do that, we said there the "rules" say that we cannot do that, not even to give them away, and she has to pay again, same ammount.
The lagoon was pretty smelly and I do not recommend to come for a swim as there were a lot of rocks, algues and fishes.
The view from above is something out of this world.
The path from the parking to the lagoon is very pretty, worth it 100%.
Bring good shoes.
The road to the parking was a pretty nice adventure too, as there were lots of goats on the road and we had fun going around them. Any car can go there, the road is all gravel and bumpy but it is usable.
When leaving, there was a queue for a few kilometers from the parking with people parking on the side of the road, which made crossing other vehicles much more complicated.
When going there, first try to find a parking spot at the actual parking, a lot of people are also leaving, as some come very early in the morning. That's the best moment to go.
Written July 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Olga
Copenhagen, Denmark71 contributions
Jun 2021
We are very cautious about going to over-hyped, touristic beaches but we can confirm that this beach deserves all of the hype. It is an absolute stunner. We would recommend driving and walking down (the walk is about 15-30 minutes depending on the number of photo stops along the way!), rather than taking a boat tour, because you would miss the insane views if you take the boat. The drive to the car park is along an unpaved road so you have to go slowly and carefully. The walk down requires sturdy shoes. The beach itself has some umbrellas and a small cafe (which takes only cash). We would recommend bringing lunch with you. We were here in June so it wasn't too busy and we had a lovely day. Be aware though that at the height of summer, boats drop of loads of tourists so we would recommend coming here in the morning or afternoon if you come during high season. Highly recommended!
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ramona M
Cluj-Napoca, Romania141 contributions
Aug 2022 • Friends
We visited Balos Lagoon via Cretan Daily Cruises and expected to see a natural protected area. Instead we have found a very crowded place, with 500 people debarking every hour. The beach was ful with algeas and a smell of sulf could be felt in some areas. There is a narrow area with sand the rest of the beach is rocky. We were sadly surprised to see traces of fire places on the beach, large iron pieces coming out of the water. I would only recommend to visit this place early in the morning, before cruises come, or after 17.00. Probably the best option is renting a private boat. Beware of giant wasps that fly in the lagoon!
Written August 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew B
1 contribution
Sep 2022 • Couples
If you are going to do this then either hire a private boat or hire a car and drive there, get there Early and be prepared to leave between 11:00-12:00 when the cruise ships full of locusts arrive..

Me and my partner booked the excursion with sparrow travel, travelling from Malia it was 4.5hour journey on the coach each way, stopping only once mid journey for a measly 20minute break where you'd have to choose between eating or using the bathroom as the queues for either lasted longer than you had there all because they decide to pull 6 coaches into the small stop at once..

Then when you finally reach the boat which you'd expect to be a pleasant experience, think again.. they stuff 500 people into a small boat, you feel like cattle being shipped off for slaughter, toilets dont work.. they serve food but not worth the wait (take you own food)

You get an hour at one beach and two hours at another beach.. they are above average at best but not the best experience when 3 cruise ships drop off hoards of people..

The excursion lasted 16 hours.. 3 hours on the worst boat journey imaginable, 9-10 hours travel and 3-4 hours on above average at best beaches.. never again
Written September 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joy S
9 contributions
Sep 2022 • Family
Busy but well worth a visit by boat (wouldn't recommend driving, we could see a long queue of stationery traffic leading to the car park up above the beach). Bluest seas ever, lovely shallow warm water & pink sand. Plenty of space so even though busy did not feel crowded. We went with Blue Daily Cruises who were excellent & better than being on the huge ferry boats.
Written September 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Diana
2 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
Dirty smelly and overrated beach. Where to start, from a far it looks like in a brochure but the reality is far from it. The road to the beach is horrible as you were travelling in a third world country, when you get there you’ll find sheep and goats on the beach alongside sewage smell as you enter the beach. The left hand side of the water is infested with the sewage smell which spoils the somewhat turquoise water. I say somewhat because as soon as you go in you realise it’s dirty and full of dead algae! You’ll also have to pay €20 for 2x sun beds and an umbrella which is an extortion considering the conditions really and sold by dodgy people which don’t even give you a receipt unless you chase them for one! The canteen on site is small, limited and expensive. Overall I would not recommend to waste your time to go to this beach as you’ll be disappointed for sure, better to visit Elafonisi instead if you’ll like the experience of a tropical beach feeling.
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PMV
Dubai, United Arab Emirates1,220 contributions
Sep 2021 • Friends
Even though the weather was very windy, we decided to take this full day boat excursion and really didn't regret it. You leave by 11am and return by 6pm and spend 2.5 hours on this superb blue lagoon with an amazing scenery. You can rent sun beds and umbrellas on the beach. It is better to buy food and drinks on the boat or before embarking as on site, you won't find anything. Don't forget your camera as you will take the most instagramable pics!
Written October 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Raoul Rongen
Sittard, The Netherlands879 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
Yes there are a lot of tourists and boat tours that are going to Balos Lagoon but it is still a beautiful place and a must do if you are on Crete. We had to drive more than 2 hours but it was worth it. We were afraid that it would be to crowded because we couldn’t arrive early on the day but is was more than doable. Be aware that if you come by car that the last 8 kilometres are an off-road gravel path and most rental cars are not insured for that. We knew that but took the risk and honestly if you drive wise and careful it is very doable even with a Fiat Panda with four passengers. Before entering the gravel path you have to pay 1 euro per person to enter the road. There is a parking at the end of the road (again 1 euro) but that is not sufficient by far for all the people that are arriving. Most cars have to park along the road and in the heat and the fact that you have a walk of 1 kilometre form the parking down to the beach that is not perfect. So, be early as possible or late on the day to park on the parking. Road closes at 8 p.m. at the parking is a toilet (1 euro) and a kiosk to buy drinks and ice. No unnecessary luxury because of the heat and the fact that you still have to walk a kilometre to the beach. If you go to the beach it is a path down. Very doable with good shoes. From there you have spectacular views on the lagoon, the beautiful water, the islands and mountains.
There are umbrellas for rental but far not sufficient for the amount of tourist. If you go down and reach the beach you can walk to the left and at the end of the beach there are trees and shrubs that provide shade for quite some people, most people don’t know. Make use of it! Also store you food well if you go in the water because sheep and cats roam the beach in search of food.
There is also a beach bar.
For the rest just enjoy the beauty of the lagoon. Even with all the tourist, it is so big you have more than enough space for yourself also in the water.
Note that you bring some water for the way back because it is 1 kilometre up again.
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marija M
1 contribution
Jul 2022 • Couples
An organized trip from Rethimnon lasted 5 hours at one direction instead of 2hours. We took a boat to Balos lagoon and they left us on the beach for only 1 hour and 1 hour at Gramvousa.. The Balos beach was really dirty, full of broken glass and bottels, crowded with people. looks very nice on pictures but a very disappointing experience. a 5 hours trip is not worth 2 hours of swimming at an average beach at best. I wouldn't go again, I wouldn't recommend it
Written July 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Balos Lagoon (Kissamos) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Balos Lagoon is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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