Balos Beach was one adventure on our “must do” list on our trip to Crete. We arrived in Crete on September 23rd 2019 and early the next morning set out. We were staying at Domes Noruz in Chania and the drive was about an hour and a half away. The Domes Noruz is an amazing place and we left after a bountiful buffet breakfast overlooking the Sea.
Balos Beach is on the far Northwest tip of Chania. The drive was about an hour and a half from our hotel. When you leave the Chania area, drive west on the National Highway until you find the town of Kissamos. From there follow the road to the small village of Kaliviani. Next you will take an unimproved road to the Beach parking lot. If you look you will see signs pointing the way and we had no problem finding the road to the parking lot. Do know that at some point on the road there is a place where they collect a fee for road maintenance. The fee was 1 euro per person.
The Drive In
The dirt road is narrow, steep and at times rocky with hairpin turns and spectacular views. It is a bit harrowing at times but very manageable. I did not feel scared at any point, but it is a road to be taken seriously by driving slow and cautious. Of course, I wasn’t driving so I could enjoy the view. One thing that was different for us is you must be very careful of goats in the road. They are everywhere!! We found ourself in a goat traffic jam a couple of time.
The parking lot is easy to find and since it was early we found a good spot close to the trailhead. There is a trailhead sign and the path is easy to find. Incidentally, on our way out, we noticed the area had become so busy that cars were parked at least a mile down all along the roadside. We arrived about 9:30 am, so make sure you go early!!
Best Place for Views
We noticed a few paths going to the right of the main path up a cliff and because we are curious people we had to check it out. So glad we did! Beautiful views of Balos Beach below and a bit of adventure fun trekking up to get the view and pictures! Amazing how far we could see, the beauty was beyond words. Perfect place for a photo and you will feel like you are on the top of the world! Very windy though!!
The Hike In To Balos Beach
I am going to be honest here, the path down was tougher than I have read about. It is not just a walk on down a hill. I would not advise flip flops. There are lots of uneven steps cut in the rock and the path did have loose rock in places. It was not impossible nor dangerous but just don’t want to make the walk down sound all sunshine and roses. Being older, we took it slow and watched our footing. I can not say we had any problems climbing down, but if someone has hip or knee problems, I would expect it would be a tough time.
The beach was spectacular. There are lounge chairs set up if you want to relax. We choose to wade all through the lagoon. The water felt great after a hot hike down and the sand in our toes was amazing! The lagoon bottom though is uneven and unpredictable. We noticed sudden slick rocks and sharp rocks and then back to sand again. There is a significant drop off in a few places towards the far side. Due to the rocky areas in the lagoon, I wore my Keen Water Shoes. Actually I hiked down in them and kept them on for the duration.
Pink Sand on Balos Beach
The beach itself has beautiful sand that you soak right into as you walk. Some areas have sand that has a lovely pink tint to it.
Hike Back Up
All good things must end so it was time to climb back up to our car. The climb up was not too bad, although some of the steps up were quite a reach for my short little legs but Steve helped by giving me a hand when needed. I would say I felt more sure footed going back up than coming down. It was definitely a good cardiovascular workout on the way up!
Balos Beach is definitely an adventure I would not miss in Crete. It has it all, mountains, scenery, beach, hiking and even goats!!
While planning our trip to Greece, I found the travel guide Top 10 Crete to be very useful. It lists the top 10 of places to go, restaurants, and sites. Then it also lists the top 10 by region and area. I felt it was a great planning tool, plus it came with a pocket size map.
I also bought a National Geographic Map of Crete and this was priceless as we lost our GPS several times. The map is pretty accurate and durable. It really did help us out!
Where We Stayed in Chania, Crete
While in Chania we stayed at the Domes Noruz, a beautiful seaside resort with wonderful amenities. Our room, which overlooked the pool, was comfortable and spacious with a plunge pool and soaking tub. The staff was welcoming. I will write more in a future post on where we stayed and ate during this trip. In the meantime, if you want you can click here for more information on Domes Noruz in Chania.
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