Cruise in Gramvousa and Balos by big boat
Both Gramvousa – also known as the island of pirates – as well as the lagoon of Balos are two places that are definitely worth a visit if you are in the western part of Crete. You’ll be overwhelmed by the wild natural beauty, the exotic scenery and crystal clear water.
There are several ways you can visit Balos Gramvousa. You can either take a big boat or rent a private boat or drive and then hike. This profile is about going to Balos-Gramvousa by a big boat.
The cruise ship (big boat) departs from the port in Kissamos and after an hour, it arrives at the small island of Gramvousa for a stop of about 2 hours. Here you can swim at the small beach or hike up the donkey track to the remains of the 16th-century Venetian castle from where there are stunning views. The walk takes you to a height of 137mts and good footwear is recommended. If you want to take it easy you can stay on board and enjoy a picnic lunch or purchase food from the restaurant.
The next stop is the lagoon of Balos, a 15 minutes sail from Gramvousa, where expectations will be exceeded when you see the Mediterranean in its full splendor with pink sand and calm water with so many different shades of blue and green.
Families should know
- The ship departs daily from the port of Kissamos which is a drive of about 40 minutes west of Chania city
- Disembarkation at Balos is done with smaller boats
- If you want to walk up to the castle don’t wear sandals or flip-flops
- Don’t forget to take a hat and sun screen for everyone
- The ship may be fairly crowded but fortunately there is enough space for everyone at the lagoon
- If you book through the website gramvousa.com you will get a better ticket price
- During the cruise there is an audio tour in several languages
- You can buy food and drink on the boat
Kids will love
- The sea shells they’ll find in the sand
- The inflatable slide board on the ship from where you can plunge straight into the sea
- The legend of the hidden pirate treasure in the castle of Gramvousa
Parents will love
- The path between steep cliffs and coves
- The view from the Venetian castle in Gramvousas
Best season to visit
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