These ferry rides however on the way also take you to Imeri Gramvousa. Here, the Venetians built a fort in the late 15th century, in order to defend the island from invasions by the Ottomans. The fortress was then captured in 1825 by Cretans dressed as Turks during the War of Independence.They held the fortress, but did not manage to spread to the western region of Crete. Isolated, they turned to piracy. In 1828, the pirate ships were destroyed, and the island was controlled by the British. You would also get to see the pirate ship ruins at this spot.
Reaching Balos Hiking from Kaliviani
The area is popular for some of the world's most beautiful and toughest hiking trails. I should warn you this option is for utmost resilient travellers. One can hike from Kaliviani, which is a 10 km trail to Balos and take upto approximately 3 hours one way. If you love hiking and have a great group, then go for it.
Around this area is also Samaria Gorge - one of the most prominent 16 km hike descending from Xyloskala 1230 meters to Agia Roumeli on the coat of the Libyan sea. This in itself is a complete day trip and takes you through varied terrains.