Gouves combines the charm of a small village with a choice of beaches and family attractions. You can set your own pace between a relaxed beach trip or more active villa holiday with visits to nearby Heraklion and Hersonissos. Walk to one of the nearby tavernas to enjoy traditional Cretan food or venture into town for a more cosmopolitan choice. The beaches range from sheltered coves to longer stretches of sand. Nearby waterparks and an aquarium are great for family days out. The major archaeological site and ancient capital of Crete, Knossos, is also close to Gouves, just south of Heraklion.
The centre of Gouves has all the facilities which you would expect to find in a small resort including a mini market so you can cook at your villa. For a selection of crafts and to see a market in action and perhaps buy locally produced food, then a trip to Heraklion is in order. The Saturday morning market is great for treats including wine, raki, olive oil and honey.
There are many tavernas and restaurants in Gouves serving both Greek and multinational menus. If you want a lively setting, make for the beach road in Hersonissos, 15 minutes’ drive away, where you will find lots of bars in between restaurants offering local and international cuisine. In Heraklion, 25 minutes away by car, you can enjoy the lively atmosphere at the fish tavernas overlooking the marina. Sip an ice-cold ouzo and appreciate some freshly caught fish with a great Greek salad - what more could you ask for?
The main beach in Gouves is a mixture of sandy and rocky stretches with sunbeds and parasols for hire. The nearby resorts of Analypsis and Hersonissos also have beaches offering plenty of facilities. Further afield, about a 50 minute drive away is the lovely sandy Almyros Beach in Aghios Nikolaos and just a further 10 minute drive is Vouliasmeni Beach in Istron with its golden sands and small coves.
Families will always find plenty to do whether it’s a trip to Water City or Acqua Plus Water Park, both within 15 minutes’ drive of Gouves. Cretaquarium in Gouves is run by the Marine Biology Department of Crete University and perfect for a family day out. Alternatively, a couple of hours at the Dinosauria Park 'watching' a dinosaur egg hatch in the 'dinosaur hospital' is good fun for all the family and less than 10 minutes’ drive from the resort centre.
For history fans, a visit to the archaeological site of Knossos is a must. You can see many of the objects found in the museum in Heraklion.
Make the most of hiring a car in Crete and explore the Lassithi Plateau with its famous caves and verdant fields. You can continue your trip east with a visit to Aghios Nikolaos. Or why not take a boat across to Spinalonga? This former leper colony island has impressive Venetian architecture and a very interesting history.
The Crete Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course and located just outside Hersonissos. Booking is advisable as it can get rather busy during the summer months.