Agios Nikolaos
Agios NIkolaos, the beautiful capital of the Lasithi prefecture, is in the west side of the Meramvelo peninsula. The Voulismeni Lake in the center of the city is its characteristic.
Agios Nikolaos is a touristic city and thousands of people visit it during the whole year. 19.000 people live in the city and their main occupations are tourism, agriculture, livestock and commerce. A large number of shops, restaurants, taverns, cafeterias and night clubs are in the city.
How to get there
Just over an hour (64 km) from Heraklion airport or port by car or taxi. See flight information. There is regular bus service from Heraklion (and to Ierapetra - Sitia). The bus station is off centre, near the hospital.
If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car. We suggest to search our website and find your favourite car, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport. You can book online or send us a quote.
In case that you prefer the convenience of a taxi, then you could book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location.
Where to stay
Hotels, apartments and camping areas exist near the lake.
The marina of the municipality where sailing races are held, the “kera tis Amaltheias” sculpture made by local artists on the stone atrium opposite the Agioi Pantes Island, the Nearchou square decorated with mosaic sea patterns and Kitroplateia are worth visiting. Kitroplateia (i.e. the square of citron, in Greek) is a square with a small beach from where the wayfarer starts (it ends to the marina). The name of the square came from the citron trade as, before the building of the port, small boats were loaded and unloaded their goods there. There is also an Archaeological and a Folklore Museum in Agios Nikolaos.
A walk next to the Voulismeni Lake is very worth having. It is a lagoon in the center of the city that is surrounded by restaurants and trees. Its diameter is 137 meters and its depth 64 meters. It had been a freshwater lake until 1870 when the canal that united it with the sea was made. A small theatre is also next to the lake where art festivals take place.
There are many myths about the Voulismeni Lake (see Myths). It is also said that war records are in the bottom of the lake. The Germans dropped them after the end of the World War II.
The Agios Charalampos hill has panoramic view of the lake and Agios Nikolaos. It is full of pine trees and next to a small church.
The stairs are also a trademark of the city. The city is built on hills and the stairs makes the access to different areas easier.
The small islands opposite the city, Agioi Pantes and Faros, are also sightseeing of the area. They are very close to each other and very beautiful, historical and naturally important due to their flora and fauna. The Cretan wild goat, Kri Kri, was transferred to the Agioi Pantes Island in the previous century.
Many sports facilities e.g. of football, volleyball, basketball, beach volleyball, mini golf etc are also in Agios Nikolaos.
The city is known for its many clean beaches.
There are many cafes and night bars next to the lake where you can have fun and entertain yourself until morning hours. There are many traditional restaurants to taste the local food and the whole city is crowded every summer night with activities and events.