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Places to visit in Gouves

Archaeological sites

Minoan Megaron Nirou

In the area of Nirou Hani, you will find the Minoan Megaron Nirou. It was probably built in the 16th century BC and after its destruction by fire in the 15th century BC, it was finally abandoned. It is a two stories high luxurious house, built of large ashlar. It is believed that it served as residence of a High Priest due to the numerous ceremonial vessels found in its ruins. Relevant findings also indicate that in the area there was the naval station of Knossos.

Caves & Gorges

  • Skoteinou Cave

22,5 klm from Heraklion, this cave is near the village Skoteino. It was named after the church of Saint Georgios of Skoteino found at the cave's entrance and built sometime during the Venetian occupation. During the Ottoman occupation, it is believed that the church was secretly used as a school since the Turks did not allow the Orthodox children to be educated.

  • Saint Paraskevi Cave

1,5klm from the Skoteino village, you can find the cave of Saint Paraskevi. To this day, the cave attracts numerous visitors due to its beautiful formations of stalagmites and stalactites.

  • Eileithyia Cave

This cave is commonly known as the cave of the faeries. Eileithyia was the goddess of labor and the cave is believed to have been her temple of worship. According to Homer, she was the daughter of Hera. Findings prove that it was used from the Neolithic and Minoan times to the late Roman and Christian period.

  • Kalohoriano Gorge

If you enjoy walking, you should try this beautiful route.

Churches & monasteries


  • Kera Eleousa Monastery

One of the most important monasteries that belonged to the Monastery of Agarathos. It is found near the village Voritsi of the municipality of Gouves. Although today it is deserted, its remaining roofless buildings indicate that it was an autonomous monasterial compound of characteristic architectural beauty built sometime during the last century of Venetian occupation.

  • Saint Ioannis Theologos Monastery

Found near Anopolis, the church was secretly used as a school during the Ottoman occupation, since the Turks did not allow the Orthodox children to be educated. Its monks also helped the Cretan rebels against the Turks. The latter as retaliation, killed all the monks and destroyed the monastery. The bishop Kallinikos Daskalakis reopened the monastery sometime in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Other places of interest

  • CretAquarium

In Gournes, you will find the first Aquarium of Mediterranean Sea life in Crete . Hundreds of sea species and thousands of organisms will fascinate you with their behavior.

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