Balos Beach

Exploring Balos Lagoon

Balos Beach is one of Crete’s most stunning natural wonders, renowned for its turquoise waters and pristine shores. A visit to this picture-perfect lagoon is a must for any traveler to the island. However, when planning your trip to Balos, it’s crucial to choose the right mode of transportation. While renting a car might seem convenient, there are compelling reasons why opting for a boat from Kissamos Port is the superior choice. Let’s explore together, the challenges associated with driving to Balos, the environmental protection of the area, and highlight the benefits of a boat excursion, ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable visit.


The Condition of the Road

One of the primary concerns when driving to Balos is the poor condition of the road leading to the beach. The path is rough and unpaved, making it unsuitable for normal cars. Car rental companies in Crete generally do not offer insurance coverage for off-road driving, including and underlining the road to Balos. This means that any damage caused to the vehicle while attempting to navigate the challenging terrain would be the sole responsibility of the driver. The expenses for such repairs can quickly escalate, leaving you with unexpected financial burdens.

Choosing the boat option eliminates this risk entirely, providing peace of mind throughout your journey. You can relax and enjoy the stunning coastal views as you sail towards Balos, knowing that your vehicle is safe and sound.

Environmental Protection and Legal Restrictions

Balos Beach and its surrounding area are part of a Natura 2000 protected site, recognized for its unique natural beauty and ecological importance. Driving on the unpaved road leading to Balos can cause significant environmental damage, disrupting the fragile ecosystem. To preserve this pristine environment, both police and insurance companies strictly characterize any incident in this area as an off-road accident. Consequently, insurance will not cover any damages, and you might face legal consequences for violating the protected status of the area.


Car Rental Limitations

To protect their vehicles from potential damage and avoid legal issues, car rental companies in Crete explicitly prohibit driving to Balos. Even if you were to ignore this restriction, you would be liable for any harm incurred, including the cost of repairs and returning the car to the rental station. The expenses associated with off-road accidents can be significant, adding unnecessary stress to your vacation.

Emergency Assistance Challenges

Apart from the road challenges and legal restrictions, another crucial factor to consider is the lack of emergency assistance in the area. In case of an emergency, road assistance vehicles will refuse to come to Balos due to its inaccessibility and the risks involved. This means that any unfortunate event will leave you without immediate help, and you will be on your own in an unreachable area. This adds a significant level of risk and inconvenience to your visit, which can be completely avoided by opting for a boat trip.

road-hazard (1)

Convenience and Accessibility

Apart from the road challenges, parking near Balos is also a concern. After a long and bumpy drive, you would still need to park your car and endure a 40-minute walk downhill to reach the beach. The trek, especially during hot summer days, can be strenuous and uncomfortable.

In contrast, taking a boat directly from Kissamos Port allows you to relax and enjoy the journey. You’ll be dropped off near the beach, saving you from the exhausting hike and allowing you to maximize your time exploring the area. The boat ride itself is a highlight, offering breathtaking views of the coastline and the opportunity to fully appreciate the natural beauty of Crete.


While renting a car may seem like a convenient option for exploring Crete, it is not the ideal choice when it comes to visiting Balos Beach. The road to Balos is notoriously rough, and car rental companies do not provide insurance coverage for off-road driving due to the risks involved. Moreover, emergency road assistance is not available in this remote area, increasing the risk for visitors.

A Local Advises:

Pack snacks and drinks, especially if you prefer not to purchase them on the ferry (extra cost). There’s only one snack bar at Balos (limited options). There’s also a €1 fee to use the toilet at Balos.

Wear sturdy shoes, as the terrain is rocky until the beach. Hiking shoes are recommended if you plan to climb the Gramvousa castle. Pack sunscreen, hat, and any other beach necessities. Umbrellas can be rented at an extra cost.

The seabed at Balos Lgoon can be muddy, and shallow areas may have occasional unpleasant odors due to microorganisms.

Explore Balos Lagoon

A cruise to Balos Lagoon is the perfect way to experience one of Crete’s most beautiful spots without the need to navigate rough roads. After a day of exploring and enjoying the stunning beach and clear waters, relax knowing your return journey will be smooth and comfortable with one reliable rental car by MCar Kafetzakis.

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