We took the boat out to Balos Bay with thousands of other tourists. We had looked for something a little more contained but our number was large enough not to allow this so we scrambled on, literally in the nick of time, onto the Gramvousa ferry and we fought for our place in the shade next to tourists with sunburn, girls with skimpy bikinis and families with playful toddlers. Not the most serene of surroundings but actually once we got going with the wind in our hair and the gentle rolling of the boat it did not matter. We turned the furthermost point of Crete and headed to Balos Bay this idyllic green bay with soft sands and shallow waters and the strange thing is that the crowds just dissipated and looked like ants in the distance. W could claim our own little picnic spot to play and splash about and take in the beauty of the surroundings.
The day was complete when we headed back and stopped at the Venetian Castle on the island of Gramvousa. Built between 1579 and 1584 this amazing fortification protected the island against the Ottomans and ensured Venetian trade routes. It is built on a promontory overlooking the sea and is almost fully intact to this day. We climbed with more crowds only to find ourselves once more enjoying a walk in relative peace. The views over the bay were stunning, the waters were ink blue and the edges trimmed with the turquoise green of emeralds.