This nice town, situated along the Mirabello Bay, at the Northeast coast of Crete, has approximately 9000 inhabitants and is the capital of the province Lasithi. However, the biggest town of this province is Ierapetra in the South. Agios Nikolaos has a unique climate, the air is not humid.
Over 40 years ago this town started with welcoming tourists. It is therefore a busy tourist town, increased due to the English tourism.
The movie "Who pays the ferryman", that was mainly filmed on the nearby island Spinalonga, made many people curious about these surroundings. Spina Longa, a former fortress island, was previously used as a leper colony. Through many organized tours it can be visited daily in the summer period. However, it is much nicer to charter a small boat in nearby Plaka, for an individual visit. Information on Spina Longa is available everywhere in Agios Nikolaos.
The many busy shopping streets, the taverns (mostly around the deep lake in the center and around the harbor) and the lively nightlife attract many tourists that enjoy busyness and sociality. In our opinion it is too busy, but when you go a little outside of Agios Nikolaos to Elounda or a little further North to Plaka, you will still find the traditional atmosphere.
However, Agios Nikolaos is only alive in summertime. In winter almost all shops, accommodations and restaurants are closed.
It is a good basis to make some trips to for example Kritsa, a nice, but now touristy, needlework village. Just before Kritsa you can find the small Byzantine Panagia I Kera Church, famous for her iconic mural paintings. We can also advise to drive further to the Plateau of Kathero.