Agios Nikolaos, Crete: Artsy Town On The Lake And The Sea

Agios Nikolaos is built around an exquisite lake on the northernmost point of the picturesque Mirabello Bay. While it is overlooked by the mountains on one side, it faces out into the Aegean Sea on the other three sides, at the lake and port, Kitroplatia beach and the Marina. The town has a pleasant harbor, and it’s the capital city of the Lassithi Prefecture.

It is different from all the other Crete towns and is built upon the ancient remains of bygone residents’ homes. It is an arty, leisurely, sleepy, but also a bustling place.

The climate is mild and the humidity is extremely low, making it the right place to relax.

A Little Bit of History

Agios Nikolaos is actually built on the site of the ancient town of Lato. During ancient times, the town was a busy harbor and flourished as an autonomous city.

The Town of Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece - This beautiful town is set between the mountains on one side and the Aegean Sea on the other three sides. It is a small but wonderful place to explore, especially as it is set on the largest natural bay in Crete called Mirabello Bay.The Town of Agios Nikolaos, Crete

Even during the Roman and first Byzantine period it was an important port, and kept flourishing and expanding.

The Mirabello fortress was built to protect the harbor by the Venetians. Even though the fortress is not there today, it has given its name to the Prefecture and the bay.

Mirabello Gulf, Crete, Greece - It is the largest natural bay in Crete and one of the largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It offers beautiful views of the sea and it is a place you should not miss if you are visiting this wonderful island.Mirabello Gulf, Crete

The Venetians built another port in Elounda (Porto di San Nicolo), and from then the harbor of Agios Nikolaos became less important.

During the Turkish reign, a small settlement developed around the port and was called Agios Nikolaos.

However, the city actually got its name from the small Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos, located on the peninsula.

Agios Nikolaos Town, Crete, Greece - It is a small but popular tourist town set on Mirabello bay, the largest natural bay in Crete. One of its main attractions is a small lake in the center with plenty of local bars and restaurants ideal for foodies. This is a great place for relaxation with wonderful beach but it is also an interesting place for history lovers waiting to be explored.Agios Nikolaos Town, Crete

The municipality organizes various cultural, musical and dance programs, as well as various exhibitions and theatrical performances.

The Naval Week is celebrated with various contests like wind surfing, swimming and water skiing.

You can shop for some original items like woven fabrics, cups, mugs, china wear, clothes, delicacies and local food products.

Where is Agios Nikolaos?

  • 6.7 miles/ 10.8 km from Elounda, Creete, Greece
  • 38.8 miles/ 62.6 km from Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  • 124.2 miles/ 200 km from Chania, Crete, Greece
  • 25.2 miles/ 40.7 km from Hersonissos, Crete, Greece
  • 42 miles/ 67.7 km from Sitia, Crete, Greece
  • 21.4 miles/ 34.6 km from Lerapetra, Crete, Greece
  • 37.1 miles/ 59.8 km from Heraklion International Airport, Crete, Greece
  • 43.6 miles/ 70.3 km from Sitia Airport, Crete, Greece

Things to See

  • Voulismeni
  • Agios Nikolaos Church
  • Archeological Museum
  • The Folklore Museum
  • The Marina
  • The Iris Museum
  • Gournia Archeological Site
  • Cave of Psychro
  • Olive Oil Farm


  • Kitroplateia
  • Havania Beach
  • Ammos Beach
  • EOT Beach
  • Ammoudi
  • Ammoudara Beach
  • Almyros Beach

The other beaches in the area are Istron (10 km), Elounda Beach (10 km) and Plaka Beach (16 km).


  • Spinalonga
  • Sitia Town
  • Elounda

Earlier, Agios Nikolaos was a good hideaway for some famous people, but now tourists arrive in force and it has become an overdeveloped tourist town.

Still the town is like an old friend and you will get familiarized with the place quickly.

We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!