Balos Beach road is a spectacular and dangerous road on the western side of Crete at the edge of the peninsula of Gramvousa. The road is very bumpy and it’s highly recommended to drive at very low speed. It's one of the best coastal drives in the world.
The gravel road to Balos beach is recommended for 4-wheel cars. One way to get to Balos Beach is by car over a (not very good) road. 8 km of dirt road that will lead you to the parking lot over Balos beach-lagoon. You have to drive slowly, and the last part of the route is not suitable for cars. You'll still have to walk an hour and a half before you're on the beach and back the hike lasts a little longer because you must climb up. This dirt road is well filled with stones and a little bad, you can not go more than 30 km per hour.
If you're afraid of heights, it's probably best to keep your eyes forward. The road is very steep, bumpy and unpaved the entire stretch once you pass the entrance. But the coastline views along the way are breathtaking! The road is private, so there’s a toll booth where you’ll have to pay for the entrance. The hillsides are covered in thyme, wildflowers, oregano, wooden beehive boxes, goats and no shortage of dust. In the high season of July and August it is so crowded that arrival early in the morning is recommended.
The route is dangerous. Not recommended to newbies. Along the way you’ll have to deal with some dangerous dropoffs. The road is dusty and small. Very rocky and narrow in parts, with steep cliffs. No guard rails. The road is absolutely dirty and kind of dangerous but also scenic and great for pictures. Watch out for the many brave goats who will suddenly jump out of nowhere and cross the road. The road leads you to the parking lot over Balos beach-lagoon.
The road has some narrow parts, impassable for 2 medium cars. Not recommended if you don't know how to reverse. Along the dirt road, you will have the chance to view the sea area of the bay of Kissamos. Although this does not apply to the driver who has to pay the appropriate attention to avoid the stones on the road. When you plan to drive to Balos beach ask your car rental service about the insurance for driving off road. Usually it is not a problem but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Pic: Иван Лапенков