Agios Nikolaos or just Agios as the locals call it, is the capital of Lasithi Prefecture and was named after a byzantine chapel in the respective cove outside the city. The city is known for Voulismeni lagoon, which is located in its cosmopolitan center. Agios stands out in the biggest natural and beautiful bay of Crete, Mirambello Bay, named after the beautiful view (mira bella), which you can easily enjoy from the north-east coast of Lasithi Prefecture.
It numbers almost 27.000 inhabitants and despite its small size it was one of the first cities in Crete where the touristic development of the island first started.
Apart from the picturesque lake, the visitors in Agios Nikolaos can also visit many interesting places such as the archaeological museum of the city, Panagia Kera Church, the marina with the small boats, the memorial to the dead at the central square and the ideal, clean beaches with their turquoise waters.
What is more, Agios Nikolaos, due to its high touristic development, has many restaurants, coffeehouses, hotels, rooms to let, touristic shops etc. so that the visitors can have a pleasant and satisfying stay.
The inland area is a peaceful landscape that harmonically joins its flatlands with its mountains. Picturesque villages and small-market towns, monuments, fossils of past eras, embellish the place and reveal its history and civilization.
The city of Neapoli (10 km away from Agios Nikolaos) is an important administrative center. Neapoli is on the northwest side of Lasithi Prefecture and it had been the capital of Lasithi Prefecture until 1904 when the capital was transferred to Agios Nikolaos.
Neapoli has been known since the beginning of the 14th century with the names Kares, Kainourgio Chorio, Neochori, Neapoli and it has been related to the establishment of Lasithi Prefecture.
In the city there is the Folk Museum of the Cultural and Folkloric Society of Apano Mirambello, on the first floor of a beautiful building. At the building of the former orphanage, in a suitably renovated and arranged room, there is the archaeological collection of Neapoli. East of Neapoli, on “Agios Antonios” hill, there is Driros, one of the most important ancient cities in Crete.
There are other interesting places near Agios Nikolaos as well, such as Elounda with the islet of Spinalonga that became widely known by Mega Channel’s TV series “The Island”, Kalo Chorio, while even farther from the coast we will meet Kritsa and Krousta villages. Kritsa has a high touristic development since many visitors/tourists visit the village every year.