The beautiful Balos Bay with fine gold sand and crystal-clear water belongs to the most photographed places of Crete. It lies at the very western coast of the island, approximately 191 km west from the capital city of Heraklion (Iraklion).
Balos Beach or also Balos Bay lies in the remote part of the island, on its westernmost bulge close to the small peninsula of Imeri Gramvousa. The coast is covered by fine sand having mainly white and pinkish colour that is caused by crushed shells of sea molluscs. The water in the lagoon is very shallow and thereby warm, but in some parts the sea bottom is muddy and the water here can be stinking a little bit because of small microorganisms living in the mud. In the direction to open sea and to the edges of the bay, the water gets deeper and blue, especially the areas around the rocky cliffs are very popular for diving and snorkelling.
Balos Bay is unique especially for its beautiful surrounding nature with wild sceneries. You can often see hawks and cormorants circling above the rocks whereby the local waters are home for the rare seals and Caretta-caretta Turtles. The region belongs to the protected areas of Crete and it is also included in the nature protecting programme Natura 2000. The bay is very popular among the tourists, during the summer season, hundreds of visitors are coming here every day. For this purpose, there are even some small kiosks selling refreshments and renting a few sunbeds with umbrellas.
There are two ways, how to get to the bay – overland and overseas. The more comfortable and usually also faster variant is to get on a ferry-boat in the Kissamos Harbour and to reach the beach together with a group of other visitors. Very common are organized all-day boat trips, where you first visit the close peninsula of Imeri Gramvousa with an old Venetian fortress and after that you have the possibility to spend some time in the Balos Bay.
The way overland is surely more difficult, but you will get an unforgettable view of the whole bay, because the last section of the trip goes over a small pathway from the parking place above the bay downwards to the beach. During the walking down you can enjoy a stunning view of this beautiful place. To the parking place you can get whether by car, motorbike or quadbike over a dusty road from the village of Kaliviani, along the Gramvousa Cape. If you are a fan of walking, you can also use a touristic way from the Kaliviani Village and go through wild and dry landscape of Gramvousa and Platyskinos Ridge (the walk takes around 3 hours, don´t forget to have enough water and a head protection with you).
If you would like to enjoy this nice Cretan Bay and nature in a calmer atmosphere, we recommend you to come here off the summer season or very early in the morning, before the first ferry with tourists arrives here from the Kissamos Harbour. The Balos Beach is a very beautiful nature attraction and definitely an interesting tip for trip in the western part of Crete and it would be a pity to miss an opportunity to visit it.
Close beaches: Falassarna Beach
Most favourite beaches of Crete: Amoudara Beach (Heraklion), Balos Beach, Elafonisi Beach, Falassarna Beach, Glyka Nera Beach (Sweet Water), Matala Beach, Platanias Beach, Preveli Beach, Stalis Beach, Stavros Beach, Vai Beach, Voulisma Beach, Xerokampos Beach
Did you visit this place and do you have some additional informations, interessting observation or photos?