I honestly had not heard of Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon until I visited Crete. Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. Once I arrived in Crete, everyone I met, told me that I had to take a day trip to visit them. As they came so highly recommended, I decided to book a day trip there. I booked my trip through who Balos Travel, who made my day trip nice and easy. The bus picked me up at my hotel, drove me to the port, handed me my cruise ticket and I was on my way! We visited Gramvousa first, which only took an hour to get to, so you can spend time staring at the scenery, relaxing in the lounge, eating or laying out on the ships sun chairs.
Once we arrived at Gramvousa, we were given about two hours to do as we pleased. You can hangout on the beach or walk to the Venetian castle, which was made in 1579 to defend Venetian trade routes from enemies during the Ottoman–Venetian war. It is at the highest point of the island, so if you are going to the castle, bring water with you. You can buy it before the tour, on the ship or at one of the shops on the beach. It only takes 15-20 minutes to get to the top, but there are a lot of steep steps and rocks you have to hike over and once you reach the top, there are no stands to buy anything. I originally planned to hike to the castle and then go to the beach but I got consumed by the spectacular views and spent the whole time up there.
Up next was Balos Lagoon, which was a mere 15 minutes away. When you first get off the ship, you’ll walk through the shallow lagoon and arrive on the other side, at the main beach. It is truly paradise with clear, turquoise water and white sand. There were also areas along the beach where the sand was pink! If you want beach chairs and umbrellas, you can rent or bring your own. If you were planning on eating on the beach like I was, you might want to rethink it. There is only one stand on the opposite side of the lagoon that mainly sells pre-made sandwiches with a couple of slices of meat, which is what I got stuck with. Further down is a restaurant, which I did not notice it until I was leaving, as it is a little hidden away. You are better off eating on the ship or bringing food. I like to explore, so I walked around for a bit, went swimming and eventually fell asleep on the beach. After nearly three hours of a relaxing beach day, it was time to board the ship and cruise back.
Now I know why everyone told me to go to these two destinations, they were both magnificent! I actually ended up booking this trip last-minute, and very happy I did. I have been to a few different Greek Islands and so far, these two beaches are without a doubt the most beautiful.
**Thank you Balos Travel for hosting me on this trip. As always, my opinions are my own.