Balos Lagoon, located 56km north-west of Chania and 17km north-west of Kissamos, is renowned for its captivating beauty and serene, shallow waters. It’s no surprise that Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited the beach with their private yacht, and that it has become a tourist favorite. The clear, turquoise waters and white sand beach are a sight to behold and during the summer, Balos is visited by thousands of people, who often take the ferries from the port of Kissamos. For those looking for a more remote experience, it is recommended to visit the beach early in the morning, before the influx of visitors.
The area around Balos is protected by the Natura 2000 program and is home to rare species of flora and fauna, including Eleonora falcons, shags, cormorants, the protected monk seal and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Unfortunately, the beach has been subject to some negative effects such as the presence of canteens and umbrellas and the growth of microorganisms which can cause an unpleasant smell. It is also said that the sea currents bring rubbish or tar to the shore.
Balos can be accessed by taking the morning ferry from Kissamos (around 25 to 30 Euros), by driving on the dirt road starting from Kaliviani and running along the cape of Gramvousa, or by trekking for three hours from Kaliviani, across the landscape of Gramvousa and the range of Platyskinos. Along the route, you can visit the small chapel of Saint George located in Tigani, the cavern where many women and children were slaughtered during the Turkish massacres in 1825, and the temple of Apollo at Agnio. Despite the drawbacks, Balos is one of the most idyllic beaches in Crete and is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the island.