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Review of Balos Lagoon

Balos Lagoon
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Full-day Tour of Balos and Gramvousa by Boat with Diving
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Full-Day Guided Tour to Gramvousa Island with Hotel Pickup
Ranked #1 of 25 things to do in Kissamos
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed September 24, 2013

Having seen some of the worlds amazing sites, Karnak Chichen itza, this rates as high if not higher.
My advice is unless your very very fit take the boat trip around from either Kissimos or Agia Gallini .
We opted for the excursion from Hersonnisos which included the island of Gramvousa leaving very early in the morning, 6am and returning late at night 10pm. The trip cost 34e for the coach and 15e for the return boat trip.
The coach was comfortable and the Rep knew her stuff but constantly talked throughout the trip making it almost impossible to sleep. The majority of the people on our coach were Russian so the priority language was to suit them although the rep spoke both English and Greek.
The coach stopped for 20 minutes after about an 1hr so able to stretch your legs and get a drink.
We arrived at Kissamos at around 10am and boarded the boat, my advice here is don't be polite about seats because no one else will be, grab what you can. Very pleasant trip to Gramvousa our first stop. Plenty of people opted to climb up to the Fort and I understand there is a man with donkeys if you wish to be transported. There is a very reasonable priced Taverna and a great beach. We had about 90 minutes here which is plenty.
We then re-boarded the boat to Balos Lagoon which took about 30 minutes.
The first sight of the Lagoon as the boat slowly glides to a stop at the natural rock reef is awe inspiring, I have seen some spectacular beaches but this is supreme. We had 3 hrs here so were able to both walk up the hill a little to take in the view and swim in the shallow Lagoon.
Sadly there are signs of oil on the beach but this doesn't detract from the beauty of the place.
Then alas it was time to board the boat for the long journey home.
Outstanding day very tiring but well worth the effort.
If your taking young children then the swimming at the Lagoon is great the depth of water in the lagoon part is only knee height but it will be a trek on and off the boat because the approach to the lagoon is very rocky and uneven not pushchair friendly.

Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 19, 2013

Be aware of very strong west winds and also the long and hot walk to the beach. It is worth any effort...

1  Thank mtp1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We stayed in West Crete for a week from 3-10 Sept 2013, and Balos lagoon was on our list of places to visit. We didnt fancy driving with the hire car as it was 8km on a dirt track. So we opted for a boat trip to visit Balos and Gramvousa Island from Kissimos
We were so glad we did too.
We had been to Elafonisi the day before and fell in love with it there.
The boat trip was OK and we could buy drinks and food on board. It cost 20 Euros each.
It took about 90 minutes to get to Gramvousa Island which had a small beach with the beautiful turquoise sea. There are remains of a Venetian castle at the top of the rocky mountain/hill and most people climbed up to see it. It was a hard climb for me but I was determined to get to the top. It was a fabulous view looking over to Balos lagoon.
Extremely hot getting up and down so take plenty of water if you go up there.
The boat leaves after about 90 minutes on the smalll island.
We then sailed over to Balos lagoon and it is breath taking to see it.
The water is so clear and you can see the pink coral sand that is also at Elafonisi.
You can walk around and see rocks and fish swimming around you.
It is a dream place, and you can't help posing for some lovely photographs.

It would be lovely to go later in the evening to watch the sunset when the boats have taken people away, but even with people there it is still beautiful.

3  Thank Redmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

Beautiful, but hard to reach. At least this difficulty makes it less crowded (except for those reaching it by boat :(

Thank 766Toni_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

1  Thank Aimee O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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