This delightful excursion takes you by coach to the port of Kissamos-Kastelli where you board a boat which takes about 1 hour to cross the bay of Kissamos, passing the ancient shipyards of Tarsanas, to the incomparable Balos Lagoon. (All other trips to Gramvousa go to Balos in the afternoon, we go in the morning in order to avoid the crowds).
Once at Balos the boat drops anchor just off the shore and you are ferried in a small boat to the pristine beach, where you are free to spend the next 3 hours relaxing. There is no shade on Balos beach but umbrellas are available for rent on the boat (but get yours early as they are limited). The crystal clear jade waters and pale white sand at Balos Lagoon even enticed Prince Charles and Princess Diana to swim here whilst on their honeymoon aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia. Balos today is part of a nature reserve and is an important habitat for birds, sea turtles, and the Mediterranean seal.
After leaving Balos the boat sails for 15 minutes to the fabled pirate island of Gramvousa. In the 19th Century Gramvousa was home to 3000 revolutionaries who were forced to make a living from piracy during troubled times and food shortages. Gramvousa Island is dominated by a mighty Venetian fortress that is 137m above sea level. When the boat docks you have the opportunity to embark on a 15 minute walk up to this impressive castle which has breathtaking views across the bay to Balos Lagoon. For the less energetic amongst us, you can chill out on either the boat or the beach in the one and a half hours that we stay at Gramvousa Island. During this stop a traditional Greek lunch is served aboard the boat (for an extra charge). The boat is very comfortable with a choice of seating wither inside the boat or on the decks for those of you wishing to be in the sun. A new boat added to the fleet in 2007 even has a swimming pool on the top deck. There is a self-service bar that is well stocked with snacks, dinks and ice creams. At the end of an incredibly relaxing day the boat sails back to port where the coach is waiting to bring you back to your accommodation.
Guests with a rental car who would prefer to drive themselves to Kastelli –Kissamos harbour can purchase reduced price boat tickets from Villas Crete Holidays Office. These tickets can be bought for any day of the week.