Agios Nikolaos is an excellent example of the change on parts of Crete, from an idyllic agrarian area to a holiday paradise.
“Agios”, pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, as the locals call their town concisely, has evolved from a former sleepy little place and fishing village into a modern tourist centre, which luckily hasn’t lost its charm. The town at the Mirabello Bay with its 12.000 citizens and the region are continuing to be on an upswing, which is due to its fantastic geographical location.
The Voulismeni Lake is located in the town centre. Originally it had been a freshwater lake, but the Turks connected it in 1871 through a 20 km long channel with the outer harbour to create a protected little fishing harbour. Because of its peculiar deep turquoise-green colour (teal) many myths and ledgends have been woven around this lake. To this day people insist that nobody knows the actual depth of the lake; An English captain claims to have measured a depth of 64 m, but nobody beleived him. The famous oceanographer Jacques Costeau couldn’t find the bottom either. Rumours say that the lake doesn’t have a bottom at all.
The Folklore Museum offers a rich selection of craft industry, folkloristic art and woven carpets.
Isle of Agii Pandes
Boat excursions are offered to the island that lies in front of the harbour. The isle Agii Pandes is a reservation for the Agrimia, the little wild goats that have become a rare picture on Crete. Some of the few buildings on the island are the Agii-Pandes church and a lighthouse.
The archaeological museum is the second most important of its kind after the one in Iraklion.
Church of Agios Nikolaos
The town has been named after the little dome. There is no exact date when it was built, but for sure it is one of the oldest churches on Crete. (of those that still stand)
The haunted island of Spinalonga is located just off Elounda and Agios Nikolaos in the bay of Mirabello. Spinalonga is a popular sightseeing choice for the history and stunning views you get from on top of the island. Also on many boat trips to the island you get the chance to jump off the boat at a secluded location and have a BBQ and relax on the beach. The Island of Spinalonga used to be a leper colony until the early 1900’s and is a sad remainder of our past, and how we treated people who were different.