The Santorini day trips depart from Iraklion, the capital town which is about 15 kms west of Gouves. They are expensive, you'll be looking at well over €100 per person, just so you know. The trip, if booked via a local excursion agency, should include coach transport to and from the port in Iraklion.
Spinalonga is doable by bus from Gouves, catch an eastbound bus to Agios Nikolaos from where you then want a bus to Plaka, where the little boats depart from to Spinalonga. If you wanted to make a longer day of it, then tour boats ( much larger ones) depart straight from Agios Nikolaos but you will only get a set amount of time on the island, whereas if you go to Plaka, you can spend as long as you like there. Return boat ride from Plaka is €8 plus €2 to enter Spinalonga.
Some more info here on the Santorini tour:
Price booked direct including coach transfers from area 3 is almost £120.
A tip for you - if you do decide to go to Santorini, try and find out the weather forecast for the day you intend to do it, and if it's likely to be windy, try and find another day.
I'm sure the travel shops in Gouves will offer the same trip with transfers, but don't know their cost.
Hi in Gouves at the moment. We were going to do Spinalonga on the local bus but after weighing up the options went for an organized trip. For €55 we got coach to Agios Nikolaos then a boat trip to a cove where you could swim and then have Bbq meal inc in price. Next Spinalonga with our excellent guide - learnt everything there was to know about the island. We then sailed back to Agios Nik for an hour or so in resort then coach back to Gouves. We booked through our rep but a few tour operators in Gouves did similar trips at slightly cheaper prices. With all trips you have to pay €2 entrance fee when you get to Spinalonga. Gouves is a wonderful place we will be sorry to leave today. There are lots of places to see on Crete but as our first visit spent most of our time enjoying the resort. We did also do a Crete highlights tour one day which was good value inc Knossos, winery,pottery and monastery-€46. Knossos has a €6 entrance fee which is not included in trip prices.
Glad you've enjoyed yourself straw_hat11. What's the main street like this year? Many of the places weren't open last August, and most of the busier places were near the Island hotel.
Thanks for all your helpful replies
Had a great time in Gouves thanks Steve i can see why you like it. Never been anywhere like it for friendly people. Thanks for your directions too they were spot on. Didn't really know what you meant by the 'river bed' before we went but all became clear when we got there. The main street had one or 2 dilapidated/closed bars near Astir beach but there was activity while we were there and they looked like they were being done up ready to open. There was another hotel that looked new near there too called something like' Gouves Sea and Mare' which had got a bar on the sea front which looked like it was set to open soon. We went to Pella Taverna alot and they said they were having a good year so far - lets hope it continues
Thanks for that update straw_hat11, it's much appreciated.
Santorini is about 100 euros return for the ferry and the bus from gouves takes 30 mins and is about 4 euros.
Lord knows how much an organised trip is or what you get.
We went to spinalonga by local bus and personally whilst Strawhats trip for 55euros doesn't sound too bad value., I bet it was busy, we were just leaving Spinalonga at about 1045 having had the place virtually to ourselves, just as the first five boats from Elounda/Ag Nik were spewing literally hundreds, maybe thousands of people onto the Island.
To really appreciate Spinalonga I think you need some tranquility and you won't get that once the big ferries start arriving.
Also if you wish to stay longer and maybe even want to use the beach then, taking a small boat from Plaka allows you to leave at any time you like last small boat leaves at about 6 I think. also Plaka is a lovely little town and to miss lunch at Taverna Maria would be a shame.
To beat the crowds when coming from Gouves either involves getting the 7am bus to Ag Nik or staying overnight in Plaka.
We did this last week
0700 Gouves to Ag Nik 10euro 20 (return per person)
0900 Ag Nik to Plaka 4euro 20 (return)
boat to spinalonga 8euro (return)
Spinalonga entrance 2euro
Spent about 40 minutes on Spinalonga then came back had a couple of beers followed by lunch at Taverna Maria,( thoroughly reccomend)
Then got the 1340 bus back from Plaka to Ag nik got back to Gouves at about 1630, you could also spend a bit more time in Ag Nik if you want on the way back.
See below for all the bus timetables the last three will be of most use to you and FYI the buses towards Hiraklion stop at Gouves(on the main road) 25 mins after the time for Malia and buses towards Ag Nik or Malia stop 30 mins after leaving Hiraklion.
You will love Gouves if you are looking for a nice quiet resort and the people there are super friendly. we are going back again in October.
You will love it, where are you staying, be sure to check out Phillipos Taverna, there are plenty of rooms to rent by the night in Plaka if you don't fancy getting up early, it is a lovely, little village and you can then get the first boat over at 9.
The people in Gouves are so friendly and Crete in particular seems a bit more relaxed than the other Greek islands, they don't seem so intent on extracting as much money from tourists as they can in a short season, maybe that is because a lot of them have secondary jobs ether during the day or during the winter.
There are three bus stops in Gouves https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms…