Gramvousa

Enter your dates to find available activities

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 2 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 3 hours at the beach.

Crete: Balos Gramvousa Day Trip with Boat Ticket & Transfer

2. Crete: Balos Gramvousa Day Trip with Boat Ticket & Transfer

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: Balos & Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

3. From Chania: Balos & Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

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 pick-up point with the bus. 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. At about 10:20 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. 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 for 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 Chania is approximately 7.00 PM.

From Rethymno: Balos/Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

4. From Rethymno: Balos/Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

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

5. 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: Gramvousa & Balos Boat Cruise with Bus Transfer

6. Crete: Gramvousa & Balos Boat Cruise with Bus Transfer

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Bus Drive to Kasteli Port: 4-4.5 hours (average). Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. There will be a short stop on the way for restroom, toilet and snack – 20 minutes 1st stop: Kasteli The town of Kastelli at the western end of Crete. That's where the boat sails from, to Gramvoussa Peninsula and Balos lagoon. Boat Trip: 1 hour 2nd stop: Gramvousa Peninsula – 1 hour 30 minutes After the cruise across western Cretan sea, the boat arrives at Gramvousa.Walk up to the castle on the hill and take photos of the breathtaking panoramic view and Balos lagoon. Enjoy some time to swim and sunbathe by the coast. Boat Trip: 15 minutes 4th stop: Balos Lagoon – 2 hours 30 minutes After the cruise from Gramvousa, the boat will arrive at Balos lagoon. Travelers will have plenty of time to enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters of Balos, walk across the golden sand beach and explore the nature around. Lunch: In the meantime, the restaurant of the boat will be open so clients can enjoy their meal any time between 12:00 and 17:00. Boat Trip: 1 hour 5th stop:Kasteli Arrival by boat back at the port of Kasteli. End of the tour – Return to resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ. Return Bus Drive to resorts: 4-4.5 hours (average) *There will be a short stop on the way back for restroom and snack – 20 minutes

Crete: Balos & Gramvousa Boat Cruise including Bus Transfer

7. 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: Private Boat Cruise to Historic Pirate Island

8. From Kissamos: Private Boat Cruise to Historic Pirate Island

Enjoy the clear blue sea off the coast of Crete discover a bit of local history on this boat cruise from Kissamos. Visit Balos and admire the beauty of this protected nature reserve as well as the historic pirate island of Gramousa. Enter a historic castle that was once home to pirates and revolutionaries. See the site of a wrecked ship that became stranded in the area and sank back in 1968. Go for a refreshing swim or snorkel in the beautiful surroundings off the Cretan coast. The routes we follow depending on the weather and other factors. The primary objective is passenger safety, so we follow the routes based on the weather report and the Coast Guard instructions. We have designed these routes in order to see as much as possible sightseeing during the excursion. We want you to have fun and to offer you an experience that will be unforgettable. The starting point of our excursions is the port of Kissamos; just 10 miles from Balos.

From Kissamos: Balos and Gramvousa Private Cruise with Lunch

9. From Kissamos: Balos and Gramvousa Private 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.

From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gramvousa

Want to discover all there is to do in Gramvousa? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gramvousa

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 2,258 reviews

It was a beautiful experience including the narrow roads challenge but our driver Costa was an excellent driver and pull it through safely. The whole journey was smooth and pleasant. Costa and the tour guide Anastasia are both excellent. They made sure that we had an enjoyable trip to Elafonisi. The island is beautiful with a crystal clear water. I would recommend to anyone who travel to Crete to not miss this experience.

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa are one of the most beautiful places to see in Crete. Roughly 2 hrs in Gramvousa to hike up (optional) and swim in the beach. And almost 3hrs to explore the Balos Lagoon which is a large area to swim/explore. The lagoon has shallow waters and you can literally just lie down in the water and enjoy the scenery and the breeze. Tip: Bring water shoes, some areas can be rocky in both places.

From Heraklion to Kissamos about 2:30 hrs by bus on the highway was tiring but once you arrive at Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island it is totally worth the long journey. TIP: There are certain viewpoints in both places, but they are 20 minutes away, you should think twice about whether you do this or rather swim on the fantastically beautiful beach and enjoy the water.

Guides were great and clear communication A little late but I didn’t mind as we met at a coffee shop and I sat and drank my coffee

We had the best time and extremely value for money. Would definitely recommend. The island was even more beautiful in person!