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The top things to do in Agios Nikolaos, Crete

Agios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, located east of the capital of the island of Heraklion.

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Agios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, located east of the capital of the island of Heraklion, north of the city of Ierapetra and west of the city of Sitia.

1. Lake Voulismeni

Lake Voulismeni

Lake Voulismeni is a former sweetwater small lake, later connected to the sea, located at the center of the town of Agios Nikolaos on the Greek island of Crete. It has a circular shape of a diameter of 137 m and depth 48.8m. The locals refer to it as simply “the lake”. The lake is connected to the harbor of the town by a channel dug by the French army in 1907. A panoramic view of the lake can be seen from a small park situated above it. According to legend, the goddess Athena bathed in it.

2. Mirabello Bay

Mirabello Bay

Mirabello Bay is an embayment of the Sea of Crete on the eastern part of Crete in present-day Greece. It is the largest bay of the Greek islands and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. The tourist town Agios Nikolaos overlooks the bay. This locale was important in the prehistoric settlement of the island of Crete.

3. Voulisma Beach

Voulisma Beach

Located just a 10-minute drive down the coast from Agios Nikolaos, Voulisma Beach is a spectacular, shallow beach with clear turquoise water. It is considered one of Crete’s best beaches for its curving ribbon of soft sand backed by cliff walls. The beach is long, but not particularly wide. Unlike many other beaches in Crete, the sand here is soft and almost white. The beach is shallow well out into the bay, and the water gets warm in the hot Cretan sun. It’s also perfect for children and for those who prefer to wade instead of swim.

4. Europa Statue & Horn of Amalthea

The Statue of Europa

The Abduction of Europa sculpture shows Europa on the back of a giant bull. The legend is that Zeus fell in love with Europa and sent the bull to entice her. Once she got on the bull’s back, he charged into the sea and went to Crete with her, never to return. The second work of art is the Horn of Amalthea, an impressive artistic take on the legend of Zeus and the goat Amalthea. As a child, Zeus accidentally broke off the goat’s horn. To make things right, he made the broken horn an unending supply of whatever Amalthea wanted.

5. Spinalonga Island


Anyone who has read The Island by Victoria Hislop, which was turned into a series by Greek TV in 2010 (filmed here), already knows the story about Spinalonga. Rising in Mirabello Bay, this tiny island was fortified by the Venetians in the 17th century as part of their strategy to protect Crete from Turkish invasion. From 1903 to 1957, it was used as a leper colony. Today, the ruins give a special atmosphere of abandonment, but nonetheless, the lepers lived reasonably well, building their own society and receiving food and medical supplies from the mainland.