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Gramvousa

Gramvousa: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

1. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Go on a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon by a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and spend the next 1.5 hours here. Enjoy the magical environment created by the Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island, that sits atop a steep rock. You can swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your 2.5 hours at the beach.

Balos Gramvousa Cruise with Transfer and Boat Ticket

2. Balos Gramvousa Cruise with Transfer and Boat Ticket

Experience a full-day boat trip to the westernmost part of Crete and visit two of the most famous landmarks, Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa island. Spend time paddling and enjoying the sun at Balos Lagoon and have the chance to hike up to the castle on Gramvousa on this day cruise. Be picked up by an air-conditioned bus at a pickup point close to your hotel and you be driven to Kissamos port in Kasteli. There you will board a large comfortable boat with an open deck and a bar-restaurant. Begin your cruise along the coast and see the dramatic rockface from the water. Reach the well-known Balos Lagoon and be fascinated by the white sand which covers the area and the shallow clear waters. Relax here for a couple of hours and enjoy the divine nature. Sunbathe, swim, snorkel or even hike to the hills surrounding the beach and take memorable photos. Next, float over to Gramvousa island which used to be a pirate's cove. Enjoy at least 90 minutes of free time to explore. Choose to hike for 20 minutes to the Venetian castle which is built on a steep 137m high rock. Enjoy panoramic views over the Aegean sea and unique landscape from here. Finally, return to the beach, and take a quick dip before hopping back on the boat to Kissamos port. From here the bus will be waiting to take you back to your hotel area. Trip Itinerary 10:40 – departure from Kissamos port 11:20 – arrival at Balos Lagoon (or Gramvousa island depending on the captain's decision based on weather conditions) 13:30 – departure from Balos for Gramvousa island (or vice versa) 13:50 – arrival to Balos lagoon 16:30 – departure from Balos 17:45 – Arrival to Kissamos port

From Chania Areas: Balos Beach & Gramvousa Island Day Trip

3. From Chania Areas: Balos Beach & Gramvousa Island Day Trip

Leave Chania behind and head on a day trip to Kissamos on a guided tour. Enjoy a boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon Beach and admire the landscape and panoramic views. Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pickup point with the bus. Depending on the option you choose, enjoy pickup from Chania, Kalyves, or Almyrida. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. If you've chosen the option leaving from Kalyves and Almyrida, your boat ticket and Fortress entrance are included. At about 10:40 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals, or snacks (at your own expense). You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened for over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa, you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat to purchase food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to your starting point in time for dinner.

From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

4. From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

Start with pickup from Heraklion or the surrounding area. Drive over to Kastelli by bus to board your boat. Balos are Gramvousa are located on the West part of the island. Depending on the area your hotel is located is around 4 hours by bus to the place where the boats depart. Embark the boat from the village of Kasteli and head over to Balos Lagoon and enjoy plenty of time to swim in the quiet crystal clear waters, walk across the golden sand beach and soak in the sun as you relax. Cruise across the western Cretan sea and arrive at the tranquil Gramvousa. Swim along the coast and stroll up to the castle on the hill to admire panoramic views of the natural landscape as you hike up to that point. The drivers will be awaiting you at the port, in order to begin the drive back to Heraklion.

From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing Cruise with Lunch

5. From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing Cruise with Lunch

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Aegean sea and admire stunning views as you sail for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Take time to swim and explore these incredible locations at your own pace. Start your morning at Kissamos port and board a private sailboat. After learning the safety procedures on board from your experienced skipper, set sail on a private cruise for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Relax on board while taking in the spectacular views of the Cretan coast. Learn a bit about sailing on the trip with the help of your skipper. After 1.5 hours at sea, reach Balos Lagoon. Soak up the sun on the pristine shores of Balos Beach or even go for a swim in the clear water. Next stop: Gramvousa Island. Hike to the extraordinary castle built high up on the island and admire panoramic views of the horizon from above. Take your time exploring this rugged island or practice your snorkeling. At noon, relax on deck and enjoy a delicious lunch cooked on board. If it's too hot, take a break in the cabins. Admire the beautiful views of the sea once more as you head for the port.

Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

6. Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

Set off on a day trip by bus and boat to the magnificent Balos Lagoon and the Gramvousa island, on the northwestern coast of Crete. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the port of Kissamos and board the boat for a cruise with swim stops and a visit to a castle. After an early morning pickup near your hotel, sit back and relax as you pass through beautiful scenery to get to the Port of Kissamos. There, you'll pay for the cruise and board the boat which will take you in the sea for about an hour till you reach Gramvousa island. Once at Gramvousa, you'll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the Venetian Fortress which offers breathtaking views from the top. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat to take advantage of the bar restaurant or you can relax at the beachside. Afterward, the boat will continue for about 20 minutes to reach the Balos Lagoon. There, you'll have 2.5 hours of free time on the beach. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe and explore the dunes in the background. In the afternoon, the boat will begin the cruise back to Kissamos and from there you will be driven back to your Hotel area in Rethymno.

Rethymno: Balos and Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

7. Rethymno: Balos and Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

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.

Crete: Balos & Gramvousa Boat Cruise including Bus Transfer

8. Crete: Balos & Gramvousa Boat Cruise including Bus Transfer

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.

From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

9. From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

Book a private rigid inflatable boat (RIB) vessel and an experienced skipper to explore the western parts of Crete with your family or friends. Departing from Kissamos Port, board your boat and ride the waves to the famous Balos Lagoon and to the historic Gamvousa Island. The skipper will take you on an adventurous or relaxed ride (according to your preferences) and provide drinks and snacks on the way.   At your first stop, Balos, you’ll anchor and explore the area’s white sand beaches and vivid turquoise waters for 1.5 hours. You’ll then head to Gramvousa, an island with a medieval fortress at the top of the hill. There, you can sunbathe, snorkel, and swim for another 1.5 hours before returning to Kissamos.

Heraklion: Gramvousa & Balos Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

10. Heraklion: Gramvousa & Balos Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

Start your day with pick-up from the nearest point to your hotel. Drive towards the west side of Crete in a bus to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After your escort gives you all the necessary information about the cruise, arrive at the port to board the ferry boat to Gramvousa. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:30 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa on the ferry, which has a restaurant with self-service meals and snacks. Sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge for the journey of approximately 45 minutes. During the cruise, marvel at the cliff edges of the wildest part of Crete and learn about the history of the island with the onboard commentary played through the speakers in various languages. Upon arrival in Gramvousa, either have a swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. Enjoy 2.5 hours on Gramvousa before you continue to the lagoon of Balos, which is 20 minutes away. As soon as you arrive at the lagoon, you'll have a little less than 3 hours to enjoy the area. You may go back to the boat at any time for food or also hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. In the early evening, board the boat to head back to the port of Kissamos, where a bus will be waiting to return you to your hotel area.

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What people are saying about Gramvousa

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 2,258 reviews

Everything was great - the tour company and guide were polite and informative. We had a few hours at every stop - plenty for some swimming or sunbathing. The only negative is that the price for the boat is not included. That might be my mistake for not noticing though because it is listed in the description.

The Balos lagoon is something unique and worth a visit if you are spending a holiday in Crete. The excursion ship is huge, there are toilets, two bars and you can rent umbrellas on board. Before getting on the ship you need to go to the ticket office to pay the entrance ticket (1 € per person) to Balos.

Very nice trip and very well organized, great value for the price. Make sure to bring water shoes and running shoes to walk through the rocks. Beautiful must see beaches.

We had a very nice day. Seen a lot of beautiful things and the service on the boat is also great. There is plenty to get on board. (For a fee of course) Really worth it!

Pleasent boat ride, good food at resonable prices, very good organised, timetable very precise, kind stuff. Would do it again.