DAY 8 - THE LAGOON OF BALOS

 

We have most definitely saved the best till last - this route takes you to one of the best sights in the whole of the Mediterranean the beautiful lagoon of Balos situated on the Gramvousa Peninsula. This lagoon is only reachable by car or via boat.

Once again using Hania as a base, take the main Highway west to the
Gulf and bay of Kissamos. At Kasteli a sign will direct you towards Kaliviani and Balos.  As you make your way through the village with its narrow street and channelled watercourse which runs by the side, the road widens into a dirt track and you make your way out of the village passing Balos beach

 

You will see a sign informing you of the charge to enter the Peninsula 3 euros per person (at the time of writing). This goes towards the upkeep of the lagoon and surrounding area which is now preserved.

  

From here you start the long and bumpy journey, please take care and take your time, do not stop abruptly as you can skid off the stones, avoid parking in the middle of the road as it can get quite busy, especially in the height of the season and some think it great to race along creating a dust storm. This dirt road was built on the ancient pathway, which started from Kaliviani and followed the eastern slope of Mount Geroskinos. The views are simply amazing.

The peninsula itself is a huge rock sticking out into the sea, its thorny bushes are surrounded by marjoram, wild sage and thyme and numerous wild flowers. Dry and barren with steep rocky shoreline. Its white beaches at the northern tip lies in front of the steep slope of Mount Geroskinos and in front of the beach are the two deserted islands of Agria and Imeri Gramvousa. The waters are shallow, warm and crystal clear with the white and shallow waters giving the amazing effect of the emerald green of an island paradise, usually only seen on tropical shores. With a stunning backdrop of the rocky outcrops this is one of the most picturesque and photographed beaches on the whole island.

Outside of the lagoon is perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving with its rich underwater wild life.

 

As you reach the car park the road stops and turns into a well marked pathway, which takes you to the beach steps. Or you can always take the alternative way down, on a donkey. The sign tells of the traditional way to the beach which was used in years gone by the locals, albeit I do suspect this was before the steps were built! As I personally would not want the poor donkey to endure the steps and the ride I fear would be more than a little scary.

 

From the car park there is a side path this route takes you to the chapel of Ayios Sostias at the Korykon cape, built among the ruins of the small city of Agnion, an ancient Roman town, according to ancient scripts there stood at this point a temple to the god Apollo, then at the end of the pathway is a chapel dedicated to Ayia Irini on the east side.

What every you decide to do I know you will enjoy the day. But don't stop to late and remember the climb back up and the possible traffic on the way back, as in the height of the season this route can be very busy. Take care.

 

 

 

   

   

   

   

 

 

 

 
 

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