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We begin our trip very early in the morning and driving to the west part of Crete. On a half way we make our first stop , where you have time to relax, drink some coffee or enjoy your breakfast. Moving west, we drive past the city of Chania and after a while, we arrive at the port of Kissamos, where we take the best boat and continue our trip to the island of Gramvousa.
During our cruise we have a chance to admire a vast cave – most likely an ancient shipyard, sea turtles or monk seals and of course, the dolphins of the area.
After an hour boat trip we disembark at the island of Gramvousa, which is also known as the “Pirates’ Island”. Here you have time to visit the Venetian castle that prevails on the highest spot of the island, at the top of an extremely sheer cliff. The stunning view from its walls, its grandeur as well as the legend about hidden pirate treasures prompt us to visit it.
After that we sail for the Blue lagoon of Balos, one of the loveliest places in Greece. The view of the lagoon is truly breathtaking. Balos is renowned for its numerous cacti, its ndergrowth, its splendid beach, its white sand, its jade-green and turquoise waters, its warm and shallow sea, its wild natural beauty that bring us in mind exotic beaches in the Caribbean.
These few hours in such a paradise will surely be etched in our memory forever.
The famous lagoon of Balos is located approximately 56km northwest of Chania and 17km northwest of Kissamos, formed between the Cape Gramvousa and the small Cape Tigani and below the range of Platiskinos. Balos is surely the mostly photographed beach in Crete, a very favorite subject of all tourist guides for Greece. It is no coincidence that Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Balos with their private yacht many years ago. Balos is famous for its turquoise waters, the wild natural beauty and the beautiful exotic scenery. During the summer, Balos is visited by thousands of people, who arrive mostly by the ferries running from Kissamos port. Also, a perfect idea is to arrive at Balos in the morning, before the boats arrive from Kissamos. These few hours of remoteness in such a heavenly place will remain etched in your memory forever. The lagoon of Balos has white sand and exotic white, vivid blue and turquoise waters. The sea is very shallow and warm, ideal for young children. In many places the sand has a lovely pinkish color, because of millions of crushed shells. Beyond the rocks at the boundaries of the lagoon, the water is deeper and colder, ideal for a snorkeling. The lagoon and the wider area, with rare species of flora and fauna, are protected under the Natura 2000 program. Eleonora falcons, shags and cormorants nest in the caves of the area. Moreover, the area is a shelter for the protected monk seal and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Despite the protection, some canteens and umbrellas have appeared on the beach in recent years. You can buy water from there and from the bars of the ferries. Balos can be accest easily with our morning ferry from Kissamos. You’ll have the chance to see the wild shores of Gramvousa and the marks from their lifting up for 6-9m after a strong earthquake in 365AD. If you’re lucky, you might be accompanied by dolphins. Furthermore, the ferry will leave you for a swim in the exotic beach of Imeri Gramvousa islet, where you will see the old fortress and the wrecked ship. The panoramic view of Balos and the island of the Imeri Gramvousa is breathtaking. From there, you can walk down in the 1km longpath leading to the beach or, better, in heaven! Return to the parking area is quite strenuous and tiring due to the inclination. Do not forget to wear a hat and have plenty of water with you. If you come in Balos, you can visit the small chapel of Saint George located in Tigani. At Tigani, you could also visit the large cavern where many women and children were slaughtered during the Turkish massacres in 1825. The Christians were hiding in the cave, but the Turks soon discovered their shelter, thus killed them all. There is a commemorative sign at the site where the bones of the victims were found. Also, north of Balos, in Cape Korykon there are remains of the small Roman town of Agnio with the temple of Apollo. Today, there is the picturesque chapel of Agios Sostis.