Overlooking the turquoise waters of Mirabello Bay, Agios Nikolaos is a picturesque resort town in the east of Crete. It’s home to a cafe-lined lake and a handful of fascinating museums, while it’s also the launching point for boat excursions to Spinalonga Island.
Things to do in Agios Nikolaos
At the heart of Agios Nikolaos sprawls Voulismeni Lake, believed to be where the goddess Athena once bathed. The lake bottom is reportedly strewn with weaponry and vehicles dumped by the German army at the end of World War II, while its pedestrianised shore is lined with alfresco cafes and restaurants.
Stop in at the Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos, considered one of the finest archaeological museums on Crete. Ancient artefacts from the Lasithi region and eastern Crete are exhibited, including the Goddess of Mirtos vessel that was discovered at a Bronze Age settlement near Mirtos.
If you’re interested in Cretan culture, visit the Folklore Museum where locally-woven textiles and handicrafts are displayed. Take a step back in time as you peruse the old photographs, paintings and costumes detailing Crete’s rich artistic culture, then explore the recreated model of a traditional Cretan house.
Embark on a boat excursion to visit Barbarossa’s Cave and Spinalonga Island, a barren and rocky landscape that’s been occupied in various forms since antiquity. Wander around the current fortifications that were built during the 16th-century Venetian occupation of Crete, including a charming Orthodox church and crumbling town hall.
Getting around Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos is one hour’s drive from Heraklion Airport and regular buses connect with Heraklion and on to Chania. Agios Nikolaos is easy to explore on foot, but having your own vehicle is best for travelling further afield.