Agria(wild) Gramvousa and Imeri (calm) Gramvousa are two uninhabited islets opposite the Gramvousa peninsula, about 2 miles from the Balos lagoon. More than 100 species of birds and 400 species of plants are found on the peninsula and the islands of Gramvousa.
Imeri Gramvousa is known for its fortress, which dominates at an altitude of 137 meters and was built in the 16th century by the Venetians. The location of the castle was strategic as it overshadowed all northeastern Crete and the strait formed between the West Crete and the Peloponnesos. Its size still impresses, although it has been damaged. It has a triangular shape, with each side exceeding one kilometer. The Venetians, after the definitive Ottoman domination of Crete, preserved the island in their domination with Souda and Spinalonga. They believed that if they maintained these three base places, they would be able to conquer Crete again, but that never happened. Gramvousa passed to Turkish occupation in 1692, after a bribe by the Turks to the Venetian brigadier Luca Dela Rocca.
The Turks placed 66 cannons in the fort and made it impregnable for 150 years. In 1825, the Cretan revolutionaries managed to take the fort under their aegis. The fortress’s capacity was 3,000 rebels, who, due to the hardship, were forced to turn to piracy. Gramvousa, due to piracy, quickly gained a bad reputation throughout Europe, which led Ioannis Kapodistrias in 1830 to intervene and liberate the island. According to the London protocol, Crete, together with the fortress, was once again surrendered to the Ottomans.
The myth states that even today there is a hidden great treasure of pirates.
Next, to the port of Gramvousa, there is the shipwreck. Its name is Motorsip Dimitrios P, 146 feet long, which started its journey on 30 December 1967 from Chalkida to North Africa. The ship transported 440 tons of cement. During his journey and due to the bad weather conditions, the ship had to anchor at the Bay of Diakofti of Kythera. After a few days the captain decided to continue his journey, but again faced unfavorable weather conditions and had to change the way to the west coast of Crete. It was moored 200 meters from the southern side of Imeri Gramvousa Island.
On Jan. 8, 1968, during an offshoot, the anchor chain was cut off and the captain attempted to keep the boat with the help of the engine, did not succeed, and the boat stood with the left side and the engine room was flooded with water. The crew and the captain left the ship, remaining for two days on the island of Imeri Gramvousas, until the destroying Jerax, which was brought to them, appeared. The rusty shipwreck remains over the years as an integral part of the beautiful landscape.
Agria Gramvousa is located north of Cape Gramvousa, due to the high rocks surrounding the island, access to it is difficult. The islet has been included in the Natura program as well as the whole area, as in its rocks it hosts seagulls and various species of birds.
Every day, daily cruises are organized, from Kissamos, with a stop on the island of Gramvousa and the final destination of the lagoon of Balos.