Kissamos-Gramvoussa


Starting from Chania we direct westwards to Kissamos along the coast. This is a small town built on the homonymous bay, in the location of ancient Kissamos, port of adjacent Polyrrinia. It is unfolded along a beautiful coast with fine sand at the edge of a lush green valley infested with olive trees and vineyards.

The saved relics date mainly to the Roman period, when the city experienced a considerable prosperity.

During the Venetian domination it was fortified with a fortress, a “castello”, from which it took the name Castelli. The fortress was destroyed by Barbarossa and in 1646 was seized by the Turks. The surviving ruins till nowadays are additions and repairs of the last conquerors. From Kissamos there are regular itineraries to Gythion and Kythira.

At a distance of 7 kilometers southwards are located the ruins of the ancient city Polyrrinia. It was built upon a naturally fortified hill, in a short distance from the homonymous village. It was an important city of western Crete, with a strong citadel and as it is evidenced by the findings, it was inhabited from the Archaic to the Roman era. It was re-inhabited in the 10th century. It had an impressive aqueduct, ruins of which have survived to nowadays.

West of Kissamos the route is coming away from the coast and is turning southwards towards Zerviana, Gramvousa and Platanos (10km from Kissamos). Outside the last village there is a road to the right -half asphalted, half dirt – leading to Ancient Falasarna northwards (5.5km from Platanos), on the northwestern coast of Crete. During antiquity it was an important trading and shipping center, built in a naturally fortified location and served as a port of adjacent Polyrrinia.

Falasarna beach is one of the most beautiful in Crete with fine sand and wonderful coves.

To the north lies the desolated peninsula that ends in Cape Vouza. Opposite the cape is located the deserted island Agria Gramvousa and southernmost Imeri Gramvousa or Gramvousa. The Venetians had built on Imeri Gramvousa a fortress over a steep cliff, which was occupied by rebellious Cretans in 1825, where they settled and from where they were launching sneak attacks against Turks.

Gramvousa was the first free part of Cretan land. In 1828, it fell into the hands of British and French.