Day trip

From Rethymno: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay

From Rethymno: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay

From £17.07 per person

Discover the westernmost tip of Crete on a scenic bus and boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay. Dip your toes in the soft white sand of some of the most beautiful beaches you ever have seen!

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 12 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English, German
Pickup included
Hotel pickup is available in the areas of Panormo, Scaleta, Adele, Platanias, Missiria, Rethymno town, Atsipopoulo, Kavros, and Georgioupoli. Pickup is from your hotel or the closest point accessible by a vehicle. You'll receive specific pickup information in a separate email from the local partner (please check your spam folder).


  • Swim in the crystal clear waters of Balos Bay lagoon
  • Climb the Venetian Fortress on Gramvousa Island for unique views
  • Relax on gorgeous Gramvousa Beach
Full description
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.
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Bus ticket
  • Guide in English, German, French or Russian
  • Boat ticket (€ 29)
  • Entrance ticket to the Venetian Fortress (€ 1)
  • Lunch (available for purchase on boat)
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • You must fill out a travel information form
  • You will receive a mandatory temperature check

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Prepare for the activity

Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Water

Know before you go

  • Boat tickets are not included (27€ to be paid on site); the local partner will make sure you don't wait at a ticket line
  • Walking shoes are necessary for the climb to the Venetian Fortress (entry fee €1 paid on site)
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 270 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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Unforgettable excursion! The bus picked us up right in front of the hotel to take us to the port of Kissamos where we took the boat to Gramvoussa, 1st stop. Gramvoussa is not really worth it apart from the castle to climb but the 2nd stop in Balos just magnificent !! I highly recommend this excursion. Our guide spoke French too and the bus was on time. Please note that the price of the boat is not included in the excursion.

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2 August 2021

Getyourguide was great in the sense that I had booked this excursion in English (the only possible choice on the site) ... and finally, I was with a French speaking guide, which made my job much easier. The landscapes are sublime ... except the world ... but there is not much we can do about it! The guide was not often present during the excursion but the few explanations were clear and he came to see each person on the bus to know if we had any questions: which is rare!

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30 July 2021

Many thanks to our guide Barbara for this great tour! Gramvousa and Balos are definitely worth a trip when in Crete. Unfortunately, a lot of people on the boat and Corona rules are not really observed. The crowds were then distributed on the beaches because the two bays are relatively spacious, especially Balos. The tour itself was well organized and you will be picked up in an air-conditioned bus and brought back to the hotel. There was food and drink on the ship and toilets and umbrellas could be borrowed for € 4. An umbrella is definitely recommended, as there is no shade on the Balos Lagoon, on Gramvousa there are a few trees under which you can find shade. People who get seasick easily should definitely have travel tablets against nausea with them.

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29 July 2021

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Product ID: 107590