The legendary castle of Gramvousa was built by the Venetians in 1579, on the top of a steep rock. The panoramic view combined with its amazing beauty plus the legend of hidden pirate treasure, are the main reasons to determine you to come to visit it.
Imeri Gramvousa hosts the remains of the Venetian fort and the buildings left behind by Cretan insurgents, who were obliged to live as pirates during the Greek War of Independence. It was built to defend the island from the Ottoman Turks.
Gramvousa, along with the fortresses of Souda and Spinalonga, defended Venetian trade routes and they were also strategic bases in the event of a new Ottoman–Venetian war for Crete. Today, Imeri Gramvousa is a popular tourist attraction.
Balos is an islet, which forms part of a cape, through the lagoon, called Cape Tigani. In the north of Balos, at the Korykon cape, you can see the ruins of the small ancient Roman city of Agnion, with a temple to the god Apollo.
Balos lagoon has white sand and exotic vivid blue and turquoise waters. The sea is very shallow and warm, ideal for young children. In many places the sand has a lovely pinkish color, because of millions of crushed shells. Beyond the rocks at the boundaries of the lagoon, the water is deeper and colder, ideal for snorkeling. The lagoon and the wider area, with rare species of flora and fauna, are protected under the Natura 2000 program, and also a shelter for the protected monk seal and the famous sea turtles Caretta Caretta.
Balos is surely the mostly photographed beach in Crete.