1. Greece
  2. Crete
  3. Rethymno
  4. Balos Beach

From Rethymno: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay

Product ID: 107590
Discover the westernmost tip of Crete on a scenic bus and boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay. Dip your toes in the soft white sand of some of the most beautiful beaches you ever have seen!
About this activity
Duration: 12 hours
Starting time 7:30 AM
Skip the ticket line
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English, German, Russian

Pickup included

Hotel pickup is available in the areas of Panormo, Scaleta, Adele, Platanias, Missiria, Rethymno town, Atsipopoulo, Kavros, and Georgioupoli.
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants, date and language:



  • Swim in the crystal clear waters of Balos Bay lagoon
  • Climb the Venetian Fortress on Gramvousa Island for unique views
  • Relax on gorgeous Gramvousa Beach
Full description
Depart Rethymno at approximately 07:45 and travel by bus along the new national road towards the westernmost tip of Crete. Pass the bay of Souda and the former Cretan capital of Chania before your arrival in Kissamos.

Upon arrival, climb aboard a boat and cross to Balos Bay at the northernmost tip of the peninsula. Relax on the 1-hour boat trip, and get 2.5 hours at Balos Bay to enjoy the soft white sands and unique blue and green waters of the lagoon.

Next, take a 20-minute boat ride to Gramvousa Island for plenty of time to enjoy an unforgettable swim in the crystal clear waters. If you are feeling energetic, take an optional 137-meter climb up to the 16th-century Venetian Fortress for an incomparable view of the surrounding surroundings.

Enjoy approximately 1.5 hours at peace on Gramvousa Island, and then take a 1-hour boat ride back to Kissamos. Upon arrival, continue to Rethymno by bus at the end of the laid-back tour.
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Bus ticket
  • Guide in English, German, French or Russian
What’s Not Included
  • Boat ticket (€27)
  • Entrance ticket to the Venetian Fortress (€1)
  • Lunch (available for purchase on boat)
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Prepare for the activity

Important information
What to bring
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
Know before you go
• Boat tickets are not included (27€ to be paid on site); the local partner will make sure you don't wait at a ticket line
• Walking shoes are necessary for the climb to the Venetian Fortress (entry fee €1 paid on site)
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 176 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.3 / 5
  • Organization
    4.5 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.2 / 5
  • Safety
    4.5 / 5
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The most beautiful beach I've ever seen... The program is well-organized, it takes 12 hours as it is indicated. You can spend around 3 hours on Balos beach and 1,5 hours in Gramvousa island. We didn't go up to the ruins, we chose a beach as well in Gramvousa, because it would be very hard, the temperature was ~35°. The day is fully suggested, you must be there and see yourself.

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August 2, 2019

Great day!

Me and my boyfriend had a lovely day! The guide was great (George) and we really appreciated the bus picking us up and dropping us off very close to the hotel! Would really reccomend. Would advice to bring shoe to swim in for beach no 2 since it is very rocky and we saw some sea urchins. But tottaly worth it it was so beautiful!

July 29, 2019

Highly recommend!

We had this tour just over a week ago and really enjoyed it! The bus came to our stop only a 2 minute stop away from our hotel so it was incredibly easy and quick for us to get to. Prior to the actual tour, one of the tour guides was available over email to answer any queries and did so very quickly (Thank you for your help, Markos!). It is an early start, but definitely worth it as getting a later boat tour is MUCH busier. A bit of a long drive but interesting commentary provided and very scenic :) It was lovely to come off the boat at the end of the day and have reassurance of reliable transport getting back. The lagoon is beautiful but there's absolutely no shade (there are umbrellas for rent though!) and there is food to purchase on the boat as well as toilets so no worries there. It is a very long day but we're really happy we went and with the service provided. Remember your suncream, and your money for the boat ticket as this is a separate fee!

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July 25, 2019

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Product ID: 107590