Things to do in
Kissamos

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Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos Port

1. Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos Port

The boat departs from Kissamos Port and sails for about an hour in the bay. Youll first 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, the boat will sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. The landscape is breathtaking against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon and Imeri Gramvousa. The boat shall arrive at the small port of Gramvousa, where you shall stay for about 2 hours. The location of Gramvousa, the Cretan nature, the legends, and the turbulent history of the area exude a magical aura.  The landscape is spectacular and the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. The highest point on the island, atop a steep rock, at an altitude of 137 meters, is dominated by the famous castle of Gramvousa. You may also 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 2-hour stop on Gramvousa, the boat will depart for the Balos Lagoon, which will be reached after approximately 20 minutes. Balos is listed as one of the best beaches in the world. This exotic beach lagoon and rare natural monument are situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. You can swim in the lukewarm, turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you. You will have the chance to stay in this paradise for about 3 hours. 

From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

2. From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

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.

From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Kissamos, Balos & Gramvousa

3. From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Kissamos, Balos & Gramvousa

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.

From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

4. From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

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.

From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

5. 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.

From Rethymno: Chania and Falasarna Beach Tour

6. From Rethymno: Chania and Falasarna Beach Tour

Visit the city of Chania and Falasarna Beach on this guided tour. En route to Chania, the tour leader will provide important information about the day. Chania, one of the oldest cities in Crete, is known for its diverse cultural heritage. Explore the old town, see the archeological ruins and learn about its fascinating history. Walk along the narrow alleyways and discover the beauty of this popular city. Head to Falasarna Beach, located on the western coast of Crete. It is ranked as the best beach in Crete and one of the top 10 beaches in Europe. Relax on the light-colored sand and swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean.

From Rethymno: Roundtrip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Lagoon

7. From Rethymno: Roundtrip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Lagoon

Make your cruise worry-free with a roundtrip transfer from Rethymno to Kissamos port in an air-conditioned bus. Ride in a well-maintained and comfortable bus and leave the navigation to your local driver. Have an onboard guide during your trip.  Be picked up in the morning from your accommodation in Rethymno. Sit back and relax on the drive to the Kissamos port where you can purchase a cruise ticket to swim in crystal-clear water of Balos Lagoon and see the Venetian castle of Gramvousa.  Let your driver worry about traffic and getting to the port on time while you relax. Once you return to the port on the boat, your driver will be waiting to whisk you back to your accommodation in Rethymno. 

Georgioupolis: Bus Tour to Kissamos Port/Balos Cruise

8. Georgioupolis: Bus Tour to Kissamos Port/Balos Cruise

Enjoy a scenic day trip to Gramvousa and Balos Beach. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at your hotel. Drive to either Kissamos or Kastelli Port along the National Road. Board your boat and sail to the Gramvousa island. This small scenic island is known for its Venetian fortress, and the exquisite views along the shore. Choose to take a dip in the Island’s crystal clear waters, or take a hike to up to the Venetian castle. After exploring the island, head back to your boat and sail 15 minutes to the Lagoon of Balos, one of Crete’s most photographed beaches. Take a relaxing stroll along the lagoon’s white sand beaches. Swim in the lagoon’s idylic waters. Afterward return to your boat, return to port, and then finally drive back to your hotel after a day of sun and surf.

Kissamos: Balos and Gramvousa Private Sailing Trip with Meal

9. Kissamos: Balos and Gramvousa Private Sailing Trip with Meal

Arrive to Kissamos Port by car or regional bus and board the sailboat with the green sails. Enjoy the company of only your private group and the crew and skipper as you cruise along the coast to Balos Lagoon and then to Imeri Gramvousa Island.  After about 1.5 hours of sailing, reach the lagoon, home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Swim and snorkel in the turquoise water, or treat yourself to some relaxing and sunbathing on the white sand for the next two hours.  Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Cretan lunch onboard the ship. Your next stop is the island of Imeri Gramvousa, where you can enjoy the stunning beach and swim in the crystal-clear water. If you'd like to snap an amazing photo of the Balos Lagoon, you will have the opportunity from the top of Gramvousa after a leisurely, 20-minute hike. At the top, built into the rock, you will spot the Venetian Castle, one of the most famous fortresses in Crete.  The views from here are seriously breathtaking. After a full day of sun and sea, your skipper will start the journey back to Kissamos Port. Onboard, rest or nap in the covered cabin, hang out in the covered dining area, and utilize the bathroom with shower.

From Kissamos: Balos and Gramvousa Private Cruise with Lunch

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Kissamos

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,824 reviews

Me and my 4 friends celebrated my 50th Birthday on this lovely yacht.All Our trip was amazing, beautiful lagoon and breathtaking views .Owner of the yacht was so professional and caring. We visited fortress with beautiful views.After we had lovely swim ,followed by very tasty Cretan lunch.Our trip continued to lovely lagoon.Where we had rest and swim.Never forget my Birthday. Highly recommending to everyone who planning to visit sunny Crete.

It was amazingly beautiful! As usual well organized by Mecky. Fun bus ride included. When the sun shines, the sea shines in an incredible turquoise. Think of cash for shipping.

Beautiful trip. Well settled. Everything ran on time. And balos was beautiful despite the less weather still enjoyed.

not so good having to exchange the tickets for the voucher in advance…..

Balos absolutely great place and the ship had a good setting