Chania Regional Unit
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From Chania: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour

1. From Chania: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour

Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pick-up point with the bus. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:20 AM set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals or snacks. You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat for food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to Chania is approximately 7.00 PM.

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From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

2. From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

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.

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From Chania: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

3. From Chania: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

Board the luxury high-speed catamaran for the 2.5-hour trip to Santorini. Enjoy an island tour by air-conditioned bus and hear informative commentary about the history of one of Greece's most romantic islands. Travel to the village of Oia at the northernmost tip of the island. The village offers magnificent views of the blue and white houses scattered on the hillside. Continue to Fira, where you'll have free time to explore the island's capital. Browse the shops or enjoy a drink at a bar with stunning views of the volcano. Swim from a black sand beach at Perissa or Perivolos. Depart for Crete at 05:45 PM, where the 13-hour trip ends in the port of Rethymno.

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Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

4. Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

Taste the authentic foods of Crete at a unique cooking class using only healthy organic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, local meats, aromatic herbs and freshly picked vegetables. Stroll around the vegetable garden to get a feel for the raw produce and learn more about the herbs. Then, prepare a traditional meal and learn the secrets of how the locals cook. Go for a mountain walk to a shepherds and hear how olives are harvested. Return to the house to sample some cheese and wine from Crete and prepare some appetizers such as ntakos and tzatziki. End with a tasty lunch with wine pairings and traditional jar desserts.

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From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

5. From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

Start your day with pick-up from the nearest point to your hotel. Drive towards the west side of Crete in a bus to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After your escort gives you all the necessary information about the cruise, arrive at the port to board the ferry boat to Gramvousa. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:30 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa on the ferry, which has a restaurant with self-service meals and snacks. Sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge for the journey of approximately 45 minutes. During the cruise, marvel at the cliff edges of the wildest part of Crete and learn about the history of the island with the onboard commentary played through the speakers in various languages. Upon arrival in Gramvousa, either have a swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. Enjoy 2.5 hours on Gramvousa before you continue to the lagoon of Balos, which is 20 minutes away. As soon as you arrive at the lagoon, you'll have a little less than 3 hours to enjoy the area. You may go back to the boat at any time for food or also hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. In the early evening, board the boat to head back to the port of Kissamos, where a bus will be waiting to return you to your hotel area.

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From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

6. From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

Book a private rigid inflatable boat (RIB) vessel and an experienced skipper to explore the western parts of Crete with your family or friends. Departing from Kissamos Port, board your boat and ride the waves to the famous Balos Lagoon and to the historic Gamvousa Island. The skipper will take you on an adventurous or relaxed ride (according to your preferences) and provide drinks and snacks on the way.   At your first stop, Balos, you’ll anchor and explore the area’s white sand beaches and vivid turquoise waters for 1.5 hours. You’ll then head to Gramvousa, an island with a medieval fortress at the top of the hill. There, you can sunbathe, snorkel, and swim for another 1.5 hours before returning to Kissamos.

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From Kissamos: Balos and Gramvousa Private Cruise with Lunch

7. From Kissamos: Balos and Gramvousa Private Cruise with Lunch

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Aegean sea and admire stunning views as you sail for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Take time to swim and explore these incredible locations at your own pace. Start your morning at Kissamos port and board a private sailboat. After learning the safety procedures on board from your experienced skipper, set sail on a private cruise for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Relax on board while taking in the spectacular views of the Cretan coast. Learn a bit about sailing on the trip with the help of your skipper. After 1.5 hours at sea, reach Balos Lagoon. Soak up the sun on the pristine shores of Balos Beach or even go for a swim in the clear water. Next stop: Gramvousa Island. Hike to the extraordinary castle built high up on the island and admire panoramic views of the horizon from above. Take your time exploring this rugged island or practice your snorkeling. At noon, relax on deck and enjoy a delicious lunch cooked on board. If it's too hot, take a break in the cabins. Admire the beautiful views of the sea once more as you head for the port.

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From Souda Port of Chania: Private Sailing Cruise with Meal

8. From Souda Port of Chania: Private Sailing Cruise with Meal

At 9:30 AM sail east out of the bay past the Souda Fortress on a small uninhabited island. If the winds are favorable stop to take a dip or some photos at the pebbled beach of the scenic white chapel of Agiannis. Follow the coast on the wind and marvel at views of the Ottoman fort high up on the hills and the fort of the Idjedin prison just below it. Continue past the seaside villages of Kalyves and Almyrida, around the Isle of Karga before reaching the lighthouse on the peninsula of Drapano. Again, if the gods of the winds are with you the boat will anchor in a tiny, secret cove for another quick swim. The wind will dictate if the boat sails northeast to a very small cove with beautiful sandy waters or otherwise northwest around another small island to a beautiful lagoon. Either way, the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) will be in view, serving as the backdrop to the cruise. After dropping anchor, enjoy a swim or snorkel and play in crystal clear turquoise waters while a freshly cooked Cretan/Spartan lunch is prepared with Greek specialties such as local pasta, sautéed vegetables, fresh salad, mama’s olives, goat cheese and fresh bread with wine and beer to wash it down and a dessert of fresh yogurt and sweet fruit.  Following a relaxing meal sail back to the port as the sun starts to set, arriving back by around 5:30 PM. Even if you’ve never sailed before have a go at taking control of the boat with expert supervision for a roughly 30 nautical mile trip.

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Chania: Off-Road Tour at Sunset with Wine Tasting

9. Chania: Off-Road Tour at Sunset with Wine Tasting

Start your experience with pickup from your hotel in Chania or the surrounding area and head towards the White Mountains. Admire the scenery as you follow unmarked routes across the landscape in an off-road vehicle. Pass through orange and lemon tree orchards, and see the traditional villages of Patelari, Varipetro, Alikianos, and Vatolakkos. Arrive at a viewpoint overlooking Chania to enjoy panoramic views of the sunset. Continue to Manousakis Winery for a wine tasting session, along with a platter of local delicacies to try. At the end of the tour, your driver will drop you off back at your hotel.

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From Chania: Private Balos Bay & Gramvousa Island Boat Trip

10. From Chania: Private Balos Bay & Gramvousa Island Boat Trip

Find your rigid inflatable boat (RIB) vessel at Chania's old port to begin a memorable half-day boat trip. Your experienced skipper will sail you to the first stop, Menies Beach. Anchor here for one hour and enjoy turquoise waters and ancient ruins as you swim or sunbathe.   Afterward, continue towards the northwestern part of the Chania prefecture, at the end of the land. Arrive at the island of Gramvousa and see its Venetian fortress and a sunken ship. Take memorable photos while your skipper anchors. Have approximately one hour on the island so that you explore on your own and perhaps even take a 40-minute roundtrip hike to the fortress. Finally, continue on for 15 minutes to the famous Balos Beach. Have another two hours to enjoy the breathtaking view of the coast and the sea. Your skipper will call you for the return trip back to Chania's old port. Depending on the weather conditions, the skipper will let you visit one or two secluded bays and beaches on the way back to Chania.

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What people are saying about Chania Regional Unit

My 7 year old son and I just returned home to California from our month long stay in Greece, with one of those weeks staying on the stunning island of Crete, and while we were there we had the wonderful opportunity to do several tours/excursions with this amazing company and I can’t put into words just how much fun we had with every last person associated with G S Tours!! First we headed out to the White Mountains and had the pleasure of spending the evening with the awesome Ioannis, Pantelis, and Eleftheria, learning first hand how to prepare the most DELICIOUS true Cretan meal!!! We cooked together, laughed together, and learned together… we learned about their beautiful country and all of the wonders of Crete… both from a historical perspective with Ioannis’s amazing account of where Crete has come from over the last several thousand years, and also from a social perspective by learning about all of the fabulous traditions and cultural aspects of the lovely Cretan people!

A great place with a picture book motif. Worthwhile excursion. For once it was pretty empty here, but it was also stormy. That has certainly stopped some day trippers. It is important to know, however, that the excursion is not for people who are not good on foot, as you have to climb over rocks.

Tour was very well organized; Balos lagoon is definitely worth it. I found Gramvousa less exciting, but okay. The guide was absolutely great and fluent in all languages including English, German, Russian, French, Italian.

Sensational experience! The times to be in both Balos Bay and Gramvousa were optimal. The ship also has food and beverage service. It is very worth it!

Two wondrous places to visit ... it doesn't disappoint!