Crete – Breathtaken Road Trip You Should Add To Your Bucket List
Get behind the wheel for an epic road trip around Crete, enjoy the experience of stunning views and winding roads with spectacular sand beaches and one of the world’s clearest blue water.
For sure Crete has many beautiful beaches, but the main stars of the island, in my opinion, are Elafonise and Balos, famous for its turquoise waters and the beautiful exotic scenery, both of them provides different driving experiences offering travelers epic views from their car window.
Balos lagoon is located on the northwestern corner of Crete, 53 Km from the city of Chania where the airport is located and 15 Km from the town of Kissamos up to here the roads are nice and paved, the real drive began, from here one requires some experience on off-road driving. Balos beach road is a spectacular and dangerous road on the western side of Crete at the edge of the peninsula of Gramvousa.
8 km of dirt road that will lead you to the parking lot over Balos beach-lagoon You have to drive slowly, the road is winding, in some places only wide enough for one vehicle, and in many places bordered by a drop of hundreds of meter of very rocky and narrow in parts, with steep cliffs. No guard rails. Words can’t describe the road and pictures don’t do it justice. Along the dirt road, you will have the chance to overlook the sea area of the bay, you still need to walk about half hour after reaching the parking lot, the hiking is awesome and the views will stay forever in my memories. It is definitely a full packed action day trip. Balos Bay is the final stop and what a view. Alternatively, if you don’t feel that adventurous a cruise day trip is the way to go, Cretan Daily Cruises were well recommended to us.
Is home to the Ideon Cave, which was the birthplace of Zeus according to Greek mythology.
Elafonise lies on the southwestern side of Crete and about 75 kilometers from the town of Chania, the road is paved most of the way and not as dangerous as Balos. This road trip it’s all about discovering what lies around the next bend, full of twists, it takes you through old Greek villages and forgotten monasteries, pass through the imposing Topolia gorge, a canyon with the most amazing views, green hills, and red cliffs all around, olives trees are everywhere leaving a wonderful smell adding a Mediterranean touch to your trip.
After the amazing drive through the mountains, you’ll arrive at the final destination, Elafonise. It was voted in 10th place on Tripadvisor top 25 beaches in the world, is a small island at a distance of 200 meters from the shore. Between the island and the shore, there is a shallow lagoon of 1-meter depth at most. The water is among the lightest, clearest turquoises imaginable it is full of dunes with pink sand. Also, it is home to the endangered turtles and many species of rare animals. It is strictly forbidden to cut plants or even get a bottle of sand with you.
If you are planning to go and take amazing pictures from this incredible island there are few things to keep in mind: The secret to getting the water transparent and in its most beautiful color is to shoot as near of midday as possible, that is because the way the sun light reflects the water, a 90 degree angle the light will do very little refraction and therefore allowing you to have a better chance of a good picture.
Over all Crete was much more than what I expected. It was supposed to be a relaxing break for us as the plan was to enjoy the resort that we stayed but instead, there was not a lot of rest, and I don’t regret for a second as it is definitely a must see Island.
If you like what you see, please feel free to share your thoughts. I’ll be happy with any suggestions for my next beach holiday.