Day trip

Crete: Balos & Gramvousa Boat Cruise including Bus Transfer

4.3 / 5

28 reviews

Activity provider: Altino Travel

Crete: Balos & Gramvousa Boat Cruise including Bus Transfer

Activity provider: Altino Travel

From US$ 56.47 per person

Journey to an exciting pirate island, adventure through the remains of its Venetian fortress and take a refreshing swim in a stunning lagoon on this boat trip.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 14 - 17 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
English, German, French, Polish
Pickup included
The exact pickup time and location will be sent via email the day before the activity takes place.


  • Feel the warmth of the sun and take in glorious landscapes on this boat trip
  • Enjoy a cruise to the island of Gramvousa and explore its Venetian fortress
  • Swim, relax and enjoy the amazing scenery of the protected Balos lagoon
  • See how Crete is rising out the water on one side, and sinking on the other
  • Learn about the history of the area thanks to your knowledgeable guide
Full description

Take in the beauty of Crete and its nearby islands on this boat trip. Travel to the pirate’s island, Gramvousa, explore the Venetian fortress, and head to the idyllic Baloos lagoon, filled with rare species of fauna and flora, for a refreshing swim.

Your trip starts with a bus to Kissamos. From the port of Kissamos, the boat will depart to Gramvousa. While on the boat trip, you’ll observe the geological phenomenon of Crete, with the island rising out of the sea on the west side – and sinking in the east.

Your first stop is the island Gramvousa, with its Venetian fortress, built between 1579 and 1584 by the Venetian occupiers. Take your time exploring the fortress, which was also used by pirates – a legend claims that there’s a great treasure buried there.

An old shipwreck near the beach has become a part of the landscape, and the turquoise water is ideal for snorkeling.

The next stop is the Balos lagoon, with its white sand and shallow, warm water, perfect for a swim. Due to millions of crushed shells, in many places, the sand has a lovely pink hue.

The protected area houses many rare species of flora and fauna, such as Eleonora falcons, shags, and cormorants. Swim or explore, then head back after your full experience around these islands.

  • Pickup and drop-off
  • Boat ticket to Gramvousa & Balos
  • Guide
  • Municipality fee
  • Food & Drinks
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • You must fill out a travel information form

Select participants and date



Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Swimwear
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen

Not allowed

  • Pets
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 /5

based on 28 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Strating the trip from Malia it is the best choice to get the transport organized like this! Everything went smoothly, Balos was amazing: in 2:40 minutes you have time for a dip, sunbathing and a hike to see the lagoon from a higher viewpoint. You can hire chair+umbrella against the sun, there’s is a bufe and toilet (1€) to use. For Gramvousa, you get 1 hour to either swim&snorkelling or have a little hike to see the remaining of the fort. Although many people did the hike in flip-flops, it slowed down the queue so please just bring a pair of sport shoes/light hiking shoes! It’s easy to slip. On the boat, there’s toilet (free) and you can have drinks,food&snacks (fruits and salad too) from their kitchen. The boat is collecting a lot of people so it’s a little tricky to get a seat all together if you go with family or group of friends. Negotiate or be flexible. And don’t hold a seat just for your bag,please! Our guide,Elena was amazing and took good care of us!:)

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August 5, 2022

A great excursion to do absolutely if you are in Crêtes. It takes about 4 hours to go and 4 hours to return. Balos is really beautiful but too bad we didn't stay a little longer but barely 2 hours. As for Gramvoussa, it's a great island but you have to be mentally prepared if you want to climb the mountain to reach the fortress! A big thank you to the guide Elena for the day and her little historical facts along the way.

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July 30, 2022

As expected, the trip was very long but accompanied by a lot of different information, which I really liked. I would have liked a little more time on Gramvousa, since the ascent to the castle already takes at least 20 minutes, of course you also want to spend 10-20 minutes there and the descent also takes 20 minutes. So there is little or no time to go into the beautiful water and cool off. Otherwise I really enjoyed the trip.

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July 14, 2022

Product ID: 412176