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Lasithi Crete

In the East of Crete, Greece

Agios Nikolaos Panorama

Lasithi Crete - in the east of the island. The charming town of Agios Nikolaos Άγιος Νικόλαος is 70 km east of Heraklion on the north coast, and is the capital of the Lasithi region in Crete, Greece.

Lasithi Crete offers some of the most untouched and authentic villages, beaches, mountains and countryside to explore in Crete.

  • Visit the dynamic capital Agios Nikolaos
  • Sitia is a major town to the east, a thriving centre of olive and wine production. We loved our visit here and the authentic Greek character
  • Ierapetra, the largest town on the south coast of Crete, faces the Libyan sea and surrounded by beaches and mountains
  • The Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau are very close to Agios Nikolaos, yet the pace is slow and the air is crisp, a beautiful village to visit is Kritsa
  • Wonderful beaches and international quality luxury can be found in and around Elounda, just 11 km from town, and the seaside village of Plaka opposite Spinalonga Island.
  • Toplou Monastery is 15 km east of Sitia town, it is a fascinating historic settlement and wine-making estate
  • Towards the eastern tip of Crete is Palaikastro Village, and the beaches of Chionia and Kouremenos
  • Two beautiful and unusual beaches to enjoy are Vai Palm Beach and Kato Zakros beach, where the site of the ancient Minoan Zakros Palace waits to be explored
  • Explore the south-east of Crete including Ierapetra, Chrissi Island and Makrigialos

Agios Nikolaos Crete

Agios Nikolaos

It is said that this town is named after Saint Nicholas the patron saint of all sailors and of all of Greece, the modern town in built close to the site of the ancient city of Lato.

It is also said that the town was named after a Byzantine chapel built nearby in the 7th century AD.

With a colourful history and currently a population of nearly 20,000, set on the beautiful Mirabello Bay, the view across to the Sitia mountains is lovely and ever-changing.

Enjoy our video of Agios Nikolaos.

Agios Nikolaos at Dusk

A unique and very pleasant town, with a character different again from the other towns of Crete, with its hilly streets winding back from the lake, it begs to be explored.

After its 'discovery' by the jet set in late twentieth century, this town developed one of the best tourism infrastructures on the island of Crete. Luckily the development has not ruined the charm of this delightful town.

Lake Voulismeni

Lake Voulismeni Limni Voulismeni

Lake Voulismeni Λίμνη Βουλισμένη sits just behind the harbour in the centre of the town, with a channel joining the two. Originally a fresh water lake, the channel was built in 1870. The lake is known as apatos bottomless. Is it? Come and have a look and you decide.

If you look closely enough, you might see the goddesses come down and wash their hair in the fresh waters of the lake.

There is a lovely promenade around the lake, with some steps to climb, the whole walk takes about 15 minutes. The other side being steep walls of attractive red rock and creepers. There is a small outdoor theatre right on the shores of the lake and many, many cafes and tavernas making the most of the breezes off the water.

Cafes line the edges of the lake in central Agios Nikolaos, Crete

We enjoy strolling by the lake in the evenings, watching the stunning tiny kingfisher flashing azure as it darts around the lake and stops on the brightly coloured fishing boats.

There are quite a few birds nesting in the steep rock wall of the lake, and a gorgeous little chapel, it stands out in white against the rocks. You can climb up the steps to get a good view of the lake, the channel and the town from the little park.

The lake and harbour, and the endless beaches stretching west and east, ensure a summery holiday feel in Agios Nikolaos at just about any time of the year.

Agios Nikolaos Lake Chapel

Agios Nikolaos Harbour

The marine harbour services Mirabello Bay - fishing boats with sunshine reflecting on the hulls

The wide harbour has plenty of room for pleasure craft and daily tour craft, and on the eastern shore is the large port, accepting large ferries and connecting Agios Nikolaos with the major Greek ports like Pireaus, Santorini and Rhodes, as well as the islands of Kasos and Karpathos.

From here you can take tours to Spinalonga Island, Elounda, and Mirabello Bay.

Agios Nikolaos Harbour

Town Beaches

Kitroplateia Beach

The beaches of Agios Nikolaos all have Blue Flag status and are clean and organised; EOT, Almyros, Ammoudara, Havania, Ammos, Kitroplateia, Ammoudi. They extend from the town out along the coastline and some of them are more remote.

More about Kitroplateia Beach here.

Accommodation in Agios Nikolaos

Hotel du Lac has views over Lake Voulismeni

We suggest four hotels in town for their central location and service. Prices and styles vary from the budget to the sophisticated, but each of them will allow you to walk straight out of your door and explore this wonderful town.

See the interactive map below for the location of these accommodation options in town.

Accommodation in Lasithi

In Sitia - why not make your home in a windmill for your holiday?

Lasithi has the wide open spaces and untouched mountains and beaches to welcome those travellers who are a little more adventurous than the average.


Spinalonga experience

Visit the Island of Spinalonga by boat from Agios Nikolaos - with departures also from Elounda. Enjoy a swim and a BBQ as well as an interpretative visit to this island full of stories. This is a 12 hour full-day experience.


Below you will see a beautiful video of the region including the Mirabello Bay, the town, the large harbour and smaller inner harbour, the lake and tree-lined streets of the hilly harbour side town. You will also see Plaka, Spinalonga Island, Elounda and underwater diving in Mirabello Bay. Lovely views of walking in the hillsides to discover the ancient ruins of Lato and the Kritsa Gorge, and much more.

Getting Here

Take a 1 hour flight from Athens to Heraklion with Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, with many flights available per day.

Or take a 9.5 hour overnight ferry from Pireaus port of Athens to Heraklion port.

More on flights and ferries below.

Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.

When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and easy online booking. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid, electric or regular vehicles.

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The Beauty of Lasithi

Below are some beautiful images of Lasithi Crete, Agios Nikolaos, her lake and harbour.

Lake Voulismeni Fishing Boat (image by Boky)

Lake Voulismeni and view over to the Sitia Mountains (image by Suzanne K)

Lake Voulismeni (image by Phileole)

Lake Voulismeni (image by My Paradissi)

Lake Voulismeni at dusk

Ierapetra, Lasithi CreteIerapetra, Lasithi Crete

Chrissi Island, Lasithi, CreteChrissi Island, Lasithi, Crete

Kazarma on top of the hill in Sitia, Lasithi CreteSitia, Lasithi Crete

Elounda, Lasithi CreteElounda, Lasithi Crete


We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the We Love Crete team. Evíva!

The We Love Crete team - Anastasi, Katia & Apostoli

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