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Find information on Aghios Nikolaos in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
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Aghios Nikolaos in the east of Crete on the Gulf of Mirabello is a picturesque resort popular with families and couples of all ages. It has a good range of accommodation from luxury hotels to more affordable apartments. The shingle beaches and pebble and shingle coves offer many water sporting activities and there are a number of excursions from the harbour. An Aghios Nikolaos holiday provides sun and relaxation, a range of leisure activities, good food and shopping and a lively nightlife.
Apart from the resort itself and the amenities that it offers, Aghios Nikolaos also provides some very interesting tourist attractions. One of the most popular excursions is to Spinalongo, a small island off the coast that housed a leper colony until the nineteen fifties.
An Aghios Nikolaos holiday attracts a wide range of people. Families and couples of all ages can enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of its shores, its sand and shingle beaches and coves, and its safe bathing.
The most popular time to visit Aghios Nikolaos is in the summer. The season extends from Easter to October when the temperature range is from twenty to thirty degrees.
Aghios Nikolaos is surrounded by hills covered in olive trees with wild basil and fennel growing at their feet. It is a very pretty resort built around a lake which is joined to the sea by a narrow channel. Known locally as the ‘bottomless lake’, there are many cafes around its perimeter where you can sit and watch the small fishing boats.
There are three shingle beaches offering a range of water sports including daily fishing trips around the island. Excursions from the harbour include a trip to the former leper colony on the tiny island Spinalonga which was inhabited until 1957. There are two small islands at the entrance to the harbour, one with a lighthouse and the other with the All Saints’ Chapel. The island is also home to a protected species of goat, the kri-kri. The view of the town from the island is spectacular.
The harbour is a hive of activity. Apart from the comings and goings of boats, there are many shops and restaurants all vying for our custom.
As the sun goes down the music bars and discos are ready to liven up the night and the restaurants begin serving their delicious fare.
An Aghios Nikolaos holiday is one of the most popular resorts on Crete. In addition to its other attractions, this relaxed town offers a warm and friendly welcome from its people.
Nightlife in Aghios Nikolaos provides everything from traditional tavernas to smart restaurants and from music bars to discos that remain open until the early hours of the morning. The normal hour for dining is around nine so the nightlife doesn’t really get going until close to eleven. While the pubs and bars around the harbour and the lake are the most lively, there are many waterfront tavernas and restaurants where you can enjoy a romantic meal or drink overlooking the sea.
Aghios Nikolaos has a fairly good selection of shops including some rather fashionable boutiques. It claims to have some of the best jewellers in Crete where handcrafted rings, bracelets and assorted items can be purchased. There are of course numerous gift and souvenirs shops supplying holiday mementoes including embroidered linens, woven goods and ceramics. Don’t forget the Wednesday morning market where you can barter for bargains.
Aghios Nikolaos has such a wide range of restaurants serving everything from fast food to international cuisine that it surely caters for all tastes. If you feel peckish between lunch and dinner try a plate of meze, a Greek equivalent of the Spanish tapas, with such things as deep fried fish, pickles, olives and halloumi.
Eating out in Greece is a pleasure that should be enjoyed in a leisurely fashion. Don’t mistake the lack of haste for tardy service as you are simply being given the time to fully enjoy each course. Children are warmly welcomed in restaurants and their tastes and portion size are usually accommodated.