As with the other three Prefectures, the north coastline of this one has plenty of magnificent beaches. Some get totally packed out in the summer – day after day; but yet again you can seek out many quiet and generally unknown ones suited to rest and relaxation.
Sissi is 26 km west of Agios Nikolaos and 41 km east of Heraklion. It is a picturesque fishing village with many tavernas and relatively little touristic development. The waterfront of the village is quite rocky, so the only option for swimming in the village is in the small harbour.
Here is a pretty fishing village with some tourist development. It has a relatively large beach fronting the village, with both sandy and pebbly sections. Exposed to winds, it therefore has plenty of waves at times. For this reason the locals often prefer the beach within the small harbour, with its sand and calm waters: this is protected from the north winds.
Opposite the famous island of Spinalonga lies Plaka, a small fishing village which is 16 km from Aghios Nickolaos and 5 km. approx. from Elounda. In front, there is a beach sheltered from the winds, with white pebbles, clear waters and a number of tamarisks for shade – it is ideal for swimming and also fishing.
On the Spinalonga peninsula, and in a sense opposite to Elounda and at a distance of 12 km from Aghios Nickolaos, is the beautiful beach (the Pumpkin): small with white sand and blue-green water, and a few tamarisks for shade.
Chavania beach is on the road to Elounda, about 2.5 km from Agios Nikolaos. This is a fully organized municipal beach, with dedicated parking, canteen food and a lifeguard.
The Almiros Beach is just few minutes from the center of Aghios Nickolaos (2 km. approx.) and 12 km from Elounda. With its backdrop of Mount Thrypti, this sandy beach lies at the mouth of the Almyros river which flows through high reed-beds by a wetland where rare birds live. Because of the river’s presence, the sea waters are very cold in places, but always blue, clear and shallow.
At a distance of 12 km south of Agios Nikolaos is the settlement of Istro. You will discover this community as you pass along the main national road east from Aghios Nikolaos towards Ierapetra or Siteia. Here three beautiful beaches hide in three sheltered bays.
Mochlos is 48 km approx. from Agios Nickolaos and 40 km approx. from Siteia. A traditional fishing village by the sea, on a small cove and with an equally small beach.
Leaving Siteia by the east road to Vai and Zakros, after 7 km you will come across the beach of Aghia Fotia. You will come to it by a village of the same name. It is small, not organized and deserted: it is called after a small church to Aghia Foteini.