The sights of Agios Nikolaos on Crete are not without reason very popular among tourists. A beautiful lake, fully equipped beaches with warm water, many museums and monuments, the magnificent views of the Gulf of Mirabello – all this helps to rest well and gain strength before new work accomplishments. Here everyone will find entertainment to their liking, whether it’s shopping, cultural activities, swimming in the sea or a fun party.
Top 7 Sights of Agios Nikolaos
This city of Crete is characterized by mountainous terrain – there are many descents and ascents, which are usually not too steep. Some people call it the prototype of Italian St. Tropez because of the constant parties in local clubs and noisy discos. Especially popular here is the “Aquarius Disco Bar” – often tourists in it party until morning. There are many hotels in the city, but if you do not want to hear music playing at night, it is better to stay away from the center.
It is located in the heart of the city and has a rounded shape. On the west side it is surrounded by cliffs, on the east side there are walking paths and cafes. The lake is connected to the sea by a canal with a small bridge. If you climb the stairs to the opposite shore of the canal, you can enjoy the beautiful views of Agios Nikolaos under the shade of the pine trees growing there.
Church of St. Nicholas
It was built in the 8th century. It is considered one of the best preserved churches of the Byzantine era. There are quite a few paintings inside that deviate in their character from the canon. In 1980, the painters partially renovated them, while strictly adhering to the style of the time. It is located in the northern part of the city on a small hill. It is open to the public, but photos and videos are restricted.
It was founded in the 1970s. Among the exhibits are many artifacts dating from the Minoan and Neolithic periods, ancient vases, an extensive collection of coins, fishing hooks from the Early Minoan era and much more. The most valuable exhibit of the museum is a clay figurine of a woman called “Goddess of Myrtos.
It was founded in 1978 with the support of the Cultural Society of Eastern Crete. Contains a rich collection of traditional costumes, home rugs, kitchenware, old coins, paintings, and photographs. A large part of the exhibits was provided in due time by the local tourist club. It’s easy to find the museum – it occupies the first floor of the harbor office across from the bridge.
A picturesque place that is almost always lively. There are a large number of bars, restaurants, souvenir stores and all kinds of clubs. Every year in the summertime there are festivals with performances of artists and musical groups, as well as art exhibitions. Walk further along the promenade and you’ll come out to a secluded cove and can admire the shark-fin-shaped obelisk monument.
- Golden Beach. Or in other words, Woolism. It gets its name from the fine golden sand. It is located in a small bay of the Gulf of Mirabello, 12 km from Agios Nikolaos. The weather is almost always quiet here, even when the rest of the island’s beaches are stormy. The bottom is flat, so the Vulisme can safely rest with children. The width of the beach is narrow, and there are always a lot of tourists – it is better to take a place in advance. There are few hotels nearby, mostly people from nearby settlements come here to rest. Fortunately, there are no problems with transport – there is an intercity bus.
- Almiros. The most popular among residents of Agios Nikolaos. Located 2.5 km south of the city near the river flowing into the sea of the same name, which makes the water here is quite cold. The beach is wide and long, has a well-developed infrastructure, including cafes, taverns, attractions and rental of equipment for water sports. There are wetlands in the river delta, which are home to rare species of birds. You can get here by car or even on foot – the road stretches north from Almiros along the rocky shores.
- Vi. Some people also call it Bounty Beach. It is popular because of its palm grove, which makes it more like a tropical resort than a typical Greek coast. Well-equipped, the nearby bar offers food and cocktails. The bottom is stony in some places, sandy in others. Thanks to the palm trees there is always somewhere to hide from the scorching sun. The distance to Agios Nikolaos is almost 100 km, so you will need a car to get here. However, a shuttle bus will do just as well. You can also rent a helicopter – then the journey will be fast and exciting.
- Kitroplatia. It is located near Lake Vulismeni. Due to the smooth entrance to the water is ideal for recreation with children. You can rent umbrellas and sun loungers, there are showers. Nearby there is a cafe and a nightclub. The beach is famous for its beautiful view of Mirabello Bay.
- Ammos. Located just beyond Kitroplatia, 500 meters south of the city center. Fans of active recreation will like it. Here you can ride jet skis and water skis, as well as do scuba diving. All the necessary equipment is for rent. The beach is sandy and small in size. Nearby there is a marina with yachts, near which there are blooming cacti.
If you get tired of sightseeing and sunbathing on the beach – you can go on a boat trip. Cruise ships regularly sail between Crete and Spinalonga. While on board, it’s good to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views. There are also options with the rental of a sailing yacht and a trip to the uninhabited islands.
What else can I see near Agios Nikolaos in Crete?
- Spinalonga Island. A popular place for tourists who are fond of diving. The main local attraction is the fortress, built in the 16th century by the Venetians to control the entrance to the Gulf of Mirabello. You can also visit the preserved church nearby. It is known that the island emerged once after a major earthquake that destroyed the city of Olus. If you look closely, through the clear waters in some places you can see at the bottom of his ruins. To get here, you have to take a sightseeing ship that regularly sails out of the port of Agios Nikolaos.
- Church of Panagia Kera. It is famous for its unique Byzantine frescoes and vivid wall paintings from the 13th-14th centuries. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Anthony and St. Anne. The icon of Panagia Kera that adorns it at present is only a copy. The church is located 9 km from Agios Nikolaos near a village called Kritsa. There is a shuttle bus that takes about 20-25 minutes to get here.
- The ruins of Lato. This ancient city is located 3 km from Kritz. In the past it was one of the most powerful settlements of Crete and a great commercial port. It is believed that he was named after the goddess Leto. During excavations, archaeologists were able to find a city gate, staircase, monumental complex and a large temple. Fragments of walls and remains of buildings have also survived.
- Faneromeni Monastery. It stands on a steep slope, somewhat distant from populated areas. From afar it resembles a fortress with its majestic appearance. In the past, the local monks had to constantly fight off pirates and other enemies, so they had to reinforce the outer walls. The monastery keeps a miraculous icon of the Mother of God. To get here, you need to take a cab or a tour company.
- The resort town of Elounda. This place is famous for its developed tourist infrastructure. There are many comfortable hotels, entertainment venues and stores. In Elounda you can not only have a good time, but also get acquainted with the rich heritage of Crete. While here you can visit the ruins of Dreros, the remains of the temple of Apollo of Delphi and the many villages that have preserved the original Greek spirit.
To make it easier for you to orientate yourself in the location of all the above mentioned objects, use the interactive map of Crete. It’s easy to use it to plot your routes and plan your stops. You can also see where hotels, airports, and train stations are located on the map.
How to get to Agios Nikolaos?
The fastest way to get there is from the capital of Crete, Heraklion. There are regular flights from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. From the airport there is a bus that takes you directly to Agios Nikolaos. The travel time is about 1.5 hours. From the bus station to the hotel is most convenient to go by cab, so order it in advance. It is also possible to rent a car.
Another option is to go by sea from Athens, Sithia, or Rhodes. There is also a ferry from Heraklion. It takes longer, but it’s a nice little cruise.