Kastelli Kissamou Hotels
With Kissamos as a starting point you can visit the archaeological sites of Falassarna, Polyrenia, the islands of Gramvoussa (pirate isles) the beautiful gorges of Sirikari, Rokka and Topolia, the overlooking cave of St. Sophie (Agia Sofia), the lagoon of Balos, the medieval villages etc. You will be seeing here rare endemic plants, aromatic, ornamental, as well as plants with healing properties. Visitors can also spent some time at the idyllic lagoon of Balos, the wonderful sandy beaches and their crystalline waters and the various medieval villages.
Elafonissi is a small islet on the southwest of Crete. It is connected to the beach with a shallow reef (max. depth 1 meter) that allows crossing when the sea is calm. There are only a couple of cantinas on the beach and plenty of places for camping. The place can be accessed by car from the village of Vathi or by boat from Paleohora. There are no permanent inhabitants.
On the northwest coast of Crete the west coast of the gulf of Kissamos projects northwards and forms a promontory that the ancients named "Korykos Akran".
West of this tongue of land are two small rocky islets. The one north of the promontory is Agriogramvoussa, south of it and to the west is Gramvoussa itself.
Due to its strategic location, Gramvoussa was fortified by the Venetians, who built a well-fortified castle on the top of a steepy rock at an altitude of 137 m. Construction on the castle of Gramvoussa started in 1579 and ended in 1582. It was destroyed in 1588, however, when thunder struck on the powder store.The castle was rebuilt in 1630. It was one of the three castles to remain under Venetian dominion after the Turkish occupation of Crete (the other two were those of Sitia and Spinalonga).
Falassarna is the westernmost village in Crete, located approximately 20km from Kissamos in the neck of the Gramvoussa peninsula. The name Falassarna is pre-hellenic and is derived from the nymph "Falasarni". Falassarna used to be the port of ancient Polyrenia.
Nowadays Falassarna is a quiet resort, with many small hotels, apartments and taverns, close to the wonderful sandy beach. There are also plenty spots for free camping. Here the visitor can admire the magnificence of the archaic landscape and the blue sky.
One of the most beautiful stretched sandy beaches in Crete, "Pahia Ammos" (thick sand), is located south of Falassarna.
A lagoon in the middle of nowhere, and yet, in the heart of the Mediterranean, on a peninsula still virtually untouched. To get there you can either take the boat from Kissamos (daily departure at 9 am and return at the end of the afternoon), or drive there in a 4x4 jeep. You can also go to Balos on foot, by following the well-indicated footpath which starts at Kaliviani. Take along refreshments and water, and start your hike at daybreak, for the 9 km-long path is entirely exposed to the sun. Upon arrival, you will be rewarded by a fine, pink sandy beach and a turquoise sea.
At a distance of 7km, at the south of Kissamos town, are the ruins of the ancient city of Polyrenia. The place is considered to be the oldest city that the Dorians built in Crete (after Minoan Period).Therefore Polyrinia was a powerful city for ages. Its walls are still visible, and existed until the Byzantine period. At present Polyrinia, is a small village, that is built with building materials from the ancient city.