KASTELI Kissamos, later named Kasteli after its Venetian Castle, preserved in full the pre-Hellenistic name of a very ancient settlement, which was situated on the same site. Plinios (4, 12, 20) refers to it as Cisamon and Ptolemeus (3, 8, 17) as Kissamos Polis (Kissamos City). Kissamos used to be a large, organized town, haven of Polyrthenia, but autonomous and independent, with its own currency. On the one side of its coins is Hermes’ head with a broadbrimmed cap was depicted while on the other side there was a dolphin and the following letters Κ Σ Ι Ω (Svoronos, Numismatique, etc. p. 55).
GRAMVOUSSA by boat from Kasteli is a must. On Tame Gramvousa there is a castle on the top of a steep rockat an altitude of 140 m that is still in good condition. It was built during
the Venetian occupation to offer protection
to the ships that arrived from Venice. High walls surrounded it and its construction was completed in 1582. The lagoon of BALOS, with its beautiful water is a place of unique interest and beauty. Local plants and rare birds have found a sanctuary here. It is accessible only by foot from the village of Kaliviani (approximately 45 minutes) or by boat from Kasteli.
POLIRRINIA It is situated 6 km south of Kasteli Kissamos and it is a renowned town of
western Crete built amphitheatrically on the slope of a precipitous mountainside.
It had been the best-fortified town in Crete and its domination spread from the Cretan to the Libyan Sea. Today we can still see the city walls that have been built throughout all periods of history; Greek, Roman even Byzantine and Venetian periods. The majority of the ruins that have survived are of Roman times. Inside the village, there is a majestic reservoir, a work of Hadrian, as well as a temple with a huge altar. Throughout the area, we can see carve houses,
carved graves and many architectural parts.