In the Calm Gramvousa you can find the ruins of the Venetian castle that was built in 1579-84, at a height of 137 metres above the natural harbour of the island. The location of the castle was strategic, as it overlooked the whole of north-eastern Crete. Its size is still impressive, as it is triangular in shape, with each side measuring over one kilometre.
The landscape in Calm Gramvousa is pristine and the view of Balos is thrilling. On the island, you come across numerous of cactuses and low vegetation, a landscape that reminds of Africa!
The greater area of Gramvousa and the Balos lagoon is one of the most important habitats of the Eastern Mediterranean and one of the migration routes of birds in the Mediterranean. More than 100 species of birds and 400 species of plants can be found on the peninsula and the islands of Gramvousa. The Mediterranean seal breeds in undersea caves of the area, while the sea turtle Caretta often comes to the area to forage and give birth.
Visitors can, apart from wandering around the castle and the shipwreck, swim in the crystal clear waters of the beach where there are a few trees offering shade. Next to the beach there is the small church of Saint George while on the fortress there is the temple of Virgin Mary Kleftrina.
Balos is famous for its turquoise waters, the wild natural beauty and the wonderful exotic landscape.
The Balos lagoon has white sand and exotically white, intense blue green and turquoise waters. The sea is very shallow and warm, an ideal destination for young children as well. In a lot of places the sand has a wonderful pink colour, which comes from the shattered sea shells. Further on from the rocks the waters are deeper and cooler.
Moreover, northern of Balos, at the cape Korykon, there are the remains of the small Roman town of Agneios with a temple dedicated to Apollo. Today, there you can find the picturesque small church of Saint Sostis.
The whole area belongs to a protected Natura area, with rare species of flora and fauna, so, no other services are offered on the island and overnight stay is prohibited.