Gouves - Crete
Offering an outdoor pool, barbecue and sun terrace, Irilena Apartments is located in Gouves in the Crete Region. 10km from Heraklio Town. Hersonissos is 10km from the property.
Some units include a terrace and/or balcony. There is a private bathroom with a bath or shower and a hairdryer in every unit. Bed linen is provided.
Balíon is 46km from Irilena Apartments, while Agios Nikolaos is 43km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 12.5km from the property.
Distance from the airport: 12.5km
Distance from the beach: 300m
Gournes is 15 km east of Heraklion. It is part of the largest coastal tourist area in Crete, running from Kokkini Hani to Malia. Gournes is between Kokkini Hani and Gouves, which are both within walking distance along the beach.
Gournes was a small village until the late fifties, when the big American Air Force communications (no planes) base opened, occupying a substantial portion of the town property. While the base population eventually grew to about 3.500 servicemen and their families, the surrounding area kept pace. Many of the first hotels and apartments were built in Gournes to accommodate the families of the servicemen and visitors to the base and its civilian work force. When the Gournes base closed in 1993, the area was a bit shell-shocked, as about 1.000 locals became unemployed and hundreds of apartments and rooms were vacated.
Since then, Gournes has fought its way back economically, making a good name for itself as a quiet holiday destination, as well as a place where many people from Heraklion maintain their summer homes. The enormous base property with a frontage of 500 m along the main road is finally showing signs of a new life. After lying dormant for many years, there is now a school, a gymnasium, a municipal town hall services and an exhibition center, plus the Crete Aquarium “Thalassokosmos” (Sea World), the largest aquarium in southern Europe.
Gournes has a regular bus service both east and west, for easy access to Heraklion or Hersonissos, as well as many other points along the coast.
Along the beach-front promenade you’ll find several spots where you can go swimming. At the east end of this area, there is the excellent Municipal beach of Gouves, which offers the cheapest sunbeds and umbrellas in the area.
At the site of the former American Base you will find beaches without umbrellas for a peaceful swim. The old village of Gournes is a short, uphill walk to the right, from the old road. There are many old village houses, plus some newer homes, side by side, and a nice village church.
In the valley of Gournes there is a beautiful old chapel of St. John Bezetis with many well-preserved frescoes.