THINGS TO DO IN AGIOS NIKOLAOS
Things to do in Agios Nikolaos: the comprehensive guide for laid-back holidays in Crete’s most scenic seaside town
Discover a Cretan coastal town whose beauty is unsurpassed and is bursting with incredible things to see and do for authentic experiences. Unearth the very best things to do in Agios Nikolaos, a seaside resort-like setting that charms all who visit. Create special memories with your loved ones, whether it’s having a laid-back day at the beach with friends, indulging in romantic seafront meals with your other half, or taking a deep dive into the area’s unique history during a museum outing with your family. Read on to find out the best things to do for every type of traveller during your Cretan holidays in a truly captivating corner of paradise.
“Savour holidays in Crete in a seafront oasis”
There is something undeniably charming about Agios Nikolaos. Cocooned along the eastern coast and facing the stark blue and ambient Mirabello Bay, it is an incredible place to enjoy the small-town feels but with plenty of lively activities. With a rich collection of bars, restaurants, and cafes, as well as informative museums and gorgeous beaches, there are authentic and moving things to do in Agios Nikolaos that are guaranteed to make your Cretan holidays a memorable one.
#1. Hop on a cruise around the island of Spinalonga
One of the most sought-after things to do in Agios Nikolaos, and one of the most visited landmarks in all of Crete, is the island of Spinalonga. From the port of Agios Nikolaos hop on an approximately 20-minute ferry ride and make your way towards the island with remains of a Venetian and Ottoman past standing tall today with imposing fortifications and protective walls.
Once you reach Spinalonga you can easily see its Venetian past, which dates back to the 13th century. But what is harder to spot is that it was the last remaining leper colony in Europe until it closed in 1957. Today, Spinalonga is well-organised with professional guides and comprehensive signage, making it easy to explore in a group or on your own. From the fortress, you gain incredible panoramic views, so be camera-ready during your outing!
#2. Discover striking Greek mythology sculptures at the Harbour
If taking a deep dive into Greek mythology is a must for you during your holidays in Crete, then you’re in the right place! Head to the Harbour of Agios Nikolaos and keep your eyes open for two imposing sculptures: the Horn of Amalthea and the Abduction of Europa. Both sculptures tell tales revolving around Zeus and honour the steep tradition of keeping the spirit of Greek mythology alive.
While you’re at the harbour, it’s a wonderful opportunity to explore the heart of the city. It is always bustling with activity thanks to being a cruise ship stopover, and the surrounding area is packed with authentic tavernas, quaint cafes, and vibrant bars. Take a walk along the harbour’s edge and select a place to grab a coffee or a savoury seafood meal and enjoy the seascape.
#3. Find peaceful things to do in Agios Nikolaos’ Lake Voulismeni
Nearby the harbour lies one of the city’s most treasured landmarks, the Lake of Voulismeni. Incredibly picturesque and charming, take a leisurely stroll around the lake and note the tiny fisherman boats and colourful houses, perfect for snapping pictures. It holds fascinating tales and legend says it is a bottomless crater, and also the bathing place of the goddess Athena!
If shopping for souvenirs like local olive oil, dried herbs, and leather goods is on your agenda of things to do in Agios Nikolaos, the area surrounding Lake Voulismeni is the place to be. First, pop in out of a collection of clever boutique shops while walking the perimeter of the lake. Then, be sure to head up to the little park above the lake for unbeatable panoramic views and grab a coffee at the on-site cafe or opt for local mezzes at the restaurant.
“Discover things to do in Agios Nikolaos to cherish forever”
#4. Explore different historical eras at the local museums
During your holidays in Agios Nikolaos, it is well worth it to carve out some time to visit some of the best museums which highlight the area’s dynamic past. Be sure to make a trip to the Archaeological Museum, regarded as one of the most significant in Crete. Housing thousands of artefacts from the neolithic era, to the Minoans, and up to the Romans, it is a must-visit for history buffs and curious travellers alike.
If it’s hard to picture Agios Nikolaos being anything other than a modern seaside destination, then visiting the Folklore Museum is a must to gain a different perspective. Located near the harbour, the museum holds traditional Cretan household objects, old manuscripts, religious icons, instruments, and much more. And because it’s interactive and tangible, it’s one of the best things to do in Agios Nikolaos with children.
#5. Have tranquil holidays in Crete at incredible nearby beaches
Make sure your time in Crete is truly complete with some visits to beautiful nearby beaches. As luck would have it, Agios Nikolaos is surrounded by spectacular ambient water, golden coastlines, and plenty of beaches that vary from lively to laid-back. If you’re travelling with your family, be sure to visit Almyros Beach, which is stocked with sun loungers, umbrellas, and a snack bar. There’s also a cold river that flows into the sea, so dive in there if you’re feeling brave!
For pristine beauty, an outing to Voulisma is an absolute must! Regarded as one of Crete’s most stunning beaches, it is comprised of turquoise waters and a long shoreline perfect for a walk along the beach. Located 15 km south of Agios Nikolaos’ centre, it is the ideal escape for quiet moments and a totally laidback outing. It is quite underdeveloped compared to many other nearby beaches, so be sure to bring provisions from food to sun protection with you.
Let your hotel in Hersonissos, Crete help you plan memorable things to do in Agios Nikolaos
Lying just east of Creta Maris Resort, Agios Nikolaos is one of our favourite holiday retreats. Well worth the short outing from your hotel Hersonissos, Crete, the combination of quiet seaside charms and lively things to do and see are what dynamic holidays are made of. We would be delighted to help you plan an incredible outing to Agios Nikolaos with the ones you love. Have even more days to spare during your holidays in Crete? Take a look at our other helpful Cretan travel guides, including:
2. 10 days Crete Itinerary: The supreme schedule for fantastic family holidays in Crete.
3. Things to do in Rethymno: Follow the absolute Rethymno Travel Guide for memorable holidays with your beloved ones.
4. Things to do in Heraklion: the ultimate Heraklion travel guide for authentic & peaceful holiday.