Aghios Nikolaos is situated on the western end of the scenic Gulf of Mirabello, on the Greek island of Crete. Aghios Nikolaos holidays in 2019 / 2020 are immensely popular thanks the excellent nightlife and series of fantastic beaches. With a transfer time of just 60 minutes from Heraklion airport, you could be soaking up the superb weather in no time. Aghios Nikolaos holidays tend to attract holidaymakers who enjoy a lively resort with plenty of shops, cafes, bars, tavernas and buzzing nightlife. The resort boasts a picturesque harbour, which is the where you’ll find the main focus of Aghios Nikolaos' nightlife.
There is a superb choice of beaches, many with the EU Blue Flag awarded for clean water. In the centre of this picturesque resort is the fantastic Kitroplatia Beach, surrounded by restaurants and cafes and providing a wealth of water sports, as well as day trips to other scenic destinations around Crete.
Water is all around in Aghios Nikolaos, with its wonderful choice of clean beaches to relax on, the beauty of Lake Voulismeni to gaze at and the marina with its plentiful shore-side cafes, shops and bars. This coastal location makes boat tours to quieter locations easy and hassle-free. Day trips to Spinalonga Island and cruises around the coves near Elounda are popular choices with active families and couples looking for a romantic getaway.
Right in the centre of town is the unmissable and scenic Lake Voulismeni, where the goddess Athena was reputed to have bathed in. Once thought to be bottomless, the lake provides a great backdrop for watching the world go by in one of the local tavernas or cafés.
Away from the water, Aghios Nikolaos boasts a wealth of historic monasteries, cathedrals and churches from the delightful frescoes at Panagias Keras Church to the majestic architecture of the Monastery of Agios Georgios Selinari. Head out of town and discover the Katharo Plateau, offering some dramatic views of Aghios Nikolaos and the surrounding area. Here you’ll find a rustic way of life still exists, with the local tavernas serving traditional meals to locals and visitors alike.
Cretans are enthusiastic about their local produce and take pride in their local cuisine, so a holiday to Aghios Nikolaos will be filled with goat’s cheese, olives, dolmades, slow-cooked lamb and desserts flavoured with honey. All washed down with a glass of Cretan wine or rakí of course.
Snails are a popular dish with the locals, so the more adventurous may wish to sample this delicacy in true Cretan style, fried with oil and flour. If you want to experience the real Crete without eating snails, then a trip to an olive oil farm is a must.
Aghios Nikolaos has some amazing restaurants and tavernas with reasonable prices. For a nice beachfront restaurant try Thalassa, overlooking the beach of Kitroplatia. At dusk this provides a romantic place to take your partner while you have a delicious meal and watch the sun set behind the waves of the Aegean Sea.
As a resort with sandy Blue Flag beaches, shallow waters and a range of activities for families, Aghios Nikolaos has it all. And if the lure of the beaches isn’t enough, there are several well-equipped aqua parks within easy reach.
Families can make a day of it with a trip to Spinalonga Island, a former leper colony with an interesting history. Roam around the island’s ancient Venetian fortress and soak up this fascinating piece of history with a knowledgeable guide. Alternatively, an excursion to Crete’s most important archaeological site, the Palace of Knossos near Heraklion, will transport you into a world of myths and legends. More adventurous families can head further afield and visit Lake Kournas, where the little ones will delight in being able to feed the turtles.
Action & Adventure
This stunning and unique location packs a lot into a small region, with water sports, architecture, mountain plateaus and caves all within easy reach. Ammoudi and Almiros beaches are great for swimming and snorkelling, plus there are plenty of opportunities for diving and jet skiing.
Away from the beaches, you’ll find a whole host of adventures waiting for you. Follow the steep but rewarding path to Dikteon Cave where you can marvel at the stalagmites and stalactites and take in the view of Lasithi Plateau. And if you are looking for views, then Katharo Plateau, Crete’s highest plateau, is the place to head. There is a diverse array of wildlife and flora to be found here, but for those needing one or two creature comforts don’t worry, there are a few local tavernas to refuel in.
For a central location Kitroplatia Beach is hard to beat when enjoying a holiday in Crete. Its clean umbrella-lined shingle-and-sand beach is close to a number of cafes and all the amenities of the town. Close to the marina you’ll find the sandy beach of Ammos and a little further out in a sheltered bay is Ammoudi beach, providing calm shallow waters.
Almiros Beach is popular with families, active couples and nature lovers, thanks to its safe shallow waters, range of water sports and neighbouring nature reserve with rare birds and towering trees. Also nearby are the sandy beaches of Havania and Ammoudara.
If you’re looking for a relaxing spot to escape the sun, then you may like to head to EOT Municipal Beach where you can pick that perfect spot under the shade of the trees on the immaculately-kept lawns. And don’t worry if that proves a little too sedate, you can also try your hand at some mini-golf while you’re there.
Nightlife in Aghios Nikolaos provides everything from traditional tavernas and smart restaurants to music bars and nightclubs that remain open until the early hours of the morning.
Although it is a relatively small town, there are plenty of bars which are handily located around the harbour, beach and lakeside. Night entertainment is centred around bars offering local and international music until the early hours. For views, music and cocktails, head to Alexandros Rooftop Bar or for those looking to rock out rather than chill out, try the popular Yanni's Rock Bar.
A traditional town with a cosmopolitan feel, couples will find it easy to relax and enjoy all that Aghios Nikolaos has to offer. With restaurants boasting scenic lake and harbour views, traditional villages to escape to and charming islands to explore, Aghios Nikolaos is a great choice for romantic getaways and couples looking for adventure. Take a seat at a chic harbourside restaurant, soak in the views and watch as the world goes by.
Leave the buzz of Aghios Nikolaos for the more relaxed coastal towns of Elounda, Sitia and Sissi. Explore the pretty harbours, eat like the locals or simply kick back on the beaches. Head an hour along the coast to Heraklion to enjoy a day of sailing and discover some of the diverse marine life or take it easy with one of the winery tours.
About 10km from Aghios Nikolaos you’ll find the village of Kritsa with its wonderful mountain scenery, famous olive groves and traditional way of life. An area renowned for its weaving skills, this is a great place to pick up that authentic handcrafted souvenir.
With historical sites, museums and local festivals, a holiday to Aghios Nikolaos will be filled with cultural highlights.
If exploring museums and learning about local history is your thing, then The Archaeological Museum and The Folk Art Museum will easily fit the bill. But the chance to explore local history doesn’t stop there, thanks to the Byzantine Panagias Keras Church with its pretty frescoes, the majestic Monastery of Agios Georgios Selinari and the island fortress of Spinalonga.
Be sure to fit in a culture-packed day trip to Heraklion with its archaeological, natural history and local history museums, as well as the ancient ruins of the beautiful Palace of Knossos and the impressive Cathedral of St. Minas to keep you busy.