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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Aghios Nikolaos

Aghios Nikolaos Holidays

The historic and bustling town of Aghios Nikolaos is built upon the ancient remains of past buildings. Being a relatively small town all of its main shops, restaurants and beaches are within walking distance. That being said, it is full of history, art and attractions so you can experience an authentic Greek town and be as busy or relaxed as you wish.

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History at your fingertips

Aghios Nikalaos is home to several ancient ruins, historic structures and relics. On a small hillside you'll see a church that has been standing since the 10th century. Nearby, beside the Istron River, you can visit the archaeological site of Priniatikos Pyrgos.

A great visit for any history buff is the Aghios Nikalaos Archaeology Museum, with some artefacts dating back to over 6,000 years old. The exhibits here display relics from the early Minoan cemetery of Mochlos, as well as coins dating from 330BC and more than 1500 vases presented in their collection.

A short trip away is the ruins of a Minoan palace known as Gournia and boat trips from the town's harbour will take you to the tiny island of Spinalonga. Take some time to visit Spinalonga's hillside fortress, you'll be glad you made it to the top once you see those fantastic views.

Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthadox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • GMT +2

Sandy escapes

Aghios Nikolaos has three seafronts to its name - Kitroplatia Beach, a stunning Marina and a lake. The main hub of the town focuses around Lake Voulismeni, a famous physical landmark of the area. Greek legend has it that the goddess Athena bathed in this lake daily, but today it's encircled by cafes, bars and restaurants and is a popular spot for holidaymakers to visit.

The most popular beach is Kitroplatia, located near the town centre. This sand and shingle beach has restaurants all along its promenade as well as a children's play area.

Sunloungers and parasols are available to hire for a small fee, so you can spend the days of your last minute holidays to Crete lazily gazing out into the clear waters. Other beaches include Ammoudi, Havania and Ammos - a small sand cove attached to the town's marina.

Time to shop

The main shopping district in Aghios Nikolaos is down the narrow walkways off the waterfront. Here you'll find stores selling great souvenirs to take home, like locally made clothes, accessories and jewellery.

The shops in Aghios Nikolaos have a distinctive marketplace feel, with items displayed on the street as you walk by. You'll have hours of entertainment simply looking through the many stalls and shops, and finding that perfect gift to take home for your friends.

Restaurants by the sea

Crete's local cuisine is full of fresh ingredients and overflows with flavour. The restaurants here in Aghios Nikolaos are no exception, and in the town's mainly Greek restaurants you're sure to find your favourite dishes with ingredients like fresh and dried fruit, wild herbs, olive oil and red wine.

Most of the restaurants here are located around the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Voulismeni with large outdoor dining areas so you can take in the spectacular views as you try your favourite Greek specialities. If you want to try something other than the local cuisine, Aghios Nikolaos' popularity with visitors has brought with it restaurants from all over the world including France, Britain, Spain and Italy.

Outdoor activities

For any avid scuba divers, Aghios Nikolaos has three diving schools ready to welcome experienced divers as well as those who are just starting off. Their professional divers will guide you through the area's many incredible underwater sights including reefs, drop offs, caverns, World War II artefacts and ancient remains. The diving schools also have packages for those who would rather snorkel instead of scuba dive.

Another way to explore some of Aghios Nikolaos's fantastic outdoors is through a walking tour. You can learn about the cultural heritage of the Cretan people from informative guides as you hike through beautiful landscapes, olive gardens, and old villages - a perfect option for those on cheap Greece holidays.