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Things to do in
Kissamos

Our most recommended things to do in Kissamos

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

1. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Take a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon on a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in 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 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 enjoy the magical environment created by 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. Enjoy a swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi. 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 rest at the beach before heading back.

Chania Areas/Kalyves:Gramvousa Island & Balos,Boat Tkt Extra

2. Chania Areas/Kalyves:Gramvousa Island & Balos,Boat Tkt Extra

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 pickup point with the bus. Depending on the option you choose, enjoy pickup from Chania, Kalyves, or Almyrida. 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. If you've chosen the option leaving from Kalyves and Almyrida, your boat ticket and Fortress entrance are included. At about 10:40 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 (at your own expense). 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 to purchase 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 your starting point in time for dinner.

From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

3. From Heraklion: Gramvousa and Balos Cruise with Hotel Pickup

Start with pickup from Heraklion or the surrounding area. Drive over to Kastelli by bus to board your boat. Balos are Gramvousa are located on the West part of the island. Depending on the area your hotel is located is around 4 hours by bus to the place where the boats depart. Embark the boat from the village of Kasteli and head over to Balos Lagoon and enjoy plenty of time to swim in the quiet crystal clear waters, walk across the golden sand beach and soak in the sun as you relax. Cruise across the western Cretan sea and arrive at the tranquil Gramvousa. Swim along the coast and stroll up to the castle on the hill to admire panoramic views of the natural landscape as you hike up to that point. The drivers will be awaiting you at the port, in order to begin the drive back to Heraklion.

From Chania/Kalyves: Balos and Gramvousa Island

4. From Chania/Kalyves: Balos and Gramvousa Island

Admire views of the Tersanas Cave and Vouxa Cape on this sightseeing cruise to the Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Enjoy the convenience of the included air-conditioned bus transfer from centrally-located meeting points at locations in Chania and the areas surrounding it.  Be picked up and relax in climate-controlled comfort on the drive to the Kissamos port. Your tour leader will collect the boat fee from you and provide you your boat tickets which allow you skip-the-line. Take in views of the majestic Tersanas cave from the water which is said to be an ancient shipyard. Enjoy views of the geological formations that have formed on the stunning cliffs of the Vouxa Cape. Snap pictures of the unique landscapes of the Imeri and Agria Gramvousa islands. Sail for approximately 1 hour until you reach the Balos Beach where you can cool-off with a refreshing swim in turquoise waters or take a walk on the white sand.  Continue to Gramvousa island where you can explore the hilltop, 16th-century Venetian castle which was a pirate base in the 19th-century, and you can see an old ship-wreck. Return to your starting point at the end of your tour. 

Rethymno: Gramvousa & Balos Lagoon Tour, Boat Ticket Extra

5. Rethymno: Gramvousa & Balos Lagoon Tour, Boat Ticket Extra

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, spend 1-hour and 45-minutes exploring 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 3 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 Area: Gramvousa Island & Balos, Boat Ticket Extra

6. Rethymno Area: Gramvousa Island & Balos, Boat Ticket Extra

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.

The Terra Creta Olive Oil Experience Tour

7. The Terra Creta Olive Oil Experience Tour

On this 1-hour tour you’ll enjoy a total olive oil experience at Terra Creta, located in the heart of the Kolymvari region. Visit the innovative, state-of-the-art facility and learn about the process from harvesting to production. The mill operates only from October to February. Information and tips about best use and storage are provided by the highly skilled personnel. Enjoy a guided tasting of 3 different olive oils and sample a variety of appetizers. Afterwards, browse the store and purchase high-quality Terra Creta olive oils of different labels, as well as balsamic vinegar and Greek olives in travel-safe packaging.

Chania: Elafonisi Beach Day Trip with Elos Stop and Transfer

8. Chania: Elafonisi Beach Day Trip with Elos Stop and Transfer

Relax on Elafonisi Beach, located 76 kilometers west of Chania on the southwestern tip of Crete. Get picked up from your Chania accommodation, enjoy plenty of free time to explore the island, then be driven back safely. Make a stop in Elos to purchase lunch and discover the local cuisine. After being picked up from your hotel, begin your drive to Elafonisi, with a short coffee stop along the way. Once you arrive, take in the striking dunes with sand lilies and junipers. Discover beaches on both sides of the peninsula, many of them with pink sand due to the thousands of broken shells. If you're bringing little ones with you, head over to the tip of the peninsula, where a small shallow lagoon is formed. Swim and sunbathe on the east side of the beach, in front of the lagoon, where you can find umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, snack bars, and changing rooms. On your way back, visit the traditional village of Elos for the chance to purchase a traditional lunch before heading back to Chania to be dropped off at your hotel.

From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing Cruise with Lunch

9. From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing 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.

Heraklion: Gramvousa Island Day Trip & Balos Beach

10. Heraklion: Gramvousa Island Day Trip & Balos Beach

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.

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Balos Beach

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What people are saying about Kissamos

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 3,708 reviews

We were a family of 4 with 2 children aged 14 and 9. This sea trip was truly magnificent. Captain speaking English, very friendly and smiling. Excellent browser. Explained the history of Crete to us. The wind was quite strong and we sailed safely on 3-4 meter waves. Comfortable boat. Tasty lunch: Greek sandwiches, freshly picked grapes, and unlimited drinks (sodas, water, beer, red wine, white wine). We had time to visit the fortress and swim in the turquoise waters of the Balos lagoon. We highly recommend this activity.

Interesting schedules and comfortable and stable boat (outdoor seats protected from the sun or in the boat). There is everything you need to drink and eat at "normal" prices (it's not expensive, don't bother looking for something first). Free toilets. Schedules respected; the boat remains at the dock between each stopover. Very good value for money to avoid the Balos track. L

There was no guide. This was a ferry ride to Balos Beach. The ferry was large and comfortable and Balos Beach was beautiful. I enjoyed the stop at Gramvousa as well. The ferry does have food for purchase, which is helpful.

beautiful day! great cruise, they sold good food and drinks on the boat.

Magnificent place, the boat trip is worth the detour 🥰