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Boat Trips: Gramvousa & Balos

Boat trips from Kissamos to Gramvousa (Gramvoussa) and Balos beach & lagoon.

From May to October, you can take daily cruises from Kissamos port (42 km west of Chania), leaving in the morning and returning in the evening.

From mid-June and until mid-September, there are also midday departures.

Why you would want to visit?
For the spectacular beaches and fascinating geological aspects, the flora (especially in the spring), the archaeology (Venetian castle) - and of course the fun of a boat trip!

About Gramvousa & Balos :
History: Gramvousa (also called Tigani peninsula). The castle on top of the island was built by the Venetians to protect Crete from a Turkish occupation. It was one of the last unconquered bastions and it was the first area of Crete to be liberated from the Turks in 1825 (Turks were expelled from all the rest of Crete only by 1898). 3000 Cretan rebels were planning operations from Gramvousa.

During this period of turmoil, the residents of the island started looting boats passing through, which gained the island its pirate reputation.

Flora: The Gramvousa/Balos region is a protected biotope. There are 400 different plants on Gramvousa, 26 of them endemic to Crete. The Anthemis glaberrima (a type of daisy), the Allium platakisi (a wild onion) and the Silene litegripetala are found only in this area and are protected species.

In the shallow parts of the sea, the Mediterranean plant Posidonia oceanica thrives, providing shelter for marine life.

Fauna: 98 bird species have been reported in the area. 20 of them are protected and 14 of them are threatened species (like the vulture Europe Gypaetusbarbatus). The Mediterranean seal (Monachus Monachus) and the Caretta Caretta turtle find shelter in this area. Also, a flock of wild donkeys lives on the peninsula!

Balos Bay and lagoon: Clear waters and desert-isle sand, an exceptional place in a wind-protected area of the sea.

Information & tickets : 
Ferry Company: Gramvousa Balos Cruises
Kissamos port offices - Tel: +30 28220-24344, 83311  
Tickets (adults) cost 27.00 euros. Children up 2 years old travel free, children 3-12 years are half price 13.50 Euros.

For more information, visit the cruise operator's website at www.cretandailycruises.com

It is a popular trip, so getting a ticket in advance if possible is a good idea.

Acknowledgments: We thank Gramvousa Balos Cruises for information used in this feature.

Disclaimer: We try to keep this information up to date for your convenience, but you should always call the boat cruise company to check sailing times

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