Gouves (or rather Kato Gouves) is one of the most popular destinations in Crete, thanks to its beautiful beaches. Gouves is a seaside resort and a family town, not far from Hersonissos.

  • What to do in Gouves?
  • Where to sleep?
  • What climate?

Crete Autrement offers you its complete travel guide of the destination!

Where to sleep in Gouves?

We will speak here mainly about Kato Gouves, which is traditionally the village that is mentioned when “Gouves” is mentioned.

  • But in which hotel to sleep in Kato Gouves?
  • Is it more interesting for you to find a resort in Kato Gouves or in the Gouves area?
  • What about Hersonissos, only a dozen kilometers and a quarter of an hour drive away?

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Rent a villa

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Where’s Gouves in Crete

Gouves is a large area with several small villages including the popular holiday destination that is Kato Gouves (on the map below) and its traditional village.

It is built on the side of the small mountain Ederi at a height of just over 300 metres with spectacular views. Gouves is located 20 km east of Heraklion and 12 min and 12 km from Hersonissos.

What to do in Gouves? 6 best things to do in 2022!

1. The beaches

Along the extensive coastline of Gouves you will find many amazing beaches.

The beach in front of the Marina Hotel covers a very large area and is very popular, while Astir beach is considered one of the best in the area.

The beaches near the centre of Gouves are very busy and every inch of sand is covered with umbrellas. An umbrella with two sun loungers costs about 6 euros.

For better prices, go to the municipal beach to the east, which costs about 4 euros. All the beaches are generally very busy unless you get up early and go to the beach before 10am, when you will be virtually alone.

Also remember that the beaches of Gouves face north, so in summer the north-west winds make the sea rough. If you want to swim in calm waters, go to the small harbour beach west of the marina.

2. Sail and discover Crete by the sea

For even more dreams and a change of scenery, sometimes you have to go to sea. And what better place than the Greek islands for that? Catamaran, sailboat, trimaran, motorboat… Go to Heraklion for sea lovers and luxury aperitifs to rent a boat with or without a skipper for the day!

3. Discover orthodoxe culture

To complete your trip, feel free to take a tour of the many churches on site, starting with a walk to the seaside Orthodox Church of Saints Constantine and Helena. If you come on a Sunday morning you can even attend mass and if you are lucky there may be a wedding or baptism, usually on a Saturday afternoon.

Que faire à Gouves ?

There are many other churches to discover in the old village of Pano Gouves, including:

  • Saint Georges,
  • Saint Jean
  • and Panagia.

4. The island’s picturesque caves

Several kilometres further up Pano Gouves is the picturesque village of Skotino, and its nearby cave, which is one of the largest in Crete.

Que visiter à Gouves ?

It is 160 metres deep and extends over four levels.

Like many other caves it seems to have had some religious significance and some even believe that it was the labyrinth of the legendary Minotaur.

Minotaur or not, this site should not be missed.

5. Visit villages and holiday destinations around

Soon you will be on holiday and it’s time for you to make the most of it and learn how to relax. One thing is sure, you have chosen the right destination: Gouves is close to many seaside resorts and villages such as :

6. Try Cretaquarium and Knossos

Don’t miss the large aquarium of Gournes “Cretaquarium”, the famous aquarium of Crete located nearby. Gournes is a 10 minute drive from Gouves. To get from Gouves to Cretaquarium, there are 2 ways to go:

  1. the first by land
  2. and the second along the coast, we strongly recommend the latter. At one point you have to turn left and go through the old American base, which may also be of interest as a historical site.

Gouves weather: what’s the weather like all year long?

9 à 15°
8 à 15°
9 à 16°
12 à 20°
15 à 23°
19 à 27°
22 à 28°
22 à 28°
19 à 26°
16 à 23°
13 à 19°
10 à 16°

Please note that 9 days of rain are forecast in January, so it is not necessarily the best time to travel in the sun. It is better to leave between June and August, as the temperature will be much better to enjoy your excursions.

Gouves History

Gouves is neither a village nor a town. It is an inhabited area which owes its development to tourism. A main road leads from the old national road “Heraklion” down to the beach road. On both sides of the road, hotels and flats are spread out over a large distance in the middle of the fields. There are also some hotels and flats above the old national road. In other words, this is a sparsely populated area that has largely retained its former agricultural character. The name Gouves is derived from “Gouva”, which means a hollow in the earth. The name Gouves is usually applied to the seaside resort of Kato Gouves.