Agios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, lying east of the island’s capital Heraklion, north of the town of Ierapetra and west of the town of Sitia. In the year 2000 Agios Nikolaos, with the surrounding villages, claimed around 19,000 inhabitants. The town is one of the municipalities of Crete, and sits partially upon the ruins of the ancient city of Lato pros Kamara.
(1) Agios Nikolaos (2) Ierapetra (3) Oropedio Lasithiou (4) Siteia
Agios Nikolaos was settled in the late Bronze Age by Dorian occupants of Lato, at a time when the security of the Lato hillfort became a lesser concern and access to the harbour at Agios Nikolaos became sufficiently attractive.
Agios Nikolaos is today best known as a tourist town that serves as a hub to the twenty and some small villages and farms that make up that part of Lassithi. Tourist attractions include the small lagoon Lake Voulismeni, small beaches in the town, the tiny island Agioi Pantes, the archaeological museum, the local flora exhibition “Iris” and numerous fairs. The lagoon features a small park with a trail, traditional fishing boats, an amphitheatre and many cafès.
Things to do
There are boat trips up the coast to see Barbarossa’s cave and the old leper colony (formerly a Venetian fortress) of Spinalonga, which are fascinating and amazing value (do not spend more than 10 euros, there is no need) and usually include an ocean swim.
Further information about Spinalonga…
Go to Almyros beach, a long sandy beach with a cold water stream entering the sea at the southern end. Perfect for a cooling paddle if the heat gets too much. About a 20 minute walk from the town center but worth every step! Alternatively, a taxi from the town center will only cost you about €8.
If it is windy, consider a pebble beach rather than a sand beach, of which there are plenty.
Mirabello Bay is an embayment of the Sea of Crete on the eastern part of Crete in Greece today. This locale was important in the prehistoric settlement of Crete.
The coast of Mirabello Bay was noted for its role in copper metallurgy development in the period around 3000 BC. In the Late Minoan period, cities on high ground overlooking the Bay of Mirabello were founded as cities of refuge, including Karphi. Later in the Dorian Invasion, settlement occurred of other hilltop cities overlooking the Bay of Mirabello; an example of this phase of settlement was the city of Lato.
Agios Nikolaos is accessible from the mainland and the whole of Europe through the airport of Nikos Kazantzakis, and several daily ferries from Heraklion (64km). You can also travel through Sitia airport boarding onto a domestic or charter flight or through it’s harbour (67 km).
Iberostar Mirabello Beach & Village
Agios Nikolaos, Crete 72100, Greece
Right on the seafront, on the fine sandy beach of Mirabello, the Iberostar Mirabello Beach & Village (5 star) offers sea-view accommodations a mile from Agios Nikolaos and close to Elounda.
Road Agios Nikolaos to Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, Crete 72100, Greece
For a relaxing and pleasant holiday in Crete in serviced apartments and studios, the Mirabella Apartments are the perfect choice and offer a convenient position directly in front of the sea and not far to Agios Nikolaos town centre.
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