Many times described as one of the most popular beaches in the world, Balos Lagoon is located in West Crete. The incredible landscape of Balos beach is one of the most attractive sights in Crete. With a turquoise sea color, crystal water, and white-pinkish soft sand, this is a dreamy destination.
All these characteristics give Balos an impressively exotic feel. Even though it is a little challenging to access this beach, the lagoon tends to attract many tourists in the summer season.
Note: You can visit Balos beach in comfort and ease via a private cruise! Check our recommended private boat trip to Balos & Gramvousa for more info!
If you are interested in experiencing a day at Balos Beach, this guide we prepared for you will tell you how to get here and other important things you should know.
The nature of Balos
A stunning landscape of sheer cliffs and rocks, incredibly isolated beaches, and the infinite blue lagoon is not the only attraction on this beach. In fact, this beach hides impressive species of flora and fauna.
The natural wild beauty of Balos includes different rare plants and animals which can be found only there. In fact, there are 400 registered species of herbs. From that number, 25 of them are indigenous in Crete only, and 3 of the species are indigenous only in the Balos area. For instance, the Anthemis glaberrima is one of the species that only grows in the area. Also, there is Neptune grass in the water.
Additionally, there are many birds that are migrating here such as bearded vultures. Despite that, Balos beach is a habitat for protected Monachus Monachus seals and unique Caretta-Caretta sea turtles which lay eggs there. Since it has incredible ecological importance and value, the area is claimed as a protected biotope.
Where is Balos Lagoon Located?
How to get to Balos
No matter where you are located in Crete, you can visit Balos beach. Below is the distance from each major city and how much driving time you need to arrive at the beach.
Distances to Balos from Crete’s Main Cities
- From Agios Nikolaos: 248 km, 3 h 50 m
- From Heraklion: 190 km, 3 h 20 m
- From Rethymno: 114 km, 2 h 15 m
- From Chania: 52 km, 1 h 15 m
Taking the Road to Balos Lagoon
You will have to drive through Kissamos city and Kavonisi port to get to this beach. After 1.5 km after the port, you will need to make a right turn and head to the Kaliviani village. At that point, you will be on a narrow road, and you will pass through the village and the church.
Unfortunately, a dirt road is a thing that will be expected of you after the Kaliviani village. You will need to pay a 1€ fee to pay the entrance post and you will be officially on the road to Balos. However, since the road is very dirty, many tourists take the rental car, so they would avoid damaging their own tires. If you take the rented car, it is covered by the insurance.
Hike Down to Balos Beach
When you see the parking area, you can leave your car there and start a hiking trip towards Balos Beach. You will need approximately 30 minutes. We suggest you be very careful as, since the first part of the walk is easy, the last one is a lot riskier. While you are following the path and heading to the beach, you will be surrounded by the incredible nature of the Creten mountains.
Take a Cruise to Balos
If you are looking for a way to experience Balos to its fullest we recommend you take a private cruise. There are many options available for you to choose and most of them are private. This is a very popular way that many tourists are practicing now. During your boat trip, you will be impressed by the wild beauty of the area. If you consider this cruise trip option, you will have the opportunity to visit Gramvousa island as well.
The area's facilities
From April until the end of October, you can buy what you need at the parking spot. Also, there is a small bar on the beach. However, the options are very limited especially for food, so we recommend you pack a lunch for the trip here. However, you have the option to rent sunbeds and umbrellas or rent a boat and use public toilets.
Best time to visit Balos
Balos beach is definitely the must-visit destination on Crete. This is surely the most stunning beach and the best time to visit it is during the summer. However, Balos is fascinating even when the season is over. If you do not live in crowded places, you can visit this place off-season and have a unique opportunity worth experiencing. One of the best advantages of this place is the fact that it is protected by the wind, so there are small chances that it can get windy.
Is Balos worth visiting?
If you decide to experience an exotic place that offers relaxation and stunning views, this is the perfect place for you. Even for one day, you can make the memories that you will remember for your entire life. With such stunning and breathtaking landscapes, there is nothing else worth thinking about.