Agios Nikolaos,the capital of Crete’s Lasithi region, lies on the eastern side of Crete and is a popular resort town where visitors can enjoy shopping, dining, and at night, dancing at one of the many downtown nightclubs. It is a historic fishing town situated on hilly, rugged terrain overlooking the gorgeous Merabello Bay. While it is a popular tourist spot, the town still retains its familiar Cretan charm and is the perfect place to enjoy a taste of life on the largest of Greece’s beautiful islands.
Built around a lake-like close gulf, against a backdrop of imposing red-rock cliffs and tall trees, Agios Nikolaos is one of Crete’s most picturesque towns. A vibrant ‘resort’ throughout the holiday season, the town attracts thousands of visitors every year thanks to its blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, interesting historic sites and fantastic beaches. Although Agios Nikolaos appears imposing, with its typically Greek whitewashed buildings, it is in fact very easy to explore on foot. Taking a stroll along the town’s tree-lined streets, alleys and boulevards in the Mediterranean sunshine is the best way to take in the attractions. Plenty of bars, shops and restaurants serving fine local cuisine, several charming Greek-Orthodox churches and interesting archaeological, folklore and national history museums all await discovery. The stunning marina and sandy beach of Ammos are well worth taking the short walk from the town center to discover too.
Agios Nikolaos is a medium-size town with a small-town feel, so one can quickly feel familiar with the place, like with an old friend. The town faces the sea from Voulismeni Lake and port, Kitroplatia beach, and the Marina. The lake is a deep body of water connected to the sea by a narrow inlet. It is surrounded by cafes and restaurants - a busy gathering place for locals and visitors alike. Cafes meander between those suited for talking, meeting and lounging, to those playing thump-dump music, nestled alongside more scholarly hang-outs and eateries. As the lake joins the sea with a strip of water under the tiny road bridge and becomes one with it, the microscopic island of Agii Pandes (All Saints) is in view - adding another facet to the three sides of the town. Ferries come and go from the open port area just beyond. Next, the beach at Kitroplatia is one of the few in Crete to provide that town-center-by-the-sea beach location, together with its own restaurants and cafes and a handful of hotels and apartments. Then, stroll up to the square and down the other side of the town, which gets you to the marina, where another seafront offers its wares. Take awalk around the marina to see if by chance someone has arrived in a dazzling yacht (a stop at the cafe by the first slipway is a good idea for Crepes - savory or sweet).
Agios Nikolaos, Crete.
Spinalonga Island Lying just offshore from the seaside resort of Elounda, Spinalonga Island was once the home of a mighty 16th century Venetian fortress. The now-deserted island served as a leper colony until 1957.
Plateau of Lassithi Rising over 2,700 feet, the plateau offers fertile valleys filled with orange groves, vineyards, and picturesque villages. But it's probably best known for the thousands of charming windmills that dot the lush landscape.
Elounda This picturesque seaside resort boasts luxury hotels, quaint tavernas, stunning beaches and breathtaking sea views that stretch across Mirabello Bay.
“Sunrise off Elunda - Crete” by seligmanwaite is licensed under CC BY 2.0