Gournes Beach is a sandy beach in the town of Gournes on northern Crete. It is located nine miles east of Heraklion, the capital of the island. The town is on a fertile plain where vegetables and olives are grown. Gournes was once the site of a US Air Force communications base, but when the base closed in 1993, many locals became unemployed. The coastal town has since built itself up again as a quiet vacation destination. The town has no banks or pharmacies, and only a few stores. However, there are small guesthouses, restaurants and taverns to provide a fun beach vacation for visitors. The Crete Aquarium, the largest aquarium in southern Europe, is also located in Gournes.
The sandy beaches of Gournes are along the north shore of Crete. Some areas of the beach are well organized with lifeguards, umbrellas and lounge chairs, while other sections are stretches of open sand. Some parts of the beach are across the street from restaurants where sunbathers can get drinks and snacks. There are several man-made rock jetties to break the waves, and several coves have formed in between the jetties. The beach meets with beaches of neighboring towns to form part of the largest coastal tourist area in Crete.