A picturesque and busy fishing town that is ideal for for anyone seeking a lively, fun-filled holiday.
Lively and lovely, Aghios Nikolaos sits on the beautiful Gulf of Mirabello, a picturesque harbour town full to bursting with cafes, tavernas and tourists. As well as a marvellous array of places to eat, drink and be merry, Ag Nik, as it's known locally, enjoys a coastline broken up by a varied supply of sandy or pebble beaches where water sports are widely available, and plenty of reminders of Greece's ancient history remain to satisfy the most ardent culture lover. On holiday here, you'll never be short of things to do.
Who holidays in Aghios Nikolaos?
Pick Aghios Nikolaos if you enjoy being at the heart of the fun, without sacrificing the scenery or a sense of the traditional. You'll find visitors of all ages enjoying this pretty resort and all it has to offer, including the numerous historic sites and cultural attractions.
A bustling resort with oodles of charm, Aghios Nikolaos is probably best known for its 'bottomless lake', actually about 64 metres deep and the subject of many a brochure's glossy cover. Voulismeni, as it is known locally, was, according to legend, Goddess Athena's favourite bathing spot. In a harsher reality, it is also where retreating Germans dumped ammunition and tanks after WWII - trophies never reclaimed from the unfathomable depths, in spite of Jacques Cousteau apparently conducting dives here in an attempt to find the lake's source. Today, though, it is the centrepiece among numerous tavernas and cafes where you can enjoy anything from a light snack to a full meal or a soothing drink as the sun sets.
During the day, you're spoilt for choice of beaches and active things to do. Many have facilities for a wide range of watersports including jet skiing, waterskiing or windsurfing, and the rugged coastline makes for great walking and rock climbing; you'll stumble upon secluded coves and enchanting pebble beaches for a quiet day away from the hustle and bustle, with scenery to take your breath away.
The area is a hotbed of historical significance, too, surrounded with archaeological sites and cultural attractions. In the town itself, the Folklore Museum provides a glimpse into the past in its embroidery, icons and other exhibits, and, in the local church, you will be treated to the sight of frescoes dating back to the 9th century. Be sure to visit the Archaeological Museum to explore an amazing range of artefact's from eastern Crete and the Minoan period, including a 7th century bust. Book one of the organised excursions to some fascinating attractions a little further afield (see Things to See) to add another dimension to your Greek Islands holiday, or pop down to the harbour, just the ticket for relaxing while local fishermen unload their day's catch destined for nearby restaurants, and the place to book a stress-busting boat trip out to the beguiling island of Spinalonga or to tropical Chrissi with its coloured sands, in the Libyan Sea. Return at the end of the day to twinkling lights and the stirrings of music in the lively bars at the water's edge, as they fill up with fun-seekers after dark.
You'll be sure to find your favourite food in the wide range of eateries around the harbour and lakeside as well as in town. Naturally, traditional tavernas with delicious Greek specialities are plentiful, but there are also fast food outlets and haute cuisine - something to suit every palate.
Accommodation in Aghios Nikolaos has got the spectrum covered, too. You'll find great value, self-catering options such as Golden Apartments, or the Alantha Apartments both of which offer every home comfort, a lovely pool and spectacular views. Then there are simple, welcoming traditional, establishments such as the Lato Hotel, and brilliantly located, good-value options such as the Coral Hotel. All offer the perfect base for families and young people making the best of their budget. On the other hand, for the unashamed luxury of four and five star hotels, try Iberostar Hermes Hotel or St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas, among many others. Go to Where to Stay in Aghios Nikolaos for the full selection of accommodation available with Olympic Holidays.
Book your holidays to Aghios Nikolaos with Olympic Holidays the leading specialist tour operator to Greece with over 45 years expertise in offering quality holidays at great value. As well package holidays to Aghios Nikolaos, we offer an excellent range of hotels in Aghios Nikolaos. For great savings on holidays to Aghios Nikolaos book online or call our reservations team, lowest price guaranteed!!!
- Lively nightlife with many bars & discos
- Excellent variety of restaurants & tavernas around the harbour
- Small sandy & shingle beaches
Things To Do
Popular activities during holidays in Aghios Nikolaos include:-
- Jet skiing
- Scuba diving
- Rock climbing
- Walking and hiking
During the last week in June of every even-numbered year, Marine Week in Aghios Nikolaos presents a festival of swimming windsurfing and boat races.
Fun Excursions while on Aghios Nikolaos Holidays
Make your holidays to Aghios Nikolaos extra special by booking one of our wonderful excursions, we have a range of excursions that have been selected to cater for everyone's interests. Some of our most popular excursions are:-
Chrissi Island: An exceptional day to a tropical paradise set in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan sea. Sunbathe on the unusual coloured sand of one of the beautiful beaches.
Cretan Night: If you like nothing better than to eat, drink and dance, then this is the trip for you. On this night out, you will be transported into a world of Cretan entertainment and merrymaking as only the Greeks know how.
Knossos Palace: An absolute must on any visit to Crete, the Palace of Knossos is steeped in the history of Crete's Minoan rule - where European civilisation began.
Lutra and Samaria Gorge Ferry trip: On this Olympic Holidays excursion, you will travel to the gorge by ferry, stopping en route at a village called Lutra which is accessible only by boat.
Jeep Safari: Travel off the beaten track through traditional mountain villages - a chance to pick up the authentic Greek flavour.
Spinalonga Island: Made famous as the setting for the film Who Pays the Ferryman, Spinalonga island attracts thousands of visitors every year to see the ruins of the Venetian Fortress and its leper colony. Hop on a boat to the island and take your time exploring or find a quiet, sunny spot for restful day away in the sun, tucking into the authentic Greek barbecue and taking a quick dip before heading back.
Unknown Crete: Travel through unspoilt villages where donkeys are still a favoured form of transport. Visit a local winery and see how wine is made. You will be able to try some and buy a bottle or two afterwards.
Beach Party: Join your Olympic Reps on a private sandy beach for an afternoon partying in the sun. An hour and half of free drinks will have everyone in the mood for some wickedly wild games.
For further information and to secure your place on all the above exciting days and nights out, see your Olympic representative in the resort. The best time to book would be at the Welcome Get Together on the day after arrival.
Things To See
Aghios Nikolaos Folklore Museum: Get a glimpse of traditional Cretan life through the intriguing costumes and handicrafts on display in this small town museum.
Archaeological Museum: Lose yourself in Crete's most important collection of Minoan artefacts after the Heraklion Archaeological museum, also within visiting distance. Here you'll find clay coffins, ceramic musical instruments and gold from Mochlos among the many other treasures.
Chania: Stroll through the streets of Chania's old town, an intact neighbourhood of the original Venetian buildings. The fortifications date from the 13th century and its picturesque Venetian harbour is well worth seeing. Enter the 16th-century Venetian Church of San Francisco and lose yourself amid this vast collection of finds in the Archaeological Museum, dating from the neolithic to the Roman era. See jewellery, floor mosaics, statues, vases and painted sarcophagi from a late Minoan cemetery. There is also a Naval museum, as well as the Historical Archives of Crete.
Cretaquarium: Situated at Gournes, 15 kms east of Heraklion is this huge indoor aquarium installed at a former US Air Force base. The artificial underwater world is home to over 2500 Mediterranean and tropical sea creatures with interactive educational multi-media activities. Buses run every 30 minutes from Heraklion.
Dikteon Cave: According to legend, the infant Zeus was born in this cave, and hidden here to avoid him being eaten by his father Cronos. It has an upper and lower section and a huge stalagmite known as the Mantle of Zeus. It can be reached by a steep walk from the village of Psychro, with some lovely views of the verdant plateau of Lasithi, or you can pay to go up on a mule.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum: This museum in Heraklion is renowned for its huge collection of Minoan treasures and artefacts and is the place to visit to become immersed in the ancient civilisation which began on Crete and, for centuries, dominated the Aegean islands.
Knossos Palace: The ruins and treasures of Knossos, in a beautiful spot 5 kms southeast of Heraklion, had lain buried for centuries, but were unearthed in 1900 by Sir Arthur Evans, a British Archaeologist who spent 35 years excavating and reconstructing the palace. It is the most popular of Crete's tourist attractions with thousands of visitors each year. Guided tours of roughly 90 mins introduce visitors to a fascinating insight into the sophistication of the Minoan civilisation which dominated Europe, ruling large parts of the Aegean, in the Bronze Age about 4000 years ago.
Lato Cultural Festival: If you are visiting during July and August, you may catch some of this annual festival of concerts by local and international musicians, with folk dancing, mantinades (rhyming couplets), theatre and art displays.
Nikos Kazantzakis Museum, Myrtia: Dedicated to the author of Zorba the Greek, here you can listen to a short documentary about Kazantzakis before scrutinising film posters, letters, photographs and other personal effects of Crete's most famous writer. Afterwards, enjoy a coffee in one of the many kafeneios surrounding Myrtia's town square.
Samaria Gorge: Slicing through the White Mountains, or Lefka Ori, of Crete, this is reputedly the longest gorge in Europe and second in the world only to the Grand Canyon. It was made a national park in 1962 in order to protect the endangered kri-kri, a timid wild goat, which lives in the gorge. An area of outstanding scenic beauty, the gorge teems with wildlife including an incredible wildflower display in spring months.
Spinalonga Island: Made famous when used as the setting for the film Who Pays the Ferryman, thousands of visitors come every year to see the ruins of the Venetian Fortress and former Leper colony.
Zakros and the Valley of the Dead: Situated at the eastern end of Crete, the village of Zakros is the starting point for a trail through Zakros Gorge, otherwise known as Valley for the Dead, due to the abundance of caves which are ancient burial sites. Follow it down to Kato Zakros, on the coast, for some spectacular scenery culminating in the partly submerged ruins of the Minoan Zakros Palace and a pebble beach where tavernas provide refreshments.