Γραμβούσα και Μπάλος – Gramvousa and Balos

arrowEnglish version further below

Τα video που ακολουθούν από το τοπικό κανάλι, μας ταξιδεύουν στην περιοχή και διηγούνται και την ιστορία του τόπου.

…….. English version ……..

West of Kissamos and north of the beautiful village of Kaliviani, stretches the impressive Gramvoussa peninsula. The peninsula is formed by steep rocks and is covered with thyme and origanum bushes and wild flowers.

gramvousa map

On the north west side of the peninsula opposite to the islands of Gramvoussa is the wonderful beach of Balos. The beach is covered with fine white sand and is located between the two creeks of the Tigani cape. The same white sand covers the bottom of the sea and grants to the sea an emerald color. In front of the beach is the picturesque island of Gramvoussa and on the back is the Geroskinos mountain (altitude 762 m).
The road from Kaliviani is well paved dirt road, with amazing view to the steep rocky seaside of the east side of the peninsula. The road ends one-two km before the beach, and the visitor can follow a pave road to Balos.

balos

The two islands Gramvousa – once the haunt of pirates – today you can find the ruin of a Venetian fortress. Due to its strategic location, Gramvousa was fortified by the Venetians, who built a well-fortified castle on the top of a steepy rock at an altitude of 137 m. Construction on the castle of Gramvousa started in 1579 and ended in 1582. It was destroyed in 1588, however, when thunder struck on the powder store.The castle was rebuilt in 1630. It was one of the three castles to remain under Venetian dominion after the Turkish occupation of Crete (the other two were those of Sitia and Spinalonga. Even though the castle was impregnable, during the Venetian-Turkish war the Italian commandant was bribed by the Turks and he gave over the castle in 1692.

During the Greek uprising against the Turks, Gramvousa played an important and desicive role. After many attempts the castle was finally occupied by the Cretan revolutioners in 1825, when a team of Cretans disguised as Turks entered the castle. Gramvousa was the first part of Crete to be liberated by the Turks.
The rocky island became a shelter for over 3000 people, and a base of operations for the revolution teams. But it also became a base of pirates that plundered every ship that passed to the seas around the island, so with the agreement of the Greek Government a English-French garrison took over the island of Gramvoussa in 1828. Today, the high walls of the Gramvoussa are preserved, half ruined but awesome.

The two videos as braodcasted by the local TV channel, show the beauty of the place and walk you around the castle and the beach (the beach is at the second video).

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