The village of Gonies is located in the hinterland of Hersonissos Municipality and is built amphitheatrically at the western foothills of Mount Selena, at the edge of the Dikti mountain range, at an altitude of 290 meters on the way to the Lasithi Plateau. It is 35km southeast of Heraklion and 15km from Port of Hersonissos. Gonies (corners) was named after the location of the village, as it is located in the eastern corner of the area called Lagada.
The village was mentioned for the first time in a Venetian document of 1283. In 1333, Gonies, the village of Krasi and the monastery of Kera, were a feud of the Latin Patriarchate of Constantinople, so the Catholic Bishop had the right to rent it. It is worth mentioning that many of the fighters who fought during the Ottoman domination and during the Cretan revolutions came from Gonies. Gonies was the revolutionary center of the Eastern Pediada and was repeatedly repressed by the Turks.
Above the village of Gonies, at the northern end of Mount Louloudaki, Flektro settlement was discovered at 900 meters altitude and dates back to the period 1200-800BC. Today, in Flektro, there are scattered shells and ruins of masonry and square rooms and it probably functioned as acropolis and fortress to protect their inhabitants from hostile raids. The view from Flektro is impressive and the entire valley of Lagada with its villages, the northern side of the Lasithi Mountains and the Cretan Sea can be seen from there.
Gonies is a village full of dense vegetation surrounded by olive trees, walnuts, oak trees, bushes, aromatic and healing herbs. There are also many natural beauties such as gorges, streams, caves and springs with running water all year round. Just a short distance from the village, there are two canyons, Pharagouli and Rosa gorge. It is one of the most beautiful gorges of Crete and is a branch of Ambelos gorge. The footpath starts from Gonies and reaches Kera. There are also several caves with archaeological findings.
Τhe old stone-built windmills in the wider area are elements of tradition of the village and today only their ruins are preserved. Around the village, there are chapels such as Afentis Christos in Ambelos, Agia Marina in Stolous, Agios Raphael in Xirokampi and the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the place of Kampos and all these are decorated with important and magnificent frescoes. In the square of the village, the old church of Agios Georgios(the patron saint of the village) and Evangelismos is located.
Τhe visitor worths visit the traditional building that houses the kindergarten of the village as well as the square with the old plane trees and the traditional cafes and shops and also to take a walk in the alleys of the village to admire its old traditional houses.
The honey production workshop located in the heart of the village is another traditional element of the village. Local people and visitors can visit the workshop in order to know the honey production process and buy honey. It is worth noting that the mountains of Crete host almost 1,800 different plant species, 180 of which are indigenous.
The house of Mr. Yiannis Vinihakis is another point of reference in Gonies and is opposite the church of Panagia of Maha. It is a place -appropriately shaped by Yiannis Vinihakis- in order to host personalities. During the Turkish occupation, his home was a hiding place for many rebels, fugitives and famous personalities. This is evident from the photographs and the sayings that adorn the wall of the house. Even today, it is a place where visitors stop to relax, drink raki and eat traditional nuts.
The Cultural Association of Gonies organizes traditional Cretan feasts and festivals throughout the year. During the summer months and especially on the first 15 days of August, many events take place in the village and a large number of visitors are attracted.