Day trip

Rethymno: Gramvousa Island Day Trip & Balos Beach

Activity provider: PLATANOS TOURS

Rethymno: Gramvousa Island Day Trip & Balos Beach

Activity provider: PLATANOS TOURS

From US$ 18.52 per person

Discover the westernmost tip of Crete on a scenic bus and boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay. Dip your toes in the soft white sand of some of the most beautiful beaches you ever have seen!

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 12 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
English, German, French
Pickup included
Hotel pickup is available in the areas of Adele, Pigianos Kampos, Platanias, or Missiria. Pickup is from your hotel or the closest point accessible by a vehicle. You'll receive specific pickup information in a separate email from the activity provider. All the pickups from Rethymno's Old Town will be from the bus stop of the church of four martyrs.


  • Swim in the crystal clear waters of Balos Bay lagoon
  • Climb the Venetian Fortress on Gramvousa Island for unique views
  • Soak up some sun or go for a swim at the gorgeous Gramvousa Beach
  • Relax on a secure bus transfer to Kisamos port on the western part of Crete
  • Enjoy the convenience of included pickup and drop-off service
Full description
Depart Rethymno at approximately 07:45 and travel by bus along the new national road towards the westernmost tip of Crete. Pass the bay of Souda and the former Cretan capital of Chania before your arrival in Kissamos. Upon arrival, climb aboard a boat and cross to Balos Bay at the northernmost tip of the peninsula. Relax on the 1-hour boat trip, and get 2.5 hours at Balos Bay to enjoy the soft white sands and unique blue and green waters of the lagoon. Next, take a 20-minute boat ride to Gramvousa Island for plenty of time to enjoy an unforgettable swim in the crystal clear waters. If you are feeling energetic, take an optional 137-meter climb up to the 16th-century Venetian Fortress for an incomparable view of the surrounding surroundings. Enjoy approximately 1.5 hours at peace on Gramvousa Island, and then take a 1-hour boat ride back to Kissamos. Upon arrival, continue to Rethymno by bus at the end of the laid-back tour.
  • Bus ticket and transfers by modern fully air-conditioned coach
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (from selected location)
  • Guide in English, German, and French (Tue-Thu-Sun)
  • All the legal taxes
  • Driver
  • Liability insurance coverage
  • Free time to explore Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island
  • Boat ticket to Gramvousa island and Balos lagoon(€29 per adult, €14.50 for children aged 5-12, to be paid in cash)
  • Entrance ticket to the Venetian Fortress (€1)
  • Lunch (available for purchase on boat)
  • Personal expenses
  • Sun Umbrellas (available to rent)
  • Photographer on the boat (at extra cost)
  • Pickup from remote hotels such as Grand Rimondi
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date



Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Beachwear

Know before you go

  • Walking shoes are necessary for the climb to the Venetian Fortress
  • Lunch and water can be purchased on board the boat
  • The cost of the boat ticket and the Venetian Fortress entry ticket (€30) is not included in the option with pickup from Chania
  •  This tour can only be booked by those staying in the areas of Panormo, Scaleta, Adele, Platanias, Missiria, Rethymno town, Atsipopoulo, Kavros and Georgioupoli
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 363 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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Excellent day ! A landscape not to be missed. The climb to the fortress of Gramvousa is difficult, you have 20 minutes but the view is worth it. The bus ride went well, with a very friendly guide who speaks several languages and makes communication easier. The small downside, the boat is extremely crowded, people were sitting on the ground because there was so little space, moreover, the food is expensive for sandwiches and self-service.

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August 28, 2022

Our guide Ingrid was on top and the organization was great. English was supposed to be the only language of the guide and luckily she spoke French too! Provide cash for the boat. The boat crossing is about 1 hour but with a crowded boat. Come early to get seats. The possibility of eating and buying drinks on board is really very practical after an intense day like this! At first we were able to discover the fort of Gramvousa with an exceptional view of the turquoise waters after an intense climb to the top and then relax in the crystal clear waters. (PS: think about water shoes, very practical when it's very rocky). After 1h30 of relaxation in Gramvousa, barely 10min by boat towards Balos, to admire and enjoy a few hours of its incredible waters. Watch out, lots and lots of people. Excursion at the top in any case, I recommend 100%

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August 25, 2022

A nice day trip but a very long day from Rethymnon. Bus and boat well organized. And Gramvousa and Balos are beautiful, really worth it! I thought less good that you had to pay in cash eur 28.00 pp while you could pay with the shipping company. The boat was also too full, a family with 2 small children had to sit on the stairs because of too few chairs, the hot food was already finished before we could take something.

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July 16, 2022

Product ID: 107590