Imeri Gramvousa, one of two rocky islets off the northwest side of the Cape, lies some two nautical miles from the Balos lagoon. During the summer season boats run daily from Kasteli Kisamou to here – a journey of around an hour. After a stopover of two hours, the boat goes on to Balos, which it reaches after another 15 minutes.
While on the island, do not miss the chance to visit the famous castle that dominates the highest ground. It has a long history: built by the Venetian conquerors in the 16th century AD, it was later a base for the rebels in the Cretan Uprising in the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s. The view you find from there is exceptional, and will repay you for the strenuous ascent. The path you take to get to the castle begins at the point the boats tie up, and passes by the small church of the Aghioi Apostoloi (the Holy Apostles).
As well as the castle, you can also find the wreck of a cargoship – the Dimitrios P, which had left Chalkis in Euboea laden with cement. Forced by bad weather to take shelter off the south side of the island, it lay at anchor until the 8th January 1968, when an anchor chain broke. The boat went onto some rocks, and became flooded. The crew was later taken off safely from the island, after abandoning the ship.
Besides the sightseeing, you can enjoy a lovely swim in the crystal-clear waters.
The beach is sandy in some places, rocky in others. A few tamarisk trees front it and offer shade to the visitor. A small café is located close to where the boats dock. The island is a protected area – part of the EC ecological network, Natura 2000.
If you plan to visit the beach, it is better to avoid the months of July and August, when it becomes crowded every day with a mob of visitors – at least during the hours when the boats from Kasteli operate (between 1 and 6 in the afternoon).
Some 2 nautical miles away is Balos lagoon, one of the most celebrated and most photographed beaches in Crete.
- Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)
- location Gramvousa Cape, Kisamos, Chania
- free camping No
- nudism Yes
- beach type Sandy
- accommodation No
- dinning Yes - limited choices
- other facilities
relevant routes & paths:
By sea: Trips take place daily during the summer season by boat from Kastelli. Kissamos (duration 1 hour). After a stay of 2 hours, the boat goes on to the lagoon of Balos.