On the northwest coast of Cape Gramvousa, in a bay formed between the lesser capes of Tigani (the Frying pan) and Vouxa (Trypti), lies the sea-lagoon of Balos.
A quiet beach, opposite the two Gramvousa islands (Wild and Tame), it enjoys warm, turquoise waters and white sands. The last are actually partly composed of minutely crushed sea-shells, which impart a pinkish hue to the very white sand. The water immediately off shore is shallow, but deepens elsewhere.
During July and August, Balos receives a daily influx of crowds of tourists. For that reason, as well as stagnant reaches of water, parts can get somewhat smelly.
In the summer season, sea trips are made daily from Kasteli Kisamou to Balos (with the 2-hour stop-off on ‘Tame’ Gramvousa): the last stage from the island to Balos takes 15 minutes. Once there, the passengers disembark for a 3-hour stay, allowing them to enjoy some relaxing moments in its clear waters.
Or you can motor out from Kasteli Kisamou, taking the dirt-road from the village of Kalyviani that leads you to the parking area above the Balos beach. Thence, continuing on foot down the path of large stone steps, you will reach the beautiful beach after a relatively easy descent of 15 minutes. This second approach is more difficult, but well worth it: the view from on high of Balos lagoon and ‘Tame’ Gramvousa is stunning.
The beach is a protected area – part of the EC ecological programme Natura 2000. As a result you will not find any amenities beyond a small café for food and drink. Shade, however, can be got on the south side of the beach.
Just as for Gramvousa, it is better to miss the high-season in July and August: then it becomes packed every day with a horde of visitors – at least during the hours when the boats from Kasteli operate (between 1 and 6 in the afternoon).
North of Balos, at the Korykon cape, are found the ruins of the small Roman city of Agnion, with a temple to the god Apollo.
At the southern root of Cape Gramvousa, on its western side, is the exquisite beach of Falasarna.
- Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)
- location Gramvousa Cape, Kisamos, Chania
- free camping No
- nudism Yes
- beach type Sandy
- accommodation No
- dinning Yes - limited choices
- other facilities
relevant routes & paths:
Distances: 56 km from Chania, 17 km Kastelli Kissamos, 11 km from Kalyviani.
By car/motorcycle: From Kastelli Kissamos, follow the road to the village of Kalyviani. From there continue on the dirt road that leads after 10 km to the parking lot located above the beach of Balos. Here you leave your vehicle and continue on foot along the path leading to the beach (duration about 15 minutes).
By sea: Boat trips take place daily during the summer season from Kastelli Kissamos to Imeri Gramvousa (duration 1 hour). After a stop of about two hours the boat continues to Balos (duration 15 minutes).
On foot: Boat trips take place daily during the summer season from Kastelli Kissamos to Imeri Gramvousa (duration 1 hour). After a stop of about two hours the boat continues to Balos (duration 15 minutes).