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Nestled on the northern coast of Crete, Gouves is a tale of two beautiful places wrapped up in one. While the quaint village of Pano Gouves has an old-world allure with whitewashed houses and ancient churches, the seaside town of Kato Gouves features beachfront hotels, restaurants and bars providing a contemporary contrast. Holidays in Gouves are all about unwinding on the Blue Flag beach, making a splash in the gleaming blue waters, exploring traditional Greek villages and experiencing the resort's pumping nightlife. Looking for a day trip? Make your way to the Elounda harbour and catch a boat to Spingalonga Island, stopping for a snorkel in the Greek sea on your way back. Gouves holidays also offer the opportunity to explore the neighbouring Heraklion, Hersonissos or all the major attractions of northern Crete. So whether you're travelling solo or taking your family along, this all-round resort is a great choice for sunshine holidays.
Beach fun at Kato Gouves
Interspersed with rocky coves, the Blue Flag Kato Gouves beach is a perfect place for a relaxing day out. Laze under the colourful umbrellas and sunbeds that dot the beach, but note that you have to pay for using them. Water lovers can wade into the warm, clear waters with banana boat, pedalo or canoe activities. Alternatively, you can opt for windsurfing, scuba diving or paragliding. For refreshments, step in to the beachsiderestaurants, cafes and bars.
Day trips to Santorini and Heraklion
Gouves is in proximity to a clutch of attractions that make for rewarding daytrips. Sail to the volcanic island of Santorini for a mesmerising panorama of black cliffs, whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches. A 25-minute drive from Gouves is Crete's capital Heraklion, which entices with its Venetian port, walled old city and designer boutiques. Explore the impressive Palace of Knossos, and then head to Daedalou street to shop for high-street fashion brands, or browse the central market for Cretan cheese. The nearby Chania also makes for an ideal day trip.
Mesmerising Samaria Gorge
One of the major attractions of Crete, the breath-taking Samaria Gorge is Europe's largest gorge. Take a drive through the White Mountains to reach the gorge and then descend down 700 winding steps to explore a 16-km nature trail surrounded by limestone cliffs, steep ravines and boulders. Devote some time to admire the rich flora and fauna that thrives in the gorge. After your adventure, sail to Chora Sfakion and explore the fresh springs of Sweetwater Beach, from where you can take a ferry to Loutro village.
CretAquarium and Acqua Plus Waterpark
If you're fascinated by the marine life and want to get an up-close view of what lies beneath the sea, then take a tour of the massive CretAquarium in Heraklion - very close to Gouves. Little explorers will enjoy being guided along 60 tanks, which showcases the Mediterranean seascape with over 2,000 examples of sea creatures. For some family fun, visit the Acqua Plus Waterpark near Hersonissos, where you can enjoy an array of water games and rides, or get a relaxing hydro-massage in the pool.
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