I have been extraordinarily lucky in that I had a lovely little while before switching into my new job to do a bit of travel! Recently, I went to Crete with my other half and his wonderful family (given that they are the nicest people on the planet and have been so kind to me for over two decades, I pretty much consider my own!). An action packed schedule led us to some incredible places, including the phenomenally breathtaking Balos beach in the north-west coast of Greece’s biggest island. It was somewhat of a treacherous journey as we drove some unpolished roads (leading to a very rickety-rackety journey…) and then hiked down a challenging pathway that took about half an hour to descend (it was no wonder many opted for a donkey ride down) but were rewarded by pink sand, turquoise blue waters and a hearty dose of sunshine. When you drive towards Balos, there is an entrance fee of 1 Euro per person which goes to the protection of its natural wonder. However, it is also possible to get to Balos by ferry or by private boat.
I would recommend bringing water and food with you when visiting Balos, especially given there appears to only be one mini stall on the beach and also another one at the car park before the path down to the beach. Unlike many other beaches in Crete, awash with charming tavernas, Balos is less touristy in that sense there are not really any shops or conveniences (although there are toilet facilities and deck chairs that you can rent with umbrellas). Note that we have heard the best time to go is early in the morning or later on (after 7pm), simply because there is a large ferry that unloads tons of visitors. However, just note that if you are hiking back up to the car park, it might be dangerous in the dark.
Last time Han and I visited Crete, we stayed in the Heraklion area and only ventured as far out as Lassithi. Returning and seeing Balos for the the first time was quite an experience – the swimming is fantastic, very shallow waters lead up to deeper ones, and there is so much beauty all around! The Balos Lagoon is also a very interesting feature of the waters, where you can find lots of life sprawling in the darker parts covered in sea vegetation.
The area also boasts the ruins of the ancient Roman settlement Agnion (complete with a Temple of Apollo!). With great regret I only found out this amazing fact after we had left the site… I was pretty distraught and heartbroken to learn that I had missed that gem!
One piece swimsuit // Pink
Sunglasses // Quay Australia