Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos Crete

Agios Nikolaos is one of the most picturesque towns in East Crete and is the capital of the Lassithi Prefecture. It enjoys a strategic location on the Gulf of Mirabello. During the summer it transforms into a cosmopolitan tourist resort. It boasts a stunning and cosy port, popular luxury resort hotels and is only 65 km east of Heraklion and close to Elounda. This is a quieter and more intimate setting for your Greek holidays, where visitors enjoy laid back days spent on the beach, shopping and dining at waterfront restaurants.

With Agios Nikolaos as your base, you can set out to explore the eastern region of Crete island, with spectacular beaches, traditional villages and picturesque bays.

Agios Nikolaos – The Picture-Perfect Harbour Town

Agios Nikolaos started to become more touristy in the 1960s – and has evolved into one of the most cosmopolitan tourist resorts, attracting thousands of visitors every year. A feature of ‘Agios’, as the locals call it, is the Voulismeni Lake, where according to the myth Aphrodite and Athena would come to bathe. The harbour and lake are framed by beautiful neo-classical buildings, restaurants and shops for you to stroll around and discover.

Agios Nikolaos Lake in Crete

Agios Nikolaos today

The main occupation in the city is tourism, but despite the recent growth, it has not lost its charming and laid back quality. Every summer the small harbour and the lake become the go-to spot for an afternoon stroll or “volta” (the walk in the evening) for locals and visitors alike.

East of the lake is another favoured spot in Agios Nikolaos – the beach of Kitroplateia.  This is a great option for a quick ‘dip’ within the city limits, alongside which are a good many ouzeries and cafes, with a view of the sea.

From here, you can also reach one of the most famous attractions in the region, the island of Spinalonga. Rising to fame after the popularity of the novel by Victoria Hislop, “The Island” as the book is called, was the real-life location of a leper colony that operated from 1903 to 1957. Daily ferry excursions depart from Agios Nikolaos during the summer.

Panagia Kera – Kritsa

Panagia Kera – Kritsa

On the road from Agios Nikolaos to Kritsa, 1 km before the village, we meet the church of Panagia Kera. It is one of the most important Byzantine monuments of the island of Crete with impressive Byzantine frescoes. The church is three-aisled, vaulted with a dome and was built gradually starting in the 13th century. The central aisle is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is the oldest (13th century) while the two side aisles were built later (14th century)…

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Spinalonga – Lassithi Region

Spinalonga – Lassithi Region

Spinalonga is a small island-fortress located at the northern entrance to Elounda bay, at a strategic point that secures control over the natural harbour of Elounda. An ancient fortification existed on the site of the fortress that can be seen today, for the protection of the port of the ancient town of Olous.

Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos

Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos

The Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos was founded in 1970 to exhibit the numerous findings from eastern Crete that until then were displayed at the Museum of Heraklion. The exhibition covers the period from the Neolithic years until the end of the Greco-Roman period. It is divided into five rooms and the visitor can follow the evolution of art in the area through representative samples of different techniques and eras.

History of Agios Nikolaos – Crete

History of Agios Nikolaos – Crete

Agios Nikolaos is built on the site of the port of Lato, an important ancient city. The ancient port was also known as “Lato pros Kamara”.