Agios Nikolaos is a city on the island of Crete, in Greece. It is well known for its Venetian harbor, stunning beaches, and great nightlife. In addition, it is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun or explore all that Crete has to offer. But with so many amazing things to do and see, it can be hard to choose what to do first. And for this reason, I present to you the 15 top tourist attractions and things to do in Agios Nikolaos that you won’t want to miss.
1. Voulisma Beach
There’s no doubt that visiting Voulisma Beach is one of the best things to do in Agios Nikolaos. This beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, located just 15 minutes away from the city center. So it offers you an off-city vacation spot that you can easily visit during your trip.
This beach stands out because of its clear blue waters, soft white sand, and gently sloping bed. It feels like you are lying on a soft blanket when you relax on the sand. Plus, even though there are other people around, there is enough room for everyone to find privacy if they want it. On top of these reasons, if you want to go swimming at night, this is one of the few beaches that you can do it at.
Also, this beach is great for families with young children because of its shallow waters. And I think you or your kids will enjoy playing in or on them. And perhaps the best part is that there are many excellent restaurants nearby where you can go for drinks or eat while gazing at the scenic view of this beach.
For me, exploring the sandy bottom with my feet was a lot of fun and one of my best childhood memories. And what makes this beach extra special are the ruins on the rocks behind it. A walk over to these rocks gives you some amazing views over the beach.
2. Lake Voulismeni
Lake Voulismeni is a sweet, beautiful lake located in the heart of the city. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Agios Nikolaos and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The reason for its fame is because the lake is surrounded by beautiful nature and has a dark blue color that looks great in photos. And while you are there, make sure to spot some waterfowl like ducks or pelicans, which are known to inhabit the lake. I loved all of these, especially the ducks.
The lake is also surrounded by many restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can sit down for a drink or eat while admiring its beauty. For me, enjoying the lake was one of the best ways to spend time in the city. Even more relaxing are the boat tours that take place on the lake. And because it is in the center of town, people enjoy watching the sunset at its lakeside.
If you are coming to Crete, visiting this lake should top your list of things to do in Agios Nikolaos. This is because of its beautiful scenery and an experience you will not forget. And on top of these reasons, there are usually street musicians playing Greek folk music. Actually, I think that the music is really cool and authentic. So if you like Greek culture, you should definitely check this out.
3. Ancient City of Lato
The Ancient City of Lato is definitely one of the top tourist attractions in Agios Nikolaos. Not only does it have a lot of historical significance, but it also offers visitors an experience to remember for a lifetime. This is because when you enter the area, you are transported back to the times of the Minoan Period.
Part of its charm comes from the fact that it is a still-standing ruin. So you can imagine how important it was during the Minoan Period. The whole site is actually quite large and has various ancient structures, including walls and inscriptions. Just walking around this place, you cannot help but feel that magic in the air.
For me, visiting this historical site was a memorable experience. This is because I love history, and it was a great way to learn about the city’s past. Actually, this is a perfect site for learning more about Greek history or mythology. So if you are looking for something interesting to do in Agios Nikolaos, then this place should definitely be on your list of things to see.
Read More: 14 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Chania
4. Crete Semi Submarine
One of the most fun activities to do in Agios Nikolaos is taking a Crete Semi Submarine trip. This tour will take you down into the depths of the ocean and discover the beauty of the sea from different perspectives. This is considered an educational tour, where you learn about the ecosystem of the sea and what kinds of fish live in it. You are also allowed to take photos while inside, which can be used as memories.
The beauty of this attraction is that there are guided tours in several languages. So no matter which language you speak, you will be able to understand everything about the tour. And because of this, I think that this place should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Agios Nikolaos
5. Spinalonga Island
This is a small island located near Elounda, and it’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Crete. Its fame comes from the fact that it was once a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. This makes it extremely unique and interesting if you enjoy history or want to explore unknown places.
If you’re interested in history, this place will be like a dream come true. It is like traveling back in time and feeling the atmosphere of what living conditions were like for lepers. Even if you are not into history, this island still has plenty to offer. For instance, it is very peaceful and quiet, with many restaurants that serve fresh seafood. The most recommended one is right at the harbor, and it offers very tasty dishes.
And if you still want more, you can go on a boat tour around the island where you will see beautiful views of Spinalonga Island with its picturesque harbor.
Read More: 14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Greece
6. Kitroplateia Beach
Another of the scenic spots in Agios Nikolaos is the Kitroplateia Beach. It is one of the most popular places to visit because of its beautiful, sandy beaches and bright crystal waters. The fact that it has calm waters makes this place an ideal spot for people who want to enjoy the sun. Plus, there is a bar and restaurant right next to the beach, making it easy for you to get drinks and food.
Therefore, visiting Kitroplateia Beach will give you a taste of what it is like to be at a real Greek beach. And if you’re looking to combine your trip with some watersports, then there are instructors offering boat rides to nearby beaches in the area. And aside from the fact that it is one of the most popular places in town, people enjoy spending time here because of how nice and clean everything is.
7. The Church of Panagia Kera
The Church of Panagia Kera is another of the most visited attractions in Agios Nikolaos. The reason for this is because it is one of the oldest churches on the island of Crete and has a very rich history. The Church was constructed in the 13th century and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
But what I love most about the Church is its amazing Byzantine frescoes that date back over a thousand years. They have been well preserved through time, and many consider them works of art. And it is because of this beauty that the Church has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also, if you are into photography, it will be an absolute delight to visit the village. This is because the Church is surrounded by quaint houses and narrow streets that can make great landscapes. But even for those who are not interested in ancient monuments or photos, the view certainly makes this one of the best things to do in Agios Nikolaos.
8. Day trip to Kritsa
Kritsa is a picturesque traditional village located 11 kilometers southwest of Agios Nikolaos. A trip to Crete without visiting Kritsa would be unforgivable. This is because this small town has an important history dating back thousands of years.
Most homes are built with local stone, so they have a really old and unique look. The streets and alleyways in the village are also very narrow and lovely to walk through. What I liked most about Kritsa is that it hasn’t changed much over time. This makes it a true representation of what really small villages in Crete used to be like.
The main square of this village is filled with lots of old-fashioned restaurants and shops where souvenirs like embroidery, pottery, loom work, and handmade Greek sweets can be bought. It is also great for people watching since it is always crowded with locals and tourists alike.
So if you are on the island, visiting Kritsa should be at the top of your agenda for things to do in Agios Nikolaos. This is because it has a rich history, special scenery, and traditional Cretan architecture that cannot be found anywhere else in Greece or maybe even Europe.
9. Almyros Beach
Almyros is a famous beach in Agios Nikolaos. It attracts people not only because of its beautiful turquoise waters, but also because it has a calm bay that allows you to swim safely. And while the shoreline is rocky on the western side, the eastern side is sandy. There are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas available at reasonable prices. So visiting this beach for some time is an experience you won’t forget.
And while it is true that this place is great to lay down and relax, I found that Almyros has something more to offer than just sunbathing. The thing that impressed me the most was the amazing view at sunset. There are many small beach restaurants on its coast with their tables facing the sea so you can have dinner while watching the sunset.
The beach is located about 15 minutes from the city center. If you want to get there, you can take a taxi or walk on foot. In my opinion, I think that walking is better because it lets you experience more of the local life.
10. Cretan Olive Farm
The Cretan Olive Farm is one of the most popular Agios Nikolaos attractions that offers its visitors an experience like no other in the area. A trip to this farm will help you discover a behind-the-scenes look at how olives are made and processed to make olive oil. This included seeing people pick the olives, watch them get pressed, and finally taste some olive oil. And on top of all this, the process is really interesting because you get to see every step that occurs in olive production.
If I had to describe this place in a few words, I would say that it is a nice place with great people. And because of this reason, I highly recommend coming here. Not only will you enjoy it, but it can also help you understand more about olive oil. If you want, you can even buy some bottles of olive oil they produce and bring them back home as a souvenir.
11. Palm Beach
Palm Beach is another of the most popular tourist attractions in Agios Nikolaos, known for its dense “jungle” of 5,000 palm trees along the coastline. And because of this, people think that its water might be a little cooler than other places in Greece.
This natural beach boasts beautiful fine golden sand and crystal clear waters. Although it’s not too big, it has everything you need for a relaxing day by the water. While the water is great, there are also plenty of sunbeds to lay down on, sun umbrellas to shade you from the sun’s scorching rays, and a restaurant serving refreshing drinks all day long.
I enjoyed spending the afternoon walking along the beach, especially after a hearty meal. It is a great way to relax and enjoy a beautiful view of nature. Plus, it is also one of those magical places where you can just go whenever you want to relax and recharge.
12. Shopping in Town
Going shopping is one of the best things to do in Agios Nikolaos if you are in Crete. This is because this town has many shops everywhere and you can find almost anything you need for your vacation, like clothes or souvenir shops. What I loved best was the variety of gift shops selling everything from handcrafted jewelry to olive soaps, which really caught my eye.
One of the best places in Agios Nikolaos for shopping is at 28is Oktovriou Street. Here you can find several shops selling local souvenirs, art objects, and handmade products. This place is nice to visit during the evening or nighttime because it has a nice atmosphere and different kinds of light installations.
13. Lasithi Plateau
If you are looking for a great place to see this amazing landscape, there is no better place than Lasithi Plateau. To get here, you have to drive through the beautiful hills with amazing landscapes. But more importantly, once you get to the top, you will be welcomed by gorgeous views below.
Of course, you can also go hiking around this area and enjoy the peace and quiet while walking on dirt roads. There are many trails for different skill levels, so it’s a great place for everyone to visit. If you enjoy nature, then I am certain that a day spent here will be one of the best parts of your trip.
In my opinion, this is a must-see attraction in Agios Nikolaos. The plateau itself is a real gem of Crete. After all, it’s one of the few areas that have been spared from mass construction. So you’ll find mostly traditional, white-washed houses with red roofs. Besides the impressive views of the plateau, make sure to visit some of its many caves and gorges located on various spots around it.
Next on this list of top tourist attractions in Agios Nikolaos is the Cretaquarium, a fun place to visit because it has a huge collection of sea life. People usually come here with their children because it is a great place to learn about the fascinating underwater world. And a big part of this aquarium’s appeal are the many exhibits of exotic fish and plants kept here. The architecture of Cretaquarium is also beautiful and impressive. So you will not only see exhibits, but also learn something about Greek history as well.
This might be one of the best places to visit in Crete because it is fun and educational at the same time. This way you can enjoy yourself while also getting some education about nature and animals. Moreover, the entrance fee is inexpensive, and it offers a lot of different activities after you visit the aquarium. And because it is located close to the beach, you can spend some time there as well.
15. Agios Nikolaos Nightlife
The nightlife of Agios Nikolaos has a lot to offer. This is because the city is one of the few places in Crete that never sleep, but is always active. The city is packed with cafes, bars, and nightclubs that will make your evening unforgettable. In particular, the city is famous for its waterfront cafes. In these cafes, you can enjoy a drink along with good company and amazing views of the harbor.
And if you want to get a few drinks, check out one of the many nightclubs that Agios Nikolaos has to offer. Here you will find great music and lively people looking to have a great night. Even if you do not drink alcohol, you can take advantage of the fun by visiting one of its popular dance clubs.
Agios Nikolaos is a great place to visit when traveling to Crete. This is because it has many things to do and see, from churches and museums to scenic views and quiet walks. And even better, the city is surrounded by nature, making it a great place for those who like hiking. That is why, for me, visiting Agios Nikolaos’ top attractions was one of the easiest ways to experience all that Crete has to offer.