The Balos Lagoon on the Gramvousa Peninsula

In the northwest of Crete lies Balos, the blue lagoon, a breathtaking bay with a dreamy sandy beach on the west side of the Gramvousa peninsula. The Balos Lagoon transports you from the Mediterranean straight to the Caribbean.

Here you will find white sand, exotic, warm and shallow waters and an almost incomprehensible palette of colours ranging from glittering turquoise to the deepest sky blue.

You can reach the bay either by ferry from Kíssamos or by taking a few kilometres of gravel road and a short hike to discover this Caribbean-like bathing paradise individually. There are no tavernas here, but a panorama you won't soon forget. It is worth getting up early to have the lagoon almost to yourself.

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If you choose to get there before everyone else. then set off on your own with a four-wheel drive vehicle with high ground clearance. Only a strong vehicle can handle the challenge of the 10 km dirt road up to the Gramvousa peninsula. (Make sure your vehicle insurance allows you to take this route. Sometimes driving on unpaved roads is not included in the tariff).

At the end of the road, you will come across a well-trodden but safe trail that leads down the mountain over a 20-minute walk. If you manage to get here early in the morning, you will also be rewarded with a piece of paradise that you still have (mostly) to yourself.

You will have to provide your own drinks and shade. And: It won't be long before you share this picture-book spot with many other admirers. Balos is quite well-known and there are good reasons for that. The clean, shallow water of the lagoon is warm, inviting and perfect for children. The sea water on the other side offers cool refreshment and optimal conditions for snorkelling. Crushed shells give the fine white sand a rosy glow and the iconic, rugged island provides just the right backdrop for unforgettable memories.

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