Looking for a boat to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa in Crete as a day trip idea in affordable prices? Then you came to the right place! Our boat rental company, Crown Cruises Crete, specializes in creating fantastic summer itineraries that will become the highlight of your vacation. Crete, the largest Greek island, is a treasure trove of natural beauty and historical charm. While its lovely seaside cities and ancient ruins attract many visitors, some of its most breathtaking landscapes lie off the beaten path, accessible only by boat. Among these landscapes are Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island! Both destinations have a unique blend of history, adventure and extraordinary natural beauty.

On this blog, we are going to talk about what makes Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa so special! Also, we will analyze why they should be on your travel bucket list this summer.

👉 Book a private cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa here!

Why Visit Balos and Gramvousa?

  1. Unspoiled Natural Beauty: Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island remain relatively untouched by modern development. In fact, the entire Gramvousa Peninsula is part of the Natura 2000 project, which stands as Europe’s largest network of protected areas. Visitors have a chance to experience Crete’s unspoiled landscapes and pristine beaches.
  1. Historical Significance: Gramvousa’s 16th century Venetian fortress provides a glimpse into Crete’s storied past, blending history with breathtaking scenery.
  1. Adventure and Exploration: Whether hiking to the fortress or lounging on Balos’ sandy shores, these destinations cater to both adventure seekers and those seeking relaxation.

balos beach

Picture by: ellepistock

Balos Lagoon: Nature’s Paradise

Firstly, Balos Lagoon epitomizes the raw beauty of nature preserved in its pristine state. Tucked away on the northwest coast of Crete, this natural wonder has shallow waters that transition from turquoise to emerald green, creating a mesmerizing palette against the backdrop of white sand beaches. Additionally, snorkelers and swimmers have the chance to encounter colorful fish darting among vibrant seagrass beds. Its secluded coves and untouched landscapes provide a tranquil escape, perfect for unwinding and connecting with nature in its purest form.

Our boat to Balos Lagoon begins at the old port of Chania at around 09:30 AM. As we glide through the mesmerizing waters, the rugged coastline of Crete gradually recedes, giving way to the azure expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. The journey itself is a spectacle, offering panoramic views of the coastline.

After a leisurely cruise, the boat rounds a corner, revealing the first glimpse of Balos Lagoon. Nestled between Cape Tigani and the rugged peninsula of Gramvousa, this natural wonder captivates with its shallow turquoise waters and pristine white sands. The lagoon is framed by steep cliffs and dotted with small islets, creating a scene straight out of a postcard.

gramvousa island

Picture by: Nadiia

Gramvousa Island: A Journey through Time

From Balos Lagoon, our adventure continues with a short boat ride to Gramvousa Island. Atop a sheer cliff, an imposing 16th century Venetian fortress rises dramatically, offering breathtaking views of the surroundings. The fortress is a testament to the island’s history, having served as a haven for pirates and a stronghold against Ottoman invaders. Exploring its labyrinthine corridors and crumbling ramparts transports visitors to a bygone era, where tales of conquest and resilience echo through the centuries.

The shipwreck on Gramvousa Island is a captivating tale of both maritime misfortune and natural beauty. It adds an eerie yet fascinating element to the island’s charm. One of the most popular theories suggests that the ship ran aground during a storm or navigational error, leaving it stranded on the rocky shore. Over time, the elements have weathered the vessel, turning it into a haunting yet mesmerizing relic of the sea. Visitors to Gramvousa Island are drawn not only to its stunning beaches and panoramic views but also to the mystery and history surrounding the shipwreck. For many, exploring the area around the wreck provides a tangible connection to the island’s maritime past and serves as a reminder of the unpredictable forces of nature that have shaped its coastline.

During the boat to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa, we provide snorkeling equipment (a mask and diving fins). This allows you to explore the vibrant underwater world of these destinations at your leisure. Additionally, we offer a half day menu for your convenience. As the day draws to a close, we return to the old port of Chania around 17:30. We do however ensure you have ample time to soak in the stunning views one last time.


To conclude, a boat to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island are not just simple destinations. They are unique sea experiences that enrich the soul and ignite the imagination! From the beauty of Balos’ turquoise waters to the historical intrigue of Gramvousa’s fortress, these sites capture the essence of Crete’s captivating landscape. Therefore, a visit to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island promises an unforgettable journey that belongs on every traveler’s bucket list.

👉If you are interested in more destinations across Chania, Crete, check out our available private cruises on this page.