Explore Gramvousa Island
If you visit Crete, take a trip to the island of Gramvousa and explore its beauty and history.
A beautiful island adventure awaits
If you’re up for an adventure, don’t miss your chance to take our boat trip to Gramvousa Island. Just off the north-western coast of Crete and the Gramvousa Peninsula, this hard-to-reach location is renowned for its natural rugged beauty and its history.
“Gramvousa,” also sometimes called “Grampousa,” includes the two islands: Imeri Gramvousa, the larger and more popular island, and Agria Gramvousa, a smaller and more rugged isle. They are not far off the coast of Crete but they are accessible only by boat.
Tourists who visit the uninhabited main island of Imeri Gramvousa will get a natural experience as well as a taste of history. Gramvousa’s open lagoon and stunning beaches of Balos Lagoon are popular tourist destinations.
If you fancy learning some Greek history, don’t miss the centuries-old Venetian fortress on Gramvousa. Enjoy crystal-clear water and white sand as you relax on a beautiful day. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the 20-minute climb to the castle at the top of the island.
With its giant rock formations and beautiful views, this is one destination you don’t want to skip out on when you visit Crete. We make things easy, safe, and enjoyable by offering a boat ride to the island of Gramvousa for a day trip. It’s an unforgettable excursion!
Be sure to check out these attractions while on Imeri Gramvousa island:
● Gramvousa beach
● Gramvousa fortress
● The Dimitrios shipwreck
Let’s learn more about Imeri Gramvousa island
The Main Gramvousa Island
Don’t miss this small, walkable island with a beautiful beach and unique history. In the 1820s, the residents of Greece and Crete were at war against the Ottoman Empire for their independence. During that time, this island became the refuge of a community of Cretan insurgents who operated as pirates in the Aegean Sea.
Tradition has it that when stronger political powers forcibly removed the Cretan pirates, the only person to evade capture was a woman named Vousa, who was the wife of a famed pirate. From that point, the name of the island became “Gramvousa” in tribute to her.
What is Imeri Gramvousa island?
Imeri Gramvousa, which in English translates to ‘tame Gramvousa’, is one of two small islands off the coast of Crete. An ancient name for this island was Korykos, which meant ‘leather bag’. Gramvousa is the only of the two islands open to the public, with beaches and historical attractions. Be sure to include this stop on your list. You don’t want to miss a visit to this island if you’re in Crete.
Its smaller sister island, Agria Gramvousa, which translates to ‘wild Gramvousa’, is farther north and remains inaccessible because of its steep and rocky terrain. Both islands are currently uninhabited, and by law, will stay that way in the future. Because of this, many bird and flora species can make their home on Agria Gramvousa and stay protected.
The islands have been left to grow all-natural except for the historical buildings, fortress, and beaches on Imeri Gramvousa. With no amenities to stay the night, and the only access being by boat, it truly feels like an escape to a secluded paradise.
Gramvousa Castle in the past
Venetians built the fortress between 1579 and 1584 because of its strategic location off the coast of Crete. At 137 meters above sea level, its impressive and robust size allowed it to be a strong defense and hold out against many sieges over the years.
It was not until 1692 that a Captain betrayed the Venetians and surrendered the fort to the Ottoman Turks for a generous bribe that left him living a good life in Constantinople.
The island eventually became named after Vousa, the wife of a Cretan pirate, who occupied the island from 1825 until 1828.
Gramvousa Castle in the modern era
Now, centuries later, the Venetian fort serves as an attraction for tourists. It sits at the very top of Gramvousa, offering views as far as you can see. Even after 400 years, numerous wars, pirates, and insurgents, the fortress still stands as impressive as it must have been back in the late 1500s.
Gramvousa has a reputation for its rugged terrain, rocky cliffs, and uneven walking paths, so the hike to the top is a bit of work but only takes 20 minutes. Once at the top, the striking views are worth the climb. Be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes since the pathway can be uneven and steep as it cuts back and forth along the hillside.
Maximum relaxation on white sand and crystal clear waters
Where is Gramvousa Beach?
You can find Gramvousa’s beach beneath the Venetian fort at Imeri Gramvousa. It’s in the bay area of the southern end of the island. Its white sand and clear waters are welcoming to all the visitors of the island.
The water is calm, and relaxing under the tamarisk trees offers a peaceful escape from daily life. The fact that it’s only reachable by boat adds to its exclusivity and privacy.
Our Blue Daily Cruises boat trips take tourists to the island every day, so be sure to get in touch to schedule yours.
The famous Gramvousa shipwreck
On the coastline of Gramvousa’s beach is an old cargo ship abandoned three decades ago. Ever since then, the shipwreck has become a landmark in the area. It’s accessible to everyone, even without underwater gear, since it is right on the beach. The location provides a great photo opportunity and a chance to explore a shipwreck for the first time. Be sure to check it out when you visit the island.
What Travelers Say About Gramvousa
If you visit Crete, don’t fail to include Gramvousa island and its Venetian fortress in your plans. This hard-to-reach location makes it the perfect getaway for a day trip. The fort on top of the island has a fantastic story for you to discover, complete with an unforgettable view.
Get in touch with us at Blue Daily Cruises to schedule your boat trip and start your journey to Imeri Gramvousa island!