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Agios Nikolaos in eastern Crete
Agios Nikolaos is the capital and administrative centre of Lasithi regional unit. The town is home to about 11,400 people, making it Crete's fifth largest town after Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno and Ierapetra.
Lake Voulismeni in Agios Nikolaos.
Agios Nikolaos has attracted tourists since the 1960s, and still does today, albeit to a lesser extent. Agios Nikolaos was one of my first dream destination in Greece. When I saw a picture of Agios Nikolaos for the first time, I decided that I just had to go there. Pictures of Agios Nikolaos were used to market Greece at that time. The picture showed the picturesque little lake in the centre of the town. I thought that it looked incredibly cool, as many other thought.
The cozy port promenade along Lake Voulismeni in Agios Nikolaos.
The lake, which is said to be bottomless, is called Lake Voulismeni. The lake is connected to the sea with a canal that started to be dug in the late 1860s. Much of Agios Nikolaos' life revolves around Lake Voulismeni, which is lined with tavernas, cafes and bars.
There are plenty of tavernas and restaurants in Agios Nikolaos.
In fact, the picture I had in my head matches reality. The town
is attractive and to sit down along the water to eat a piece of food is
truly both cosy and pleasurable. One can easily believe that the restaurants
along the lake are tourist traps, but the ones I have eaten at have been
Along Lake Voulismeni there are several very good restaurants in a good location.
Agios Nikolaos' main attraction is the Archaeological Museum. The museum has a large collection of findings from eastern Crete. The museum probably has the second most important Minoan collection in Crete and contains clay sarcophagi, ceramic musical instruments and gold from the island off Mochlos. The museum is located at Paleologou Konstantinou 74.
One of the pedestrian streets in Agios Nikolaos.
From the port of Agios Nikolaos there are excursion boats to the leper island of Spinalonga.
There are two beaches in Agios Nikolaos: Kitroplatia beach and Ammos beach. The beaches are located on each side of the harbour. Kitroplatia is, in my opinion, the best of the two. A few kilometres south of Agios Nikolaos are the beaches of Almiros and Ammoudara. Almiros is shallow and child friendly and the best of the two beaches, in my opinion.
Kitroplatia beach, one of the two beaches in Agios Nikolaos.
Ammoudara beach south of Agios Nikolaos.
Almiros beach south of Agios Nikolaos.
ACCOMMODATION IN AGIOS NIKOLAOS
The range is very large and there are hotels in all price ranges. A very nice and family-owned guest house is Mantraki Hotel Apartments, which is very centrally located and close to everything. If you live in Agios Nikolaos, you are close to the genuine mountain village of Kritsa, where there are small cozy hotels.
Here are three suggestions for good hotels in Agios Nikolaos.
WHAT YOU MUST NOT MISS WHEN YOU VISIT AGIOS NIKOLAOS