DAILY CRUISE TO GRAMVOUSA ISLAND AND BALOS LAGOON
Pick ups from our office in Paleochora at 8 a. m. and a drive to to the port of Kissamos 1,5 hour with the bus, where we board on a cruise boat and follow the cruise program: The cruise comes back to the port of Kissamos at 18:00 – the bus is waiting in the port. The way back takes again 1,5 hours. Arrival to Paleochora 19:45-20:00.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE CRUISE
→ Tour in the bay of Kissamos
We depart from the port of Kissamos, with soft music playing in the background, and sail for about an hour in the homonymous bay, against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue.
You will have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard. At the end of the bay, you will see an impressive geological phenomenon. Over time, Crete’s western side is rising, and its eastern side is sinking. This phenomenon takes place due to the movement of the African tectonic plate under the Eurasian plate. The ancient coastline can be traced over the rocky shores.
At the end of the bay, the boat will sail between the islet of Agria Gramvousa and Cape Vouxa (Trypiti). The landscape is breathtaking, against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. The boat will approach Gramvousa or the lagoon of Balos (depending on the itinerary you chose) after about 20 minutes.
The self-service bar of the ship shall remain open throughout the cruise, offering light meals, with salads, wine, soft drinks, coffee, ice creams, etc.
During our journey with our ship “GRAMVOUSA” your children are in the hands of an experienced animator. Your little ones will make drawings and participate in group games, face painting etc.
→ Visit Gramvousa-the island of pirates
The boat shall arrive at the small port of Gramvousa, where we shall stay for about 2 hours. The location of Gramvousa, the Cretan nature, the legends and the turbulent history of the area exude a magical aura.
The landscape is spectacular, and the beach of the island is adorned by a lonely shipwreck.
The highest point of the island, atop a steep rock, at an altitude of 137 meters, is dominated by the famous castle of Gramvousa, which was built by the Venetians in 1579. The castle played a significant role in the history of the wider area. The panoramic view, the magnificent nature, and the legend of the pirates’ hidden treasure, allure you to visit it, after a 20 minute hike (it’s essential to wear comfortable shoes).
You may also swim in the area next to the chapel of Agioi Apostoloi. By the way, if you happen to be there on 29th June, St Apostoli’s Day, you will witness a very big feast that takes place by the church. You can stay also on the ship to relax or swim and have some fun with our water slide. or remain onboard, relax or swim around the ship, also using its water slide.
There are about 400 plant species in Gramvousa. Three of them are particularly interesting, since they cannot be found anywhere else on earth. One variety of daisies, a wild onion and silene. There are about 98 species of birds, with the number becoming quite bigger during the migration period, since the area is in the birds’ path to and from the Mediterranean
After our 2-hour stop in Gramvousa, the boat will depart for the lagoon of Balos, which will be reached after approximately 20 minutes.
→ Visit the lagoon of Balos
Balos is listed as one of the best beaches in the world. This exotic beach-lagoon and rare natural monument is situated between the Gramvousa peninsula and Cape Tigani. Words cannot describe the impressiveness of this place. Nothing can describe what you are about to feel when you see this. When you get to swim in the lukewarm, shallow, turquoise blue waters, relax in the pink sandy beach, which is filled with shells, and admire the natural beauty, the rocks and the cliffs rising above you!
The sandy beach of Balos is adorned by a special kind of vegetation. Shrubby varieties, such as heather, Yenisey, thyme, and lentisc, have impressive shapes and patterns, proving their effort to survive in the adverse environmental conditions of the area, such as the strong northerly winds and the natural instability of the dunes. During the migration periods, there are many bird species here, while the lagoon’s mollusks are not to be found anywhere else in Crete in this composition and quantity.
You will have the chance to stay in this paradise for about 3 hours.
Due to the incredible natural beauty and preserved ecosystem, both Gramvousa and Balos are included in the European initiative NATURA 2000. The preservation of the island’s natural environment, beyond the moral dimensions, is imposed through a strict national and European institutional protection system.
Thus, the following are prohibited:
Any kind of pollution
The collection of rocks, fossils, shells, ancient finds, and plants
Starting a fire and smoking around bushes and woodlands
Any activity that might threaten the ecosystem and the archaeological sites
Both in Gramvousa and Balos, you may return to the ship at any time, but make sure you are back at least 10 minutes before departure.