The way to Balos beach is only about 15 Km from Kissamos, but about 10 of them are on a non paved road. There is also a cruise from Kissamos to Balos beach, but it leaves at 10:30 and returns at about 18:00 - this was too much for us, so we decided to go by car. It was hard to reach with our small rented car - it took us about 45 minutes of very slowly driving (10-15 Km/h). A higher car or Jeep are preferable. You have to pay 1 Euro/person at the middle of the road, and at the end you reach a small parking lot, which was almost full when we arrived at about 13:00. The toilets there were closed when we arrived (end of September). From the parking lot there is hike of 15-20 minutes on a foot path - mostly built as stairs - downward to the beach (medium difficulty - we saw also families with small children). Good shoes are recommended, but not necessary.
The views of the beach are magnificent! The area is built like a lagoon with very shallow waters, so suitable for all ages. My wife and I think it was the best beach in western Crete (we went also to Falasarna and Elafonisi), and maybe in the whole island.
In summary: If you are in western Crete, and like beaches - this is a must!
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