Located in northern Crete, Gournes Beach is a collection of small sandy beaches off a beach-front promenade that stretches along the charming and laid-back village of Gournes, situated between Kokkini Hani and Kato Gouves. Easily accessible from Heraklion, Gournes Beach offers an idyllic and peaceful beach escape.
Find the most organized stretches of beach on the far western end of the promenade, in front of Hotel Xenia. The beach here is wide and patrolled by lifeguards, and offers beach chairs, loungers, and umbrellas for rent. Head east to find quieter and rockier stretches of beach, as well as more limited facilities. There are cafés, bars, tavernas, and restaurants along certain stretches of the promenade across from the beaches, some of which offer beach service for drinks and snacks.
It’s easy to visit Gournes Beach independently. A few guided tours include a stop at Gournes Beach, including full-day self-drive 4x4 safaris that explore parts of Crete including Gonies village and the town of Kastelli.
Things to know before you go
- Gournes Beach is ideal for beach lovers and families with children.
- Don’t forget to bring swimwear and a towel if you plan to enjoy the water.
- Not all sections of the beach will have lifeguards on duty.
- Sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented at certain stretches of beach.
- There are no banks, ATMs, or pharmacies in the town of Gournes.
How to get there
Gournes is located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Heraklion, on Crete’s northern coast. Regular buses connect Gournes to Heraklion, Heraklion Airport, and Hersonissos. Gournes is also within walking distance of Kokkini Hani.
When to get there
Gournes Beach can be visited year-round. Water temperatures will be most pleasant for swimming in the summer, but rarely fall below 59˚F (15˚C) even in the winter. The beaches rarely get that crowded either, making a great option when other beaches are busy on weekends and holidays.
There are a number of popular attractions near Gournes Beach. Both the Cretaquarium and the Watercity Waterpark are popular with families. There are also two old churches worth visiting nearby, the Church of St. John Beziti and the Old Church of the Annunciation. Also nearby are Skotino’s Cave, a shrine from the Minoan Era, and the Minoan Villa at Niro.
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