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Gouves, or Kato Gouves to give it its full name, is a purpose built resort on the north coast of Crete seventeen kilometres east of Heraklion, with a transfer time from the airport of forty minutes. It is a popular holiday destination having sandy beaches, a wide range of accommodation catering for most tastes and budgets and a wealth of leisure activities. It is also well placed for exploring some of Crete’s famous tourist attractions including the island of Spinalonga, the Palace at Knossos and the capital Heraklion itself.
A Gouves holiday has grown in popularity because of the ease of transfer from the airport, its closeness to the capital Heraklion, its sandy beaches and its broad range of leisure activities both in and out of the water. Those with children will also appreciate the proximity of the water park at Heraklion. The resort possesses all the necessary ingredients for a carefree holiday.
A Gouves holiday is popular with most age groups. Families are attracted by the sandy beach and clear blue sea. Couples of all ages find that Gouves makes a good base from which to explore the capital and other interesting sights.
The most popular time to visit Gouves is in the summer. The season extends from Easter to October when the temperature range is from twenty to thirty degrees.
The old village of Gouves has a long history being first mentioned in1387 and possesses some fine churches including St. John’s and St. George’s and one dedicated to the birth of Our Lady. Below the village is Kato Gouves, a purpose built resort that has everything the modern holidaymaker requires. There are large hotels and small family-run hotels, apartments and studios, sports centres, shops, bars, tavernas and restaurants. There is also a harbour and small marina for berthing boats and for the hiring of pleasure craft.
There are three small sandy beaches ideal for families although care must be taken on windy days as there can be a strong undercurrent. At such times there will be a warning flag. Water sports are available from these beaches and wind surfing is a popular pastime.
Gouves is well endowed with tavernas, restaurants and bars where you can find a wide choice of menu. Although there are lively spots where you can dance away the evening, Gouves is not noted for its wild nightlife.
Gouves is well positioned for exploring such tourist attractions as Spinalonga Island, the former leper colony with its Venetian Fort, and the Palace of Knossos, as well as the caves at Ilithia and the many old monasteries in the vicinity.
There is also a water park nearby with exciting flumes and slides.
Gouves has a fairly lively nightlife with bars and discos providing late night entertainment. Many of the larger hotel complexes provide in house entertainment. There are also many places where those who wish can enjoy an evening meal, under the stars and in tranquil surroundings.
In the centre of Gouves and along the sea front there are supermarkets providing holiday essentials as well as a large number of gift and souvenir shops. Those wanting a wider variety of shops can take a scenic bus ride to Heraklion or Rethymnon where they will find many high quality specialist shops. There are many high quality leather shops in Heraklion along with some rather fine jewellers.
Gouves has a variety of restaurants and tavernas catering for most tastes as well as fast food outlets and restaurants serving international cuisine. Along the beach front you will find many tavernas serving traditional food. Fish features widely on menus. If you feel peckish between lunch and dinner try a plate of meze, a Greek equivalent of the Spanish tapas, with such things as deep fried fish, stuffed vine leaves, pickles, olives and halloumi.
Eating out in Greece is a pleasure that should be enjoyed in a leisurely fashion. Don’t mistake the lack of haste for tardy service as you are simply being given the time to fully enjoy each course. Children are warmly welcomed in restaurants and their tastes and portion size are usually accommodated.