Set on the northeast coast of the island of Crete, Aghios Nikolaos is a little Greek town with a lot of character. Packed with picturesque beaches, historical sites, and lakeside restaurants, couples and families alike can escape to this scenic retreat near Heraklion. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on Almyros Beach, enjoying a romantic meal beside Lake Voulismeni, or taking a boat trip to the island of Spinalonga, it’s easy to see why holidays in Aghios Nikolaos are so popular.
This former fishing village in Mirabello Bay may have little in the way of big-scale attractions, but Aghios Nikolaos still has plenty to please. The golden beaches are a highlight of this coastal resort, whether you’re sunbathing or trying a new watersport on EOT Beach. Picturesque Lake Voulismeni, a true jewel of Crete, is at the heart of this resort, along with a whole host of bars and tavernas to visit. The marina in Aghios Nikolaos is also a busy spot with locals and tourists alike – head over there and hunt for a bargain.
Nearby Elounda is a celebrity hotspot, attracting a range of stars with its' deluxe hotel complexes, chic spa's, and stunning views over Mirabella Bay and Spinalonga - made famous through Victoria Hislop's book "The Island". Pop over for a day of pampering or incorporate Elounda into a trip to the famous islet.
For more urban attractions, Heraklion is only a taxi-ride away, so why not venture out and explore the Palace of Knossos, or take the kids on a fun day out at Watercity? Aghios Nikolaos is a great base to explore all the best Crete has to offer.
Get a taste of Cretan cuisine at one of the many tavernas and restaurants in Aghios Nikolaos. You’ll find plenty to choose from by the waterfront at Lake Voulismeni. Enjoy a laid-back meze surrounded by sea views. Get a taste of the local favourites – dakos is a popular Cretan dish, similar in appearance to bruschetta. With a different type available in every Cretan resort, no holiday to Crete would be complete without a taste of the regional cheeses. Plus, thanks to the seafront location of this coastal resort, Aghios Nikolaos is a paradise for seafood-lovers.
Whether they’re building sandcastles or going for a dip in the clear blue waters, kids can look forward to plenty of sun, sea and sand on the coast of Crete. Aside from the Blue Flag beaches, Aghios Nikolaos itself might not have much to keep the kids entertained, but you’ll find plenty of things to do in Crete. The Acqua Plus waterpark in Hersonissos is one of the top attractions in Crete, and with exciting waterslides to suit all ages, it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re going as a couple, as a group, or with the kids, everyone can look forward to a fun day out at this attraction.
While Aghios Nikolaos isn’t a hotspot for thrill-seekers, you’ll still find plenty of exciting things to do in Crete. Boat tours are a popular way of exploring the resort, and visiting the neighbouring Greek Islands. Most boats depart from the small town of Elounda, where you can hop on board to any number of destinations – the famous Spinalonga is a top attraction.
Also known as Kalydon, this rocky islet is steeped in history, and the remains of the Venetian fortress are unmissable. Alternatively, beach-lovers can hop on a boat to picture-perfect Chrissi Island, or take a tour of Dikteon Cave, where, according to legend, the Greek god Zeus was born.
Back on dry land, there are a range of activities from jeep or buggy safaries to exhilerating hikes through Crete's stunning landscape. Most of these adventures are easily bookable from nearby Heraklion, making Aghios Nikolaos the perfct base for exploring Crete's wild side.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Aghios Nikolaos, and almost all of them are Blue Flag-awarded. Picturesque Almyros Beach is one of the most popular in Crete – its golden sand and clear blue waters will appeal to all kinds of beach-lovers on holiday in Crete – while families and thrill-seekers alike will love the watersports on offer down at EOT Beach. The small sand-and-shingle Kitroplatia Beach is in the heart of Aghios Nikolaos, so there’s plenty of shops, bars and more nearby. You’ll find Ammos Beach close by to the marina, and a little further out from the resort, you’ll find the scenic shores of Havania on the way to Elounda.
Thanks to the resort’s traditional charm, you won’t find much in the way of nightlife on a holiday in Aghios Nikolaos. The town is by no means dull, however, and you’ll find plenty of activity down by the lake and marina, where you can relax and enjoy a delicious local meal, followed by a glass of wine, or a shot of ouzo. The livelier Heraklion boasts some of the best local bars if you fancy venturing a little further out. Staying in Aghios Nikolaos can offer uniquely Cretan evening entertainment, but the area is not known for being neon-lit. If your holiday priorities consist of all night clubbing, you might be happier booking a break in the party capital, Malia.
Aghios Nikolaos is a dream destination for couples’ holidays, thanks to its romantic lakeside setting, and laid-back all inclusive hotels. Enjoy relaxing meals beside the resort’s famous lake, before heading over to a bustling bar at the marina. You’ll also find plenty of cafes and shops in Mirabello Bay, so you can spend an afternoon bargain-hunting before chilling out with a coffee. Sunseekers can soak up the Greek heat on laid-back Havania Beach while more adventurous couples should take a trip to picturesque Sissi to explore it's charming cafe's and romantically secluded offshore island.
There’s plenty of local culture to explore on holidays to Crete. History buffs won’t want to miss a visit to Knossos, where you’ll find one of the largest and archaeological sites in the region. You could also visit the Archaeology Museum in Aghios Nikolaos, and take a tour of its ancient artifacts. If it's that rustic Cretan charm you seek head to nearby Analipsi is still largely untouched by tourism and oozes local culture. closer to home Kitroplatia square and the marina in Aghios Nikolaos host a whole variety of local shops and weekly markets, ideal for finding anything from local food to souvenirs.