Balos Lagoon
Balos Lagoon
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
This lagoon is one of the most photographed spots on the island of Crete, with hypnotizing turquoise waters and a panoramic landscape. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent and snacks for sale, but you might want to pack a more substantial meal. Also, check the weather conditions in advance, as the beach can get windy. If you’re planning to drive, bring suitable footwear for the steep trek down from the car park to the beach. Visit early in the morning to experience the lagoon at its most tranquil. Getting the ferry from Kissamos Port is a relaxing and convenient way to reach Belos. – Tripadvisor
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • LionsPaul
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must do on Crete
    As others have noted, the drive to and walk back from the beach are not difficult if you take your time. We got there around 9:30 am and it was perfect. Maybe 20 other people at that time and free pick of location and umbrellas/loungers. The umbrella and two loungers will cost €20. Someone will come by eventually and collect. There is a canteen with light snacks and refreshments and restrooms that cost €1. The beach itself is breathtaking. Crystal clear water and nice sand. It is quite shallow so you have to go out quite away out. It is also very calm with little to no wake. If you only have time for one beach on Crete, this is the one! Elafanisi is not nearly as nice in my opinion.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 June 2023
  • Linda
    Sassenheim, The Netherlands3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very nice!
    Worth it! Beautiful views from the top while hiking to the beach. Lovely place for a couple of hours, great shallow water to just walk around the lagoon. Do note: about 30 mins bumby dirt road, but many small cars (Kia picanto etc) do it daily. 2€ to get in the park and 3€ for parking. 20 minutes hike down a sandy/rocky path (sneakers advised) to the beach and about 30 min back up (for a semi fit 45 year old woman). Bring enough water back up as well. Small snackbar on the beach with the basics, but bringing some snacks/sandwiches is handy. There is also a small snackbar on the parkinglot. The goats on the beach get cheeky when you feed them.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 June 2023
  • AR98
    Slovakia12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Maybe the best beach view in my life
    Came with Strata tours from Kissamos in a 4x4 minibus - shootout to them their service is exceptional. We came from the top of the mountain and the view of the lagoon.. OMG, a lifetime memory. For hiking you'll need good sneakers and some water. The sand and the sea is clear and fantastic. If you can, try to come earlier because the sunbeds are limited. The whole trip was fantastic. It's a must when you're in West Crete.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 June 2023
  • Mariia G
    Odesa, Ukraine414 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Some details every visitor might need
    Incredible location, went by car, note that the road is really bad, 7 km of hell, then you park the car and walk down 1,45 km of the steep stone steps and sand in the end (400 meters). It would make sense to come in the morning and leave in the evening as we did, sunbeds with an umbrella cost 15-20 euro depending on day, one cantina at the beach with frappe, coffee, some good snacks, water, ice, you name it. Walking back was tough but it was worth it after all. Highly recommended location.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 June 2023
  • Happily Retired
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A challenging walk rewarded
    The 4 of us Traveled with Uncharted Escapes in an off road Land Rover to Balos Lagoon from Chania. John our driver entertained us with comments on a variety topics including history of Crete, Cretan goats, Greek mythology and the changes to tourists rules due to the need to preserve the ecosystem. The last stretch of road before we started walking the downhill descent was challenging and John was up to the task. Rocky surfaces, no guard rails and lots of curves overlooking the sea far below. We were very glad none of us were driving. The lagoon was fantastic but it is over 800ft below the parking lot. It was a 25 minute walk down and longer coming back. Not for the faint of heart and climbing back under a cloudless sky through sand, then rocky steps and finally a rocky path required good shoes and some endurance. We saw some small children being carried on the trail but I don’t think it was fun for either parent or child. The views both ways are fantastic (when you look up from finding a safe place to step). We got there early enough to get umbrellas and lounge chairs so our stay was comfortable. John provided a boxed lunch, juice, water and dessert for us to carry down. The water in the lagoon is clear and it is mostly a sand bottom that doesn’t go over 4 ft deep so wading was easy. There were areas of greater depth that did require swimming. We spent over two hours in the lagoon, an hour on the trails down and back and 2 hours on the road so it made for a full morning and early afternoon. We were so glad we did it and recommend it to everyone visiting Crete (but only if you can handle a strenuous walk down and up). Thank you again to John(Ionnas) and Uncharted Escapes.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 June 2023
  • knjoannow
    Astoria, New York28 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful beach but beware of wind!!!!
    You can tell that this beach is beautiful and the surroundings are gorgeous, HOWEVER, check the wind before going. If it’s windy, IT IS WINDY, you will not be able to enjoy the beach at all. We took a ferry to balos (it is difficult to reach by car), and we couldn’t wait to leave as the wind was unbearable. I also would make sure you choose a large ferry to get there, unless you want to spend the better part of the day seasick. My partner and I were fine but everywhere you turned on the ferry, there was someone puking. That was the first thing my boyfriend saw on his 30th birthday, so please choose a large ferry and don’t go on a windy day. We would have loved the beach had it not been for the ferry and the wind. The ferry was called ifogenia Anna, definitely avoid. Also there’s only one canteen on the whole beach and it’s a rip off. €16 for 1 old sandwich, a gross vegetarian pie, a water and a warm soda, (that was filled with sand after about 2 mins from the wind)
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 July 2023
  • Eugenia059
    Melbourne, Australia30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Extremely hard trek
    Beautiful scenery. Unbelievable beach but we opted to take the car and walked a 2km trek down the mountain. It was extremely hot and very hard going. The actual beach was breathtaking and worth it. Will definitely do the ferry next time.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 July 2023
  • WorldIsYourOyster3
    London, United Kingdom448 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely worth a visit, enjoy.
    I did the boat trip to Balos and what a fun excursion. The boat itself was great, enough affordable refreshments though if you want a seat be sure to get in there quickly. I preferred being able to stand and watch the views Balos is stunning, just like the photos. Lagoon is shallow and so bring your beach shoes as there are some sharp and uneven rocks when you depart the boat to get to the lagoon. I was warned to bring my own snacks as there is only one little snack shack and I’m unsure what the options/prices are but you won’t have much choice if you don’t come prepared!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 25 July 2023
  • rootbeerman7
    Salisbury, United Kingdom16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Blue Star cruises was a great find
    We loved it. We avoided the huge boat with over a 1000 people and used Blue Star (who would go to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island) leaving at 1pm designed to miss all the crowds on the bigger boats. Clever, and a great skipper dealing with any waves when travelling there from Kissmos. NO shade in either island they go to, so make sure you have a parasol.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 August 2023
  • Johanna K
    8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beach great, canteen sucks!
    Drive to the Balos is "interesting". Under 10 km drive takes 45 mins. Access down to the beach is hard and sweaty. Lagoon is amazing! Canteen cheat about prices. Price list differs from true. According to price list 3 coffee and a bottle of water should be 12,50. I paid 26 euros!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 August 2023
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brynulf
Jessheim, Norway1,940 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Wow! Road up was a nail biter. Not for the feint hearted. Hike to the lagoon is a good one. Prepare your legs! Lagoon is nice, hike up was tough but the views are amazing!
Written 30 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katie
Richmond, VA50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
This is a view worth seeing! We had a rental car that we drove up to the parking area and it was a bumpy ride. Luckily, our rental car didn't get damaged and we didn't get charged any fees but I can see how that can happen often. I really enjoyed the view on the drive and seeing all of the goats! Just be careful of the bees on the way up and down -- there were quite a few swarming around our car.

We're experienced hikers so we thought we would hike down from the parking area, but once we got to a good viewpoint we decided we would just stick with seeing the view from up top. I really don't recommend hiking up and down in the summer, it's just too steep and too hot and many people looked like they were going to faint. If we had more time I would have loved to take a boat to the lagoon, but even seeing it from up top was great!
Written 11 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kestas V
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
Must visit place! if you are Crete👌 40min of walking from parking area ....if you choose go whit a car
Written 1 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tymm h
8 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Took the Balos/Gramvousa ferry from Kissamous for €25 per person on Oct 30 2023. It was the end of the season but this fall's weather has been beautiful. The small ferry was crammed tight with tourists. We sat on top coming and going. The trip itself was uneventful.

As for Balos beach the colors are beautiful, but can't imagine how the place looks during peak season. Even in late October we were all crammed in on the sandy strip between the lagoon and bay with about a meter between each group.

During our stay there I walked up to and back down from the car parking lot. All kinds of descriptions abound about how torturous it is. Yes it has a few stone steps needing repair, there's some loose gravel along the sides, and probably during rainy weather some of the polished stones would be slick, but other than that it's a pretty normal, well marked unmaintained trail .

For the Gramvousa Island stop we hiked to the fort. That trail is in worst condition and basically an unnecessary hike for most tourist. There's not much to be seen up there except a view back towards Balos. The swimming area looked beautiful and not nearly as crowded.
Written 1 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark A
Poole, UK110 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Firstly the view of the beach and Lagoon from the top of the cliffs ( parking area ) is amazing yes, but that's where it ends, do not underestimate the steep rocky hike down, at least 30 mins and that's in October because of sheer volume of people, the lagoon itself is smelly, shallow, and simply a photo opportunity, not much swimming to be done and the usual surly " Let's rip off as many tourists as we can" umbrella and chair husslers, it reeks of exploitation for not that great an experience, when you're done with the crowds, the smell, the ridiculously shallow water and the cost if everything ( including paying to use less than hygienic loos ) something i find downright annoying considering all the money they are making off everything else ) I wouldn't pay it out of principle...... however this pales into insignificance compared to the trek back up, and believe me IT IS a most strenuous hike, if you are in any way unfit or have children this will be tiring in the extreme, after which you will be met by hoards of impatient drivers all trying to get back to their respective hotels and homes for a hot bath and soak no doubt ! ....is it worth it? nit fir us, maybe for you, but we also went to Elafannesi beach and it was stunning in every way, far far greater in beauty and crystal clean turquoise waters with a stunning and " safe" mountain drive, Balos 2 star, Ella 5 star, need I say more ?
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vashti
Trinidad113 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
This is not a beach. It is rocks, pebbles and stones. You cannot sit and relax on the beach. You will need a chair and umbrella which they have for rent at the location. There is no shade otherwise.
The lagoon is mostly shallow. Great for kids, but not if you want to swim. The water was a little cold for me.
This site is better for photos rather than experience. It is spectacular in pictures but not a relaxing experience.
You can get there by land or sea. We used one of the ferries operated by Cretian Daily Cruises. It was a mess. Overcrowded, food was expensive and they are simply dropping you off and returning you to Port while trying to get you to buy as many things from them as possible- food, drinks, umbrella, snorkel. DO NOT rent an umbrella from them. They are of no use. It is difficult to anchor them and only about 2 feet high so only a child can fit under there.
There are not enough seats on the ferry for everyone, especially if you want to sit together. People were sitting on the floor etc
If you can afford a private charter I would advise you to go with that option.
If you are looking for a day at the beach, I would not recommend this beach. It's all about the vista and the photos
Written 2 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Happiness33882362005
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
The beach itself is magical, however be aware of the horrible drive to get there which is something I’ve never experienced before and a 40 minute extremely strenuous hike up and down. Fitness level needs to be athletic, me and my family really suffered especially in the heat. I would not recommend taking this route at all but rather go by boat. Take plenty of water with you when going in summer and stay hydrated. If I had to choose to go again, it would be a hard no. It’s just not worth the hassle getting there and sure you can find better accessible beaches.
Written 28 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris C
Gloucestershire, UK48 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
A long coach trip from Rethymno and we enjoyed the scenery en route. Boat trip interesting and the rocky formation intriguing. But if you’re expecting good swimming don’t go- sharp rocky shelves and very shallow waters. Extremely busy and virtually no facilities with the inevitable consequences at Balos and Gramvousa. So scenically very impressive but not really the full package we were expecting.
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paradise733637
Austin, TX210 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
Incredible day!!! We loved our day at Balos! A couple of helpful tips to make the most epic day!!!
1. Arrive early to secure a spot under an umbrella and before the ships arrive at 11am
2. Wear shoes as the hike down is rocky and has lots of stairs
3. 20 euros to rent the umbrella and chairs for the day
4. Freeze liter water bottles to have free cold water during your stay
5. 1 euro for the bathroom and a snack bar with food. Pack a lunch as it’s cheaper
Written 24 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melissa S
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Solo
Word to the wise- you need to be in very good shape to handle the hike down and back up. If you are not good at hiking uphill over rocky terrain, this is not for you
Written 23 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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BALOS LAGOON: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Balos Lagoon

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