How to get to Balos

How to get to Balos
Published: February 18, 2024

Balos Beach, with its stunning turquoise waters and breathtaking landscapes, is a top destination in Crete. This guide focuses on “how to get to Balos,” offering key transportation tips. It aims to assist travelers of all types, including groups of friends, couples, and families, in finding the best route for their adventure to Balos Beach.


Transportation to Balos

Each transportation method to Balos offers a unique journey, whether it’s the combined car or bus ride with a scenic hike, a direct ferry from Kissamos, or the exclusive experience of a private boat tour. Up next, we’ll delve into each option, providing you with all the details you need to choose the best path for your unforgettable visit to Balos Beach.


Driving to Balos: Options and Hiking Finish

When driving to Balos, remember there’s a hike at the end of the road. This section will detail car routes, parking, distances, fees, and rental tips. Plus, what to pack for the hike. Stay tuned for all you need to know for a smooth trip to Balos by car.

Going to Balos by Car

Balos Beach, located at Crete’s northwest point, means travel distances can vary significantly. Your starting location, whether near Chania, Kissamos, Kolymvari, or further away in Rethymno, Heraklion, or the Lasithi region, will impact your journey.

Driving to Balos is a tale of two parts: the smooth ‘good’ part and the challenging ‘bumpy’ part of the road, setting the stage for an adventure to one of Crete’s most iconic landscapes.

But the adventure doesn’t end with the drive. Upon reaching the parking area, a final hiking leg awaits, leading you directly to the stunning vistas of Balos Beach.


 The Smouth Part

To simplify, let’s break down your journey to Balos into easy steps. First, you’ll enjoy a smooth drive on asphalt roads through Kissamos and towards Kaliviani Village, ending at the Balos ticket station. Next, we’ll look at distances and drive times from major points like Chania and Heraklion, making your trip planning straightforward.


Road Map: The route from Chania to the Balos Beach ticket station.

Estimated Travel Distances

Starting Location

Asphalt Road Distance Driving Time Google Maps Route
Kissamos 8 km 15-20 min

View Map 


23 km 28-35 min View Map 
Platanias 35 km 40 – 45 min

View Map 


46 km 45-55 min View Map 
Rethymno 107 km 1h 35m -1h 50m

View Map 


183 km 2h 40m – 3h  View Map 
Agios Nikolas 240 km 3h 20m – 3h 50m

View Map 


252 km 3h 30m – 4h  View Map 
Ierapetra 271 km 3h 50m – 4h 20m

View Map 

Sitia 307 km 4h 30m – 5 h

View Map 

Mobile Viewing Tip: Scroll horizontally to view all table details.


The Bumpy Part of the Road

Navigating the second part of the journey to Balos is an adventure in itself. This stretch begins at the Balos ticket station and extends to the parking area above Balos. It spans 7.4 km of dirt road. Typically, you’ll need around 30 minutes to reach the parking area.

During the high season at peak times, the journey may take up to 1.5 hours due to increased traffic and challenges in finding parking. It’s crucial to drive cautiously, keeping the road’s condition in mind. Meanwhile, the view is breathtaking, offering expansive vistas of the Cretan Sea.

Estimated Travel Distances

Starting Location

Dirty Road Distance Driving Time Google Maps Route
Balos Ticket Station 7.4 km 30-40 min

View Map 


The off-road route from the Balos Ticket Station to the parking area above Balos.

Car Rentals: Understanding Your Coverage

Furthermore, if you’re considering renting a car, proceed with caution. Many rental agreements restrict travel on this specific road. Often, the fine print mentions that insurance does not cover incidents here. It’s essential to find a rental company that permits travel to Balos. They might charge extra for this coverage. Otherwise, you’re assuming the risk yourself.


Parking Strategies for Peak Season Visits

Another critical point to remember, especially during the peak season, is parking. Arriving early is key to finding a spot near the parking area. Latecomers may end up parking as far as 2 km away. This situation could add at least an extra 20 minutes of walking under the sun.

Hence, our advice for those visiting Balos between June 20 and September 5 is to arrive early in the morning. This strategy helps ensure a smoother start to your Balos adventure.

Navigating the dirty road to Balos.


The Final Hike to Balos Beach

The Final Hike to Balos Beach begins near the parking area. You’ll follow the path leading down. This hike rewards you with one of the most stunning views in the world. From above, Balos looks like a picturesque masterpiece. The distance and time needed to hike down will depend on your pace and stops to admire the view.

Wear good athletic shoes for the rocky terrain. Flip-flops won’t suffice here. The hike can be challenging, especially for those not used to walking long distances. Furthermore, there’s no shade. You’re exposed to the sun throughout.

Always bring water. Hats and sunscreen are essential. This hike might not be suitable for the elderly or very young children. Keep in mind, climbing back up is harder after a day under the sun.

By preparing accordingly, you’ll fully enjoy the natural beauty of Balos Beach.


Starting Location

Hiking  Distance Elevation Gain Hiking Time Google Maps Route
Balos Parking Area 1.2 km 157 m 30-40 min

View Map 

Mobile Viewing Tip: Scroll horizontally to view all table details.


Final Stretch: Hiking from the Balos Parking Area to the Beach.


Going to Balos with the Public Bus

This section will guide you on reaching Balos via public bus, emphasizing KTEL (the local bus service) timetables for a seamless trip. We’ll explore options like traveling to Kissamos and then choosing between a ferry, private boat, or continuing by taxi or bus to Kaliviani, followed by a hike to Balos.

Detailed insights into trail lengths, travel times, and difficulty levels will prepare you for the journey ahead. For the most current bus schedules and to plan your trip effectively, always check the latest KTEL timetables before departure.

Public Transport to Balos: Timetables and Tips

The Chania City center hosts the central bus station (google maps location), a starting point for public transfer to Kissamos. Booking tickets in advance is recommended. In winter, the route ends at Kissamos, but from April to September, it extends to Kissamos Port to coincide with the Balos ferry service.

For the Kissamos to Chania route, buses start at 07:00 AM, offering frequent departures until the final service at 20:15 PM to Souda. With buses running every 1,5 hours, travelers have ample opportunity to plan their return. For precise dates and further details, always refer to Chania’s public transportation website.


This timetable displays the departure times for the Chania to Kissamos and Kissamos to Chania bus routes, as provided by the KTEL website on February 14, 2024.



Starting Location

Ending Location Distance Travel Duration Google Maps Route
KTEL-Chania Central Bus Station Kissamos City 38 km 1h 10m

View Map 

Note for Mobile Users: For a better viewing experience of the upcoming tables, please scroll horizontally to see all the details.


For those traveling from locations other than Chania, the first step is to catch a bus to Chania. Once in Chania, as previously mentioned, you will need to transfer to another bus destined for Kissamos. The table below provides information on travel to Chania from the major cities of Rethymno and Heraklion.

Starting Location Ending Location Distance Travel Duration Google Maps Route
Rethymno Chania 62 km 1h 10m View Map 
Heraklion Chania 145 km 2h 45m View Map 


Balos from Above.


Rates and Fees for Road Travel to Balos

Traveling to Balos offers a variety of options, each with its own set of costs. Below is a detailed look at what you can expect to pay when choosing to go by bus, taxi, or car.


By Car

  • Rental Rates:Starting at roughly 30€ per day. Expect higher rates for more luxurious models.
  • Fuel Costs: Estimate approximately 20€ from Chania, 40€ from Rethymno, and 80€ from Heraklion. Actual expenses will vary based on fuel efficiency and current fuel rates. Remember to verify the latest prices before setting out.
  • Entrance Fees for Balos:A nominal fee of 1€ per person is charged for those older than 13.
  • Car Entrance Fee: A charge of 3€ applies for car entry, regardless of whether you park in the designated parking area or along the road.
  • Extra Insurance: Please note, for non-asphalt, dirt roads, an extra coverage fee of approximately 8€ per day applies, or you can choose to drive at your own risk. Be aware that not all car rental companies offer this additional coverage.


By Taxi

In the table below, you can find the average prices (updated 2024) for a one-way taxi transfer to Kissamos Port. The rates apply for a standard taxi (1-4 persons) or a minivan for groups of 5-8 persons.

Starting Location

Ending Location Price (1-4 Persons) Price (5-8 Persons)


Kissamos Port 10 €

15 €


Kissamos Port 40 € 70 €
Chania Kissamos Port 60 €

110 €

Souda Bay

Kissamos Port 70 € 120 €
Rethymno Kissamos Port 140 €

240 €

Heraklion Kissamos Port 240 €

300 €

Note for Mobile Users: For a better viewing experience of the tables, please scroll horizontally to see all the details.

  • Entrance Fees for Balos:A nominal fee of 1€ per person is charged for those older than 13 when reaching the Balos ticket station.


By Bus

In the table below, you’ll find the prices for the bus routes necessary to reach Balos. As previously mentioned, travelers coming from locations beyond Chania, such as Rethymno or Heraklion, must first take a bus to Chania. From there, a subsequent bus will take you from Chania to Kissamos.


Starting Location

Ending Location

Price (per person)



16.00 €



7.10 €

Chania Kissamos

5.10 €


Heading to Balos from Chania or Rethymno by bus? Here’s a simple breakdown of what it costs for a family of four:

From Chania to Balos:

  • Bus Fare: Traveling from Chania directly, the bus fare is 5.10€ per person. So, for a family of four, the round trip costs 40.80€.
  • Entrance Fees: With an additional 1€ per person for entrance, that’s 4€ for the family.
  • Total Cost: Combining bus fares and entrance fees, the trip to Balos from Chania totals 44.80€.


Starting from Rethymno:

  • Extra Bus Fare: If you’re coming from Rethymno, there’s an additional round trip bus fare to Chania costing 56.80€ for the family.
  • Grand Total: Adding this to the Chania-Balos trip cost, a family of four will spend 97.6€ on transportation.


Remember, these prices, accurate as of February 15, 2024, cover just the bus travel and entrance fees. Consider setting aside extra for taxis, snacks, and water for a comfortable trip. This guide aims to make your planning smoother, ensuring a memorable visit to Balos.


Exploring the Hiking Trails to Balos

Having covered the main transportation options to Balos, let’s venture into the hiking trails for those seeking adventure. We’ve previously discussed the final stretch of the hike from the Balos parking area to Balos Beach. Now, let’s delve into the complete hiking routes available.


The Kissamos-Balos Trail: A Scenic Adventure

The journey to Balos is not just a trip but an experience, with the most popular trail beginning right at the Balos ticket entrance. This path winds its way to the parking area, where adventurers can embark on the previously mentioned final leg from the parking to the beach.

This route offers a blend of challenge and scenic beauty, providing hikers with unforgettable views and a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the stunning Balos Beach.

Capturing the Journey: The Kissamos to Balos Trail.

Embarking on the Kissamos-Balos Trail offers a remarkable journey through Crete’s natural beauty. Spanning 7.4 km, this trail follows an unnamed road leading to the parking area just before Balos. Without stops, you’ll need roughly 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete this section. An additional 30 minutes is required to hike down the path to Balos Beach.

Natural Wonders and Cultural Landmarks

As you walk, the breathtaking view of the sea in Kissamos Bay will capture your attention. It’s common to encounter friendly goats along the way, curiously approaching visitors in search of food. A standout feature on this trail is Tersanas Cave, known for its stunning views and the opportunity to swim in its rocky shores. Visiting the cave diverts you from the main trail for about 40 minutes, but the detour is well worth it.

The journey is also dotted with cultural landmarks, including two chapels. Agia Irini is easily accessible near the main path, offering a peaceful respite. Agios Ioannis requires a slight detour, starting just before Agia Irini Chapel. For those willing to explore further, Agios Sozon lies in a picturesque bay with crystal-clear blue waters, located about 1km north of the parking area above Balos, requiring an additional 15-20 minutes off the main path.


The Kissamos to Balos Trail and Its Detours.


Trail Segment Key Highlights Distance Estimated Time
Kissamos-Balos Trail Scenic 7.4 km path through natural beauty. 7.4 km 1h 50m
Final Descent to Beach Stunning views leading to Balos Beach. 1.2 km 30m
Detour to Tersanas Cave Offers stunning views and a swimming spot. 40m
Detour to Agios Ioannis Serene chapel, 15 minutes off the main path, 1.1 km detour. 1.1 km 15m
Visit to Agia Irini Peaceful chapel located directly on the route to Balos. On the way On the way
Detour to Agios Sozon Crystal-clear bay, located north of the parking area. 15-20m

Note for Mobile Users: For a better viewing experience of the tables, please scroll horizontally to see all the details.


This trail not only immerses you in the natural landscape but also connects you with the local heritage, making it a truly enriching experience.


This breathtaking view awaits as you hike down the final path to Balos Beach.


The Challenging Hike from Falasarna to Balos

For those with a thirst for adventure and a love of hiking, the trail from Falasarna offers a challenging yet rewarding journey.

This adventure begins just beyond Ancient Falasarna, on the north side of the beach. You’ll start on a dirt road, traveling approximately 1km to reach a fence. It’s essential to close this fence once you’ve passed through to prevent the goats from escaping.

To guide your way, keep an eye out for blue marks on trees and rocks. This path takes you along the western edge of the Gramvousa Peninsula, where you’re treated to unparalleled views. The wild shores of Crete, Pontikos Island, Antikythera Island, and the vast blue expanse of the Cretan Sea unfold before you, offering breathtaking sights.

Upon nearing Balos, the stunning views of both Balos and Tigani serve as a magnificent reward for your efforts!

Key Details for Hikers

  • Duration and Distance: Prepare for a hike that may exceed 5 hours, covering 9.3km one way.
  • Difficulty: This trail is not recommended for inexperienced hikers, small children, or those with a fear of heights. Some sections have exposed heights where a rope aids your passage. The path can also be slippery, demanding your utmost attention.
  • Preparation: Wear sturdy shoes suitable for rocky terrain. It’s advisable not to hike alone. Each hiker should carry at least 2 liters of water, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen to protect against the sun.
  • For Navigation: Utilizing the popularity heatmap feature on Strava and Garmin can significantly enhance your route clarity. This tool helps to ensure you’re on the right path, following the footsteps of those before you.
  • When to Start: An early morning start is highly recommended. Setting out at dawn helps you avoid the most intense sun exposure, making your journey more pleasant.

Returning Options

Consider your return journey in advance. Options include:

  • Walk back to Falasarna along the same path you came.
  • Arrange for a boat ride back to Falasarna for a different return experience.
  • Catch a ferry to Kissamos, and if your car is parked in Falasarna, take a taxi back to it.
  • Choose a private boat directly to Kissamos.
  • Explore the alternative path back to Kaliviani and take a taxi back to Falasarna
  • For those seeking a complete adventure, consider the round trip from Falasarna to Balos, then to Kaliviani, and back to Falasarna. This entire journey covers approximately 25km, offering a comprehensive exploration of the area’s beauty.

Useful Links

starting location  /   preview trail  /   Kissamos -Balos ferry scheldules  /  private boat transfers  kissamos taxi services

Map image credit: AllTrails, cropped from the original.

Cruise and Boat Options to Balos

Now that we’ve explored the drive and hike options, let’s shift our focus to reaching Balos by boat. In the sections below, we’ll delve into the various cruise travel options, including ferry rides and private boat tours. We’ll cover where to embark, available itineraries, time schedules, and pricing details.

Going to Balos with the Ferry

For a smoother transfer, avoiding parking hassles and hikes, the ferry offers a relaxed journey. Head to Kissamos Port, the ferry’s departure point. Revisit the “Driving to Balos: Options and Hiking Finish” section for directions to Kissamos.

If planning isn’t your strength, consider booking through a travel agent. Explore options on Viator, GetYourGuide, or consult a local agency. Always check reviews to ensure you choose a trustworthy agency. This way, you can enjoy a stress-free trip to Balos.


Visiting Gramvousa Island is yet another reason to explore Balos by boat.


How to Book Your Ferry Ticket to Balos

Balos ranks as a top destination, attracting hundreds of thousands yearly. Given its popularity, many opt for the ferry—both economical and convenient. To ensure your spot, especially in high season, booking in advance is crucial.


Where to Book 

Options abound for booking your ferry passage to Balos. Choose from:

Each option provides convenience and caters to different preferences, but we highly recommend booking directly through official websites and as early as possible before your departure date. There have been instances where tickets booked through other platforms or agencies did not guarantee a spot on the ferry.


Kissamos Port: Where journeys to the enchanting Balos Lagoon begin.


2024 Ferry Schedules and Prices

Find the schedules and prices for the Gramvousa-Balos Cruise from Kissamos in our table below.

Cruise Company

Season Duration Adult Price (€) Child Price (3-12 years, €) Additional Fees Departure Times Return Times Fleet
CRETAN DAILY CRUISES April 18 – October 31 38 19 €1 per adult 10:10 to 12:40 17:45 to 19:40 

4 ships


June 1 – October 31 30 15 €1 per adult Starts at 10:50 Returns at 16:00

1 ship

Mobile Viewing Tip: Scroll horizontally to view all table details.


Note (as of February 2024): The prices and schedules provided here are current for the 2024 season. However, changes may occur, so we strongly recommend visiting the official websites of CRETAN DAILY CRUISES and BLUE DAILY CRUISES for the latest information and any adjustments to the schedules or prices during the season.

Please note that the listed ticket prices do not include meals; food is usually available for an additional cost of approximately €10 per person, payable on board. Additionally, umbrellas for beach use can be rented on board for an extra fee of €5-€7 per umbrella.


Typical Ferry Itinerary Overview

The cruise to Balos lasts about 7-8 hours in total. You’ll spend roughly an hour getting to the first stop, which will either be Balos or Gramvousa, depending on how busy it is and the schedule for the day. Moving from one spot to the other takes another 20 minutes.

The boats have different sizes, with some able to hold 300 people and others up to 1200. This means getting off the boat might take a while, sometimes 20-30 minutes for everyone to disembark.

You usually get to spend around 1.5 hours at Gramvousa and 2.5 hours at Balos. But remember, during the busy summer months, you might have less time at each place because of the number of visitors. The journey to Balos is really special, too. You’ll pass by places like Tersanas Cave, Agios Sozon, and see the natural beauty of Wild Gramvousa along the way.


On the Day of Departure

Make sure to arrive at Kissamos Port at least 30 minutes before your ferry’s departure to allow time for parking, finding your tickets if you haven’t already, and boarding. For drivers, there’s free parking available near the port.

If you’re planning to use bus or taxi services (see the “Going to Balos by Bus” section for more details), it’s crucial to align your travel plans with the ferry’s timetable. Make sure to select the appropriate departure time, ensuring you arrive at Kissamos Port well in advance of your ferry’s departure.

For your day at sea, don’t forget to pack sun protection and beach essentials like snacks, especially if you prefer not to buy onboard. The ferry offers conveniences such as snacks, coffee, and umbrella rentals for the beach, all available at an extra cost.

At Balos, you’ll find one snack bar and a toilet (€1 for use). Additionally, bring durable shoes as the terrain is rocky until you reach the beach and if you plan to hike to the castle of Gramvousa. For those sensitive to sea movement, carrying seasickness remedies is recommended to ensure a comfortable journey, especially in rough sea conditions.


Going to Balos with a Private Boat

Private Boats to Balos.


Why choose a Private boat for your Balos Adventure?

Let’s dive into the less stressful and more enjoyable way to visit Balos, shall we? Picture this: it’s the peak of summer, and you’re in Crete, eager to explore. What could be more delightful than setting sail to Balos on a private boat? Imagine cruising smoothly across the sea, feeling the gentle breeze on your face. Isn’t it tempting?

Why stick to the usual when you can leap from the boat into the crystal-clear waters at your own leisure? With a private boat, you’re the master of your schedule. You can reach Balos at the perfect time, avoiding the usual crowds and seeking out serene spots whenever you wish. Doesn’t this sound like the ultimate freedom?

And there’s more. Picture having a captain to navigate the waters, sharing fascinating tales about the area. Can you think of a better way to learn and enjoy simultaneously? Plus, with the option to request drinks, snacks, meals, and more, all your needs are catered to without a worry in the world. Isn’t it wonderful to have everything arranged for you?

Consider this: a private boat trip is ideal for those pressed for time but eager to see as much of Crete as possible. For those with a tight schedule, especially travelers who have just one day in Crete due to a multi-island cruise, a private boat offers a swift, enriching way to explore. It’s the ultimate solution for those yearning to uncover Crete’s hidden gems in the limited time they have.

In essence, a journey to Balos by private boat isn’t just a trip; it’s a chance to create lasting memories, tailored just for you. So, why not embrace this adventure and see where it takes you? After all, isn’t life about collecting moments, not things?

Varied Vessels: RIBs, Yachts, Motorboats, and License-Free Boats on the Journey to Balos.


Discover Your Ideal  Private Boat to Balos Beach

In Crete, for a private boat trip to Balos, there are various types of boats available: motorboats, RIBs, yachts, sailing boats, and license-free boats. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are available from specific ports, while others have a wider range of departure points. Additionally, there are differences in price ranges depending on the size, luxury, extras, and duration of the rental.


Available Departure Ports 

For your private trip to Balos, you have two main options: Chania Old Port and Kissamos, plus some extra spots like Falasarna and Kolymvari. Each place offers different boats, prices, and trip times. We’ll help you figure out which port is best for you, looking at what boats are available, how much they cost, and how far they are from you and Balos. This way, you can pick the perfect adventure for your friends or family, making sure everyone has a great time.

Embarkation and Disembarkation Tips for Private Boat Visitors 

When planning your private boat excursion to Balos, understanding the embarkation and disembarkation process is key to a smooth experience. Upon arrival at the port, you’ll be directed to a designated meeting point for your departure. Accessibility is a priority, so for individuals with mobility concerns, special arrangements can be made for boarding. It’s advisable to inform the boat tour company in advance about any such requirements. Private boats are typically equipped with a rear ladder, ensuring easy access to and from the water.

Once you arrive at Balos, the adventure continues with a short swim from the boat to the shore, as boats anchor approximately 60-80 meters from the beach in compliance with environmental regulations. For those who prefer not to swim, there’s an alternative to disembark at specific spots, similar to ferry landings, and walk to the beach.

However, for the complete sea experience, swimming from the boat is the recommended way to go. The same options are available at Gramvousa. You can embrace the adventure by swimming from the boat, or if you prefer, use a small dock to get off more comfortably.


Private Boat Trips to Balos Beach from Kissamos Port

Going to Balos Beach is easiest from Kissamos Port. Here’s why it’s a great choice:

  • Close and Quick: Kissamos is the closest big port to Balos. This means you can get there in just 30-40 minutes on a speed boat. Perfect for a short half-day trip to see Balos Lagoon, Gramvousa Island, and other cool spots. Or, choose a full day if you want to explore more.
  • Saves Money: Since it’s not far, trips from Kissamos usually cost less. You might even pick a smaller boat to save more money. This isn’t as easy from other ports, where longer trips mean bigger boats and higher costs.
  • Drive Yourself ?: Some places let you rent a boat to drive on your own. But, this might not be best if you’re not used to the sea or have little kids. The sea can get rough, and there are reefs near Balos. An experienced local skipper could make your trip safer and show you around.
  • Protected from Summer Winds: Kissamos Port offers a natural shield against the “Meltemia” winds, which are strong winds that typically blow from the northwest during the summer. This makes your trip to Balos smoother and more comfortable, as you’re less likely to encounter rough seas.
  • Nice Views: On the way to Balos, you’ll pass by cool places like Tersanas Cave and Agios Sozon, cruising close to the shore for a calm trip.

So, starting from Kissamos Port is not just easy but also lets you enjoy a lovely, less expensive boat trip to Balos with lots of beautiful sights along the way.

Fun and Adventure with a skippered RIB at Balos – The Perfect Choice for an Unforgettable Visit.


Kissamos to Balos: Boat Options, Prices, and Comparisons

Boat Type

Kissamos – Balos Cruise Time Duration Price Range Capacity
RIBs 30-45 mins 4-6 hours €450 – €850

Up to 10 people


40-50 mins 4-7 hours €650 – €1,200 Up to 9 people
Sailing Boats 1.5-2 hours 7-9 hours €1,000 – €1,300

Up to 8 people

Self-Driving Boats

45-60 mins 5-8 hours €200 – €300

Up to 4 people

Mobile Viewing Tip: Scroll horizontally to view all table details.


Explore Our Suggested Private Boat Trips from Kissamos

  1. The Ultimate Private Boat Tour to Balos Beach from Kissamos
  2. Kissamos to Balos Cruise with a Secret Touch of Hidden Beaches
  3. Balos Bliss: A 6-Hour Coastal Expedition from Kissamos
  4. Affordable Gramvousa-Balos Private Cruise from Kissamos
  5. Balos Sunset Cruise


Private Boat Trips to Balos Beach from Chania Old Port


Chania Old Port (explore more) is a beautiful spot known worldwide. It has a special style that brings many visitors every year. Lots of cruise ships also stop here. Plus, there are many places to stay like hotels, Airbnbs, and villas close by. So, if you’re staying near, why not take a boat trip to Balos? You can walk to the port without needing a taxi or bus.

This choice is perfect for those who want to spend a whole day on a boat and see other lovely places on the way to Balos. You can pick from different boats, like fast RIBs, lux cabin motorboats and big, fancy yachts. (But sailing boats aren’t good for this trip because Balos is far.)

This option is also perfect for those visiting Chania on a cruise ship who have limited time and want to explore Chania Old Port quickly while also catching a glimpse of Crete’s beauty.

Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s a special adventure you do only once. Make it special! If you’re in a big group (up to 9), you can split the cost. Believe me, it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss!

Chania’s Old Port, viewed from a private boat.


Chania to Balos with a Private Boat: Options, Prices, and Comparisons

Boat Type

Chania – Balos Cruise Time Duration Price Range Capacity


1.5 hours 5-8 hours €1000 – €1250 Up to 9 people
Cabin Motorboats 1.5 hours 5-8 hours €1250 – €1,850

Up to 7 people

Lux. Yachts 1.5  hours 7-9 hours €2.500 – €3.500

Up to 9 people

Mobile Viewing Tip: Scroll horizontally to view all table details.


What to expect

When planning your private boat tour from Chania to Balos, there are several key points to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and memorable experience. Here’s what to expect:

Before your journey begins, aim to arrive at the departure point at least 15 minutes early. Boat tour companies typically require a deposit when you book your trip. To avoid disappointment, especially during the busy summer months, it’s crucial to make your arrangements 1-2 months in advance. This preparation ensures you secure a spot with a reputable boat tour provider.

On the day of your adventure, you’ll need to settle the remaining balance before setting sail. Payment options are convenient and varied, often including POS systems, bank transfers, PayPal, Revolut, payment links, or cash. Opting for an early morning departure is wise for several reasons: you’ll sidestep the larger crowds, enjoy cooler temperatures, and usually encounter calmer seas.

Your tour will first take you to the breathtaking Balos and Gramvousa. On the way back from Balos, the boat will stop at beautiful places like Menies, Chironisia, and secret caves. You’ll see many different sides of Crete – beaches with soft sand, cliffs, and sea colors changing from deep blue to bright green. It’s like a mini adventure on the sea, giving you a taste of Crete’s amazing coast.

To enhance your experience, snacks and drinks are provided, with the option of a barbecue or a meal upon request. This ensures that your culinary needs are as well catered to as your quest for adventure and beauty.

Embrace this opportunity to explore the natural wonders of Crete from the comfort of a private boat, making your trip to Balos not just a journey, but a highlight of your visit to Crete.

Explore Our Suggested Private Boat Trips from Chania Old Port

  1. All Day Private Boat Trip to Balos Beach & Gramvousa Island from Chania
  2. Private Boat Tour to Balos Beach from Chania -half day

Shades of Paradise: The Vibrant Blues and Greens of Balos.


Private Boat Trips to Balos Beach from Kolymvari

If you’re considering a private boat trip to Balos, consider setting sail from Kolymvari. This peaceful fishing village sits snugly between Chania and Kissamos. It’s perfect for those staying in areas like Agia Marina, Platanias, Maleme, or right here in Kolymvari, especially if you want to skip the traffic in Chania’s center.

Starting from Kolymvari isn’t just about convenience. It’s a fantastic choice as it also offers a gateway to the Rodopou Peninsula’s treasures. Here, you can explore secret caves, bask on the secluded shores of Menies beach, and uncover hidden gems along the way to Balos.

The region boasts a variety of accommodations. From hotels to villas, there’s something for everyone. Hotels such as Avra, Minoan Palace, and Euphoria are not only comfortable but also conveniently located near Kolymvari, the departure point for your boat trip to Balos, making them an ideal choice for proximity to your seafaring adventure.

Kolymvari Port and Village: A Comprehensive View.


Kolymvari to Balos with a Private Boat: Options, Prices, and Comparisons

Boat Type

Kolymvari – Balos Cruise Time Duration Price Range Capacity


60 – 70 min 5-8 hours €1000 – €1200

Up to 9 people

Lux Motorboats

60-70 min 4-7 hours €1250 – €1,650

Up to 7 people


 70 – 80 min 7-9 hours €2500 – €3000

Up to 10 people

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Explore Our Suggested Private Boat Trips from Kolymvari

  1. All Day Private Boat Tour to Balos Lagoon from Kolymvari
  2. Discover the Wonders of Balos and Gramvousa from Kolymvari – half day


Private Boat Trips to Balos Beach from Falasarna

A trip from Falasarna to Balos presents a unique opportunity. For those staying near Falasarna, in a villa or hotel, consider launching your journey to Balos from the small port here (open location in google maps). Starting your trip from Falasarna to Balos is a practical choice, especially if you’re planning to visit Falasarna by car. This approach allows you to enjoy the stunning Falasarna beach by car before or after embarking on your boat journey to Balos.

Explore Falasarna Further: Interested in learning more about Falasarna beach, including tips on how to get there and what makes it so special? Learn more here.

Interestingly, when northeast or east winds are strong, the sea towards Balos tends to stay calm. This natural phenomenon makes the boat trip smoother, even when it’s windy. The distance to Balos is roughly 10 nautical miles, translating to a quick cruise time of about 30 minutes.

There are various options in the area for those interested. You might find RIBs, motorboats, and a traditional fishing boat available for semi-private tours. For those seeking a bit of adventure, jet ski safaris are also an option. Our goal is to inform you about these possibilities, allowing you to explore Balos in a way that best suits your preferences and adventurous spirit!


Discover our Private Boat Tours from Falasarna to Balos

  1. Private Boat Excursion from Falasarna to Balos & Gramvousa
  2. Full Day Cruise from Falasarna to Balos and Gramvousa


Final Thoughts

We’ve walked through every way to get to Balos, from driving and hiking to catching a ferry or enjoying a private boat. Balos is not just a place but an experience waiting for you. Each option offers its own adventure, whether it’s the thrill of the hike or the chill of the sea breeze on a boat.

Remember, whether you’re driving, hiking, or sailing, planning is key to a smooth trip. And if you’re thinking about a boat tour, SEAZE THE DAY knows the waters well. We’re here to help you find the perfect boat trip without making it feel like a sales pitch. Just think of us as your local friend, guiding you to the best choices for exploring Balos.

Choose your adventure, and let Balos be the highlight of your visit to Crete.

“Safe travels and sea you on the sea!”