Agios Nikolaos, Greece
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Agios Nikolaos Hotels

Agios Nikolaos is a medium sized town set on the shimmering copper-coloured northern coast of Crete. Lying east of Crete’s capital Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos boasts a bohemian vibe, where lazy days can be spent ambling along the flower-laden promenade, bathing in the aquamarine lagoon, and visiting the independent art galleries and intriguing archeological museums. In the evenings, soak up the cool, relaxed atmosphere at the traditional beachfront bar-cafés and treat yourself at the fresh seafood restaurants.

Things to see

Begin your sun-swept Crete morning by paying a visit to the Archaeological Museum. This small and welcoming museum showcases dozens of intriguing and magical displays, from shimmering ancient coins to infinitely ornate vases and urns. After, continue your cultural Agios Nikolaos tour and stop at the Folklore Art Museum, which displays intricate embroideries. As the afternoon rolls around, explore the winding central streets and discover the 7th century church, a tiny stone structure topped with a quaint golden bell and surrounded by a quiet, tree-lined courtyard. After a tiring day of exploring the town, head to the Agios Nikolaos’ main beach, Kitroplatia. This pristine sandy beach - speckled with pastel pink seashells - offers shady spots for reading and uncrowded stretches for sunbathing. Alternatively, visit the town’s deep circular lake that connects to the sea. Greek legend has it that the goddess Athena would bathe in these pure, sparkling waters.

Hotels in Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos offers a number of stellar 5-star spa-style retreats. These hotels are often set against the beach, seamlessly blending into the red-brown cliff face with their old-world inspired exteriors. Enjoy full-service spa treatments and fine-dining restaurants that serve local and international cuisine. If you’re travelling on a budget, stay further inland at a more traditional family-run 3-star Agios Nikolaos hotel, where welcoming hosts will gladly offer information about the best sights, restaurants and bars. For something a bit different, why not stay at one of Agios Nikolaos’ villa rentals.

Where to stay

Stay at the very eastern peak of the town, right alongside the coast, for immediate access to Agios Nikolaos’ main beach. Here you’ll enjoy the sight of white-wash wooden boats gently bobbing in the harbour, and the taste-bud tingling aroma of sizzling lemon-soaked fish. For a true taste of Agios Nikolaos’ cool bohemian vibe, stay deep within the town centre, where sprawling street markets selling curious trinkets, fabrics and fresh fruit sing with local laughter and barterers. For a quiet natural haven, stay south of the centre, beside the dusky hills and pine trees of Vahri-Almiros nature park.

How to get to Agios Nikolaos

Take a flight to Heraklion International Airport in Crete. From there, Agios Nikolaos is around 60 kilometres away. Either rent an affordable car at the airport and race alongside the coast - enjoying the crisp blue skies and the glistening ocean waters as you drive - or hop in a taxi. Reliable and affordable buses also run from the airport to Agios Nikolaos. If you’re travelling from mainland Greece, regular ferries run from the ports of Piraeus and Rhodes, gently cruising across the Aegean waters into the Heraklion port.

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