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Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon.

The Bay of Kissamos is about 8 miles (13km) wide and 11 miles (18km) long ending at the capes of Bouza and Spatha. You’ll see that the water is crystal clear and turquoise blue. On the left of the bay you’ll see the remains of the ancient remains of the city of Kissamos, the old monastery of Agia Irini, the ancient shipyard Tarsanas and in the harbour of Agia Sozou the ancient city of Agneon with the temple of the god Apollo.
Towards the end of the bay you’ll notice that Crete is rising on the western side and the traces left by the water on the cliffs from when the sea level was higher confirm this fact. This phenomenon is thought to have occurred about 1450 BC when a volcano eruption on Santorini resulting in heavy earthquakes would have provoked the lifting up of western Crete. This probably ended Minoan civilisation.
On reaching uninhabited Gramvoussa island you’ll see a Venetian fortress on the highest point at the edge of its ravine (137m). Although supposedly impregnable it was taken over several times. At one time this small island was an expedition base for Cretan rebels and it sheltered about 3000 inhabitants who survived as pirates attacking and looting all ships passing by..
10 minutes sailing from Gramvoussa brings you to the idyllic lagoon of Balos with its turquoise blue water. It has a lovely sandy beach, pink shoreline and warm, shallow waters for swimming.

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Additional Photos by Artur Turyna (sixTL) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 650 W: 0 N: 638] (8596)
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