Only 60km from the capital of Crete (Heraklion), Agios Nikolaos is one of the most charming places on the island. Some people call the place “the St Tropez of Crete” for its dynamism, its beautiful hotels, but also its typical and colored streets or its shopping. But what to do on site? Where to sleep? Where to go swimming? Don’t hesitate to discover our Agios Nikolaos travel guide!
Agios Nikolaos: why is it the “Cretan St Tropez”?
Aghios Nikolaos has been nicknamed the St. Tropez of Crete, thanks to its chic cafes, elegant boutiques and other stylish bars. The town – one of the most beautiful on the island – is built around an inner lagoon (Lake Voulismeni) on the beautiful bay of Mirabello and is dominated by the mountains to the east.
By day, the harbor is dotted with brightly colored fishing boats; by night, the water reflects the lights of the cluster of taverns and restaurants. The narrow streets that wind through the city are lined with bars and stores, as well as some fair churches.
Where to sleep in Agios Nikolaos?
Find your hotel
Agios Nikolaos, in many ways, can be seen as a luxury destination. Some hotels on the spot are absolutely magnificent, like the very famous Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villa !
To find a cheaper hotel in Agios Nikolaos, we also invite you to make your choice among all the hotels present on this map of the tourist destination:
Rent a villa!
Don’t feel like sleeping in a hotel? Don’t worry: opt for a villa rental with pool in Agios Nikolaos! The perfect way to spend a serene and incredibly luxurious holiday in Crete
What to do in Agios Nikolaos? 6 best things to do in 2022!
After a few days, you will surely be tempted to look elsewhere. Not that Agios Nikolaos isn’t worth a look, on the contrary, but because there are plenty of sights around… But as for the village of Agios Nikolaos: what to do?
1. Enjoy Agios Nikolaos streets
Probably the first thing you will do when you get there. Starting with the very picturesque and colourful harbour of the city. Sailboats and small blue boats rub shoulders. So are shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.
Many of the houses in the centre are also colourful, which makes Agios Nikolaos look like a small Greek paradise on a sunny day.
2. Rent a boat with or without skipper
In such a place, treat yourself to the pleasure and luxury of a trip to the sea. With friends, lovers or family, discover Agios Nikolaos from the sea and its clear blue waters. Sailboat, catamaran, motorboat and even schooner: everything you need on the link below!
You can also book a one day activity and have fun on the sea! Click below:
3. Voulismeni lake
Ágios Nikólaos (or Áyos Nikólaos in Greek) is a village nestled on many hills. You will have to climb up and down regularly. But above all, it is this village in the centre of Agios and these hills that gives the place its unique character.
The walks around Lake Voulismeni are romantic and fun. Small bridges, trees, street art and boats await you.
4. Discover Spinalonga
Another unusual sight is the island of Spinalonga, 15km from Agios Nikolaos. Located off the fishing village of Elounda, Spinalonga is a unique peninsula in the world.
Firstly, it is now a fortress with a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea. Surrounded by walls throughout, but also with clear waters to explore, we recommend this place for its history. Built by the Venetians in 1579, the fortress island of Spinalonga has long protected Elounda. Before a Turkish invasion in the 18th century, and then the transformation of the place into a “leper island” during the first half of the 20th century.
A must-see. Book your visit below:
5. Visit Elounda
If you have the good idea to go and discover the fortifications of Spinalonga, you might as well stop opposite, in Elounda. A fishing village like so many in Crete and Greece, but so charming, the place is, like Agios Nikolaos, never more beautiful than on a blue day.
The colours of the village’s old buildings stand out vividly as the sun beats down on the turquoise waters that bathe the bay. Elounda is also a tourist destination, with its typical Greek shops and restaurants. A place where you feel at ease and where you have a change of scenery.
Book your activity in Elounda here:
6. The best beaches in and around Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos offers its inhabitants and visitors some good beaches (Havania Beach, Kitroplatia, Almyros Beach), but to get the most out of the beaches of Agios Nikolaos and its surroundings, you will have to go abroad a little.
So don’t hesitate to walk a few hundred meters or kilometres around the Cretan city, to reach the beautiful beaches of :
- Ammoudi Beach, a small beach, sometimes quite crowded, with clear water, fine sand and above all, many water games.
- Ammos Beach (photo below), a pretty and very pleasant Mediterranean beach, where you can rent a deckchair and an umbrella, play in the sand and eat on the beach in one of the many restaurants.
- Ammoudara Beach, clear waters, but to be avoided in summer to avoid the crowds. Very beautiful beach (of course), surrounded by food and drink.
Agios Nikolaos weather
Without further ado, as you may have guessed, the weather in Agios Nikolaos is incredibly mild throughout the year. With even a not too hot summer.
From June to September, the sea temperature ranges from 22 to 24°. Finally, the sunshine never falls below 8 hours per day.
Where is Agios Nikolaos in Crete?
You will find Agios Nikolaos on the northern part of the island of Crete, slightly to the west, very close to many places to visit.
Here are some routes to take from Agios Nikolaos:
- Heraklion – Agios Nikolaos : 62km and 56min by car, for those who land in the capital
- Elounda – Agios Nikolaos : 18km and 10 min by car
- Malia – Agios Nikolaos : 29 km and 31 min to get to the Cretan seaside resort