In the northwest part of Crete, there are two small islands, Imeri and Agria Gramvousa (meaning Tale and Wild) that form one of the finest places in the Mediterranean to visit. Both of these island are uninhabited, but they attract day visitors seek to experience its heavenly exotic promise. Visits usually take place on Imeri Gramvousa where a Venetian fortress was built in the 16th century in a significant strategic position. In the centuries that followed the fortress passed over to the Ottomans, who then fortified it with 66 cannons, making it unconquerable. During the Greek revolt against the Turks, Gramvousa became a refuge for many revolutionary Cretans.
Between the two Gramvousa islands and the northwest coast of Crete lies Balos, an exceptional lagoon has come into sight combining clear emerald swallow waters with white and pink sand due to the sea shells found all over the area. Balos is famous for its wild and exotic beauty, forming one of the gem beaches of the island Crete. Its unrivalled natural beauty includes the diversity and rareness of the plants and animals; hundreds of plants, birds, wild donkeys, the seal Monachus-Monachus and the sea turtle Careta-Careta are unique to this part of the world.
Gramvousa and Balos can be visited by taking the ferry-boat form the harbor of Kasteli and if you are lucky, during the trip you may see dolphins, depending on the season. The ferry first stop is on the island of Imeri to explore the venetian fortress. Finally the boat reach Balos lagoon where everyone can experience some of the finest dives and a refreshing swim to be remembered. Overnight stays are not permitted by the Archaeological Authority.
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