Gramvousa - Balos

Balos beach and the island Gramboussa located in the northwestern end of Crete, in the prefecture of Chania.

Balos is the exotic beach-lagoon formed between the peninsula of Gramvousa and Cape Tigani and Gramboussa (Imeri "Domesticated" Gramboussa), one of the two islands just across from the lagoon of Balos, while a little further north is the second island, Wild Gramboussa.


In Balos and Imeri Gramboussa you can go on a cruise ship from the port of Kissamos. To Balos and only you can go by yourself, drive up to a point and then walking ..

Imeri Gramvousa  which translates to Tame Gramvousa, hosts the remains of a Venetian fort and the remains of buildings left behind by Cretan insurgents, who were compelled to live as pirates during the Greek War of Independence. Today, Imeri Gramvousa is a popular tourist attraction.

Agria Gramvousa, which translates to Wild Gramvousa, is much less hospitable and is located due north of Imeri Gramvousa.

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The fort at Imeri Gramvousa was built between 1579 and 1584 during Venetian rule over Crete to defend the island from the Ottoman Turks. The fort remained in Venetian hands throughout the prolonged Cretan War, and in the treaty of 16 September 1669, which surrendered Crete to the Ottomans, Gramvousa, along with the fortresses of Souda and Spinalonga, was retained by Venice. These three forts defended Venetian trade routes and were also strategic bases in the event of a new Ottoman–Venetian war for Crete.

On 6 December 1691, during the Morean War (another Ottoman–Venetian war), the Neapolitan Captain de la Giocca[verification needed] betrayed the Venetians by surrendering Gramvousa to the Ottoman Turks for a generous bribe. He lived the rest of his life in Constantinople and was well known by the nickname "Captain Grambousas". Not long after the start of Turkish rule, Cretan insurgents used to gather at the three coastal forts which included Gramvousa.

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