Travelguide > Places > Chania Prefecture > Gramvoussa

In the North-West of Kissamos is located the island of Gramvoussa. Gramvoussa was fortified by the Venetians (1579-1582), who built a well-fortified castle on the top of a steepy rock at an altitude of 137 m. It was destroyed in 1588, when thunder struck on the powder store and rebuilt in 1630.

It was one of the three castles to remain under Venetian dominion after the Turkish occupation of Crete until 1692. The other two were those of Sitia and Spinalonga.

During the Greek uprising against the Turks, Gramvoussa played an important role. After many attempts the castle was finally occupied by the Cretan in 1825. The island was the first part of Crete to be liberated by the Turks. It also became a base of pirates that plundered every ship that passed to the seas around the island. In 1828, with the agreement of the Greek Government, a English-French garrison took over the island.

Today, the high walls of the Gramvoussa are preserved, half ruined but awesome. 

Opposite to the island of Gramvoussa is the wonderful beach of Balos.