Prepare to be mesmerised at Crete’s Balos beach

Balos captures your heart


Balos captures your heart twice over: Once with a heart-stopping view that blends blues in a way that scarcely seems possible, and then from up close as a beach where you can swim or explore nature with equal pleasure.

It’s hard to know what’s more impressive: The magical blend of blues you’re presented with as you approach Balos from above, or the experience of wading into the still waters of the lagoon, surrounded by all that white sand and shimmering flecks of pink from crushed shells. One way or another, Balos is a beach that has rightly become a landmark of Europe as much as it has of Crete.

Situated at the northwestern tip of the Crete, by the Gramvousa peninsula, Balos should be inked in on everyone’s wishlist when they visit the island.

The exotic greens and blues of the water, the sweeping sandbanks and backdrop of Cape Tigani, and all the wild beauty of a Natura 2000-protected area… It’s an Instagrammer’s dream – nowhere more so than at the viewpoint as you walk down to the beach.

The water’s shallow but if you want to snorkel, head to the boundaries of the lagoon, where it gets deeper. And don’t forget to explore once you’re here. The unique topography supports rare species of flora and fauna, including birds such as Eleonora falcons, shags and cormorants nesting in the nearby caves. Just please tread carefully so as not to disrupt the animals. The wider area also offers shelter to the Mediterranean monk seal and the caretta caretta sea turtle.

You can stroll across the peninsula to the shrub-covered Cape Tigani, narrowly connected to the mainland, and climb to the chapel of Agios Pantes. The sunset view from here is fantastic.

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