Balos

Μετάφραση

Balos

In fact Balos is a worldwide well-known lagoon with exotic beach white sand and clean crystal clear turquoise water. It is probably one of Crete’s most famous sights and one of the most exotic destinations.The famous lagoon is located 56Km northwest of Chania and 17Km northwest of Kissamos.  

The lagoon is formed by the proximity between the Gramvousa peninsula and Cape Tigani, a big square mass of land located right in front of Balos Beach. The turquoise water with the wild beauty of the area compose an exotic landscape that impresses the visitor. It has a sandy beach, the sea is shallow and warm and the amazing color of the sand in many places resembles that of the beach in Elafonissi. It is no coincidence that it is one of the top beaches in the world.

It is an ideal destination for families with small children because of the shallow and warm sea. Beyond the rocks, the waters are deeper and colder, ideal for diving and snorkeling. The beach is not affected by 'meltemia; northern winds, as the islet of Gramvousa at the mouth of the bay protects it a lot.

Opposite Balos Lagoon there are two small islands, Gramvousa and wild Gramvousa, the first is quite small and rocky, the other is much larger and features a castle built by the Venetians in 1584 and was used first by the Venecians and later from locals at the revolutions against the Turks. If you go there it s a must visiting the castle for its history but for the view as well. From the castle the view is really amazing!

In addition, Balos beach accommodates a great number of birds which are fed and bred in the area or shortly migrate here, as this place is a way stop during migration period. The caves of the area serve as nests for peregrine falcons, shags and cormorants. Balos is also a preserve for the protected Mediterranean seal and Caretta-Caretta sea turtle which visits the coast to feed itself and lay its eggs.

All above render the lagoon of Balos a nature reserve of great ecological value and rare natural beauty. It has been claimed a Natura 2000 site for years and it is a strictly protected area, such as a lot of other places in Crete.

There are three ways to get to Balos. By boat from the port of Kissamos (only in season) that will take you to the island of Gramvousa too, or by car but the last 8 kilometers is dirt road and if your car is not a 4x4 "all road" then will suffer. Also you need to walk about 30 min to reach the lagoon because the parking is on the hill but the view from there is amazing. However, the most exciting way to access Balos is by trekking for three hours from Kaliviani, crossing the rough and dry landscape of Gramvousa and the range of Platyskinos.

Balos tends to be overcrowded in summer. So if you do not like crowds, you’d better avoid to visit the beach in July and August or try to arrive very early in the morning.