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leave the car at the port of Kissamos 35.517212, 23.636819
You can get to the island by a cruise ship or your own boat. The excursion ferry departs from Kissamos Port (there are large free parking lots) at 10:00 AM and 10:15 AM. First, they go to the island, where you can explore the fortress for about an hour or swim by the wreckage of a pirate ship.
The next point of the trip is Balos Beach, which takes about 3 hours. The ferries are very large and can accommodate many tourists. The moment they reach Balos there is practically nowhere to set up.
I suggest you ask at the ticket office about the small boats that go first to the beach and then to Gramvousa Island. Thanks to this solution, you will pass the crowds of sunbathers. Return always around 18:00. To visit the fortress you need to dress appropriately. Slippers are not the best solution, you must wear decent sandals.
Prices without meals:
27 € / 16.50 € - full day excursion - when you buy on the spot
€ 25 / € 12.50 - full day excursion - when you buy on-line
In defense against the Turks, the Venetians on a hill reaching 135 m above sea level. in 1579 they built a fortress surrounded by a wall 272 m long. It must be admitted that it fulfilled its role perfectly. When the Turks attacked Crete in 1645, they took most of the island very quickly. The Gramvousa Fortress withstood the attackers for a long time. The Venetians managed to keep autonomy here until 1692.
Unfortunately, around 1800 this island became a base of pirates who captured 155 ships in less than three years (1825-1827). They have become the terror of the Mediterranean. They robbed ships of everything and imprisoned sailors in rock caves without food. The unfortunates were starving there with no escape. Ultimately, the British-French punitive expedition devastated the settlement of up to 6,000 people. She also released dying prisoners.
Today, little is left of the fortress. However, it is worth to mark your presence here. It must also be admitted that there are beautiful views of the surrounding mountains from the sea. Many people prefer to stay on the ship or go to the beach, which is really charming here. The more so that a pirate ship has landed on the shore, which you can swim to.