Gramvousa Shipwreck: How It Happened

gramvousa shipwreck

Gramvousa Shipwreck: a famous highlight during every boat trip to Balos Lagoon in Chania, Crete. This iconic shipwreck serves as a captivating reminder of maritime history and adds an intriguing element to your seafaring adventure. Therefore, when you plan your boat tour to Gramvousa with our team from Afenter Crete, you can look forward to more than just the alluring blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the majestic landscapes. This boat trip promises an extraordinary sight – the iconic shipwreck of “Dimitrios P”.

Continue reading this article to uncover the intriguing story behind this shipwreck and learn about the ways through which you can experience it firsthand.

About Gramvousa Island

To begin with, Gramvousa Island is a place where time seems to stand still, and the wonders of nature unfold at every turn. In fact, it refers to two small islands (Imeri and Agria Gramvousa) off the coast of Gramvousa Peninsula. Also known as “Pirate Island,” Gramvousa has a great history that dates back many centuries ago. Its strategic location at the crossroads of ancient trade routes made it a coveted prize for various civilizations throughout the ages. From the Venetians to the Ottomans, each left their mark on the island, contributing to its unique cultural tapestry. Currently, Gramvousa Island is uninhabited and is only accessible by boat.

One of the most interesting aspects of Gramvousa Island is its legendary fortress, which is built atop a cliff overlooking the sea. Built by the Venetians in the 16th century and later used by pirates as a hideout, the fortress stands as a testament to the island’s tumultuous past. Specifically, in 1825, Cretan Fighters took control of the fortress, and made it into the headquarters of the Revolutionary Committee of Crete. Over the course of three years, more than 3000 rebels sought refuge within its walls. However, faced with a shortage of provisions, many were compelled to turn to piracy for sustenance, leading to Gramvousa’s infamous reputation as “the Pirate Island” across Europe.

Today, visitors can embark on a journey through time as they explore the historic monument and the island itself. Undeniably, it is among the top activities to experience when visiting Chania.

Imeri Gramvousa Island

Picture by: ViliamM

The Story Behind the Shipwreck

The Gramvousa shipwreck is a tale steeped in mystery and intrigue, shrouded by the waves of time. It was a sunny morning in the late 19th century when the vessel went on its fateful journey across the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Measuring 146 feet long, the Dimitrios P vessel has been a part of this coastal landscape for over half a century. The journey began from Chalkida on December 30, 1967, and Dimitrios P was loaded with 440 tons of cement. It’s leading destination was North Africa. Unfortunately, the vessel never reached its intended course.

During its journey, the ship encountered severe weather conditions, forcing it to anchor in the Ormo Diakofti of Kythera. On January 6, it set off for its destination once again, only to be met with adverse weather, forcing a change of course towards the western shores of Crete. Specifically, it found refuge on the south side of Imeri Gramvousa Island, anchoring approximately 200 meters from the shore. However, disaster struck on January 8, 1968. The chain of the right anchor snapped and despite the captain’s great efforts to keep the ship steady, the ship ran aground and the engine room was flooded. Thus, the crew abandoned the ship, and it has remained a crucial part of the landscape ever since.

Today, it serves as a stunning reminder of the past and adds an intriguing dimension to your private boat tour to Imeri Gramvousa from Chania Crete.

Balos Lagoon

Picture by: ErreCh

Available Boat Trips to Gramvousa Island

At Afenter Crete, we offer two boat trips to this incredible destination for your holidays in Chania, Crete. Alternatively, you have the option to customize your itinerary according to your preferences.

Kasteli – Balos – Gramvousa

The boat tour Kasteli – Balos – Gramvousa takes you on a lovely voyage along the coast of Crete. Undoubtedly, you will encounter breathtaking views of turquoise waters and natural beauty. You will be able to explore the famous Balos Lagoon which is ideal for both swimming and relaxation.

Additionally, the excursion includes a visit to the historic Gramvousa Island. As we mentioned above, there awaits the well-preserved Venetian fortress and the infamous shipwreck.

Would you like to learn more details about this boat trip? Find out more on this page.

Kolymvari – Menies – Chironisia – Balos – Gramvousa

The second available boat trip that makes a stop at the Gramvousa shipwreck begins from Kolymvari. Then, we carry on to Menies Beach, Chironisia Island, Balos Lagoon, and finally to Gramvousa Island. It is a thrilling odyssey that shows the rich variety of Crete’s coastline.

On the first stop, you’ll have the opportunity to relax at Menies beach. Then, we will visit Chironisia, swim in the shallow waters of Balos Lagoon, and finally, explore the historic Gramvousa Island.

Would you like to learn more details about this boat trip? Find out more on this page.


To conclude, Gramvousa shipwreck is an important landmark in Crete. Whether you’re exploring the ancient ruins in Gramvousa Island, lounging on remote beaches, or marveling at the wonders of nature, every moment spent on this legendary island is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, set sail for adventure, and prepare to embark on the journey of a lifetime! Get ready to discover with us the mysterious and idyllic shores of Gramvousa Island.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on this page.

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