Information & links by Municipal Limited Company of Agios Nikolaos, Crete.—elounda.html

Agios Nikolaos – Elounda

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is a shoreline town on the North coast of the island of Crete, east of the island’s capital Heraklion, 45′ drive from Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport. Capital of Lasithi region, Agios Nikolaos lies on the northwest side of the peaceful bay of Mirabello, upon the ruins of the ancient city of “Lato to Kamara”, port of ancient Lato.

Agios Nikolaos means Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors in all Greece. Agios, as it is referred to by all locals, retains a traditional, quaint and tranquil fishing town lifestyle which hasn’t lost its magic within its busy tourist infrastructure.

The small, well attended port of Agios Nikolaos, has its own charm, as it is surrounded by picturesque tile-roofed houses and is illuminated in the evenings by the lights of shops and fishing boats moored at the big dock; the starting point of their day trips to Spinalonga, Elounda and the picturesque Mirabello Bay.

Agios Nikolaos is best known as a tourist resort. Its main attraction is the small lagoon Lake Voulismeni (in which, according to the mythology, goddess Athena used to take her bath), with many open-air cafes and restaurants along its bank. Other attractions include the Venetian fortress of Spinaloga, the tiny island Agioi Pantes, the archaeological museum and numerous fairs.

Every summer the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos organizes cultural events, music and dance events, theatrical performances, exhibitions, shows etc. Also, during the Naval week, artistic swimming, water skiing and wind-surfing contests are organized.


Elounda is a world renowned resort located 10 km to the north of Agios Nikolaos, having an indented coastline, shaded beaches, crystal clear seas, a tranquil and heavenly environment with good hotels, apartments and studios. The cutting along the side of the Agios Nikolaos – Elounda road affords you the opportunity to admire the spectacular view of Mirabello Bay. The village is built on the southern coast of the bay of Elounda, 1 km east of the ancient settlement of Olous (Olounda), from which it has taken its name.

On the south western entrance to the bay of Elounda lies the fortress islet of Spinalonga.

The official site of the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos (in Greek)

Spinalonga photos & info, Tripadvisor;geo=189413&detail=547593&ff=290888001&albumViewMode=hero&aggregationId=101&albumid=101&baseMediaId=290888001&thumbnailMinWidth=50&cnt=30&offset=-1&filter=7&autoplay=

General info for Spinalonga (Coordinates, Region e.t.c.)
The islet of Spinalonga, officially known as Kalydon, is located in the Gulf of Elounda in north-eastern Crete – Greece, in Lasithi, opposite of the village Plaka. You need a 10 minutes boat-trip. Here are some more info. Coordinates: 35°17′51″N 25°44′17″E, Archipelago:Cretan Islands Area 0.085 km2 (0.033 sq mi)
Administration: Greece
Region: Crete
Regional unit: Lasithi
Demographics Population 0 (2001)
 See on map:
Things to Know Before You Go
*Spinalonga is for day-trippers only and it’s better to visit the island from Spring to Autumn, especially on Summer.
*There are two small beaches you can swim.
*There is a small snack bar on the island, but no accommodations and it’s difficult even to buy some water, when you are on the other side of the fortress. So, you better buy some water before you entered.
*Don’t forget a hat, sunblock and sport shoes because the trails are rough.
*Boat trips do not include the entrance fee for the Spinalonga.
*The fortress is not suitable for wheelchair users and infants must be carried
*To access the fort, you need to take a ferry or boat tour from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka. From Agios Nikolaos, although it is a little further away, you can also choose a day-trip, with several activities. If you choose Elounda, it will last a little bit longer than Plaka but you will enjoy the view of the beautiful bay as you go to Spinalonga. Finally, if you start from Plaka,  is the closest route, just 15′, but the captains never miss to make a round of Spinalonga and show you the stunning Venetian walls of the fortress.
* You don’t have to follow the common path on Spinalonga. You can investigate the whole islet by yourself, but we suggest to not enter on very old buildings, because it is dangerous.
* If you are not going with a group, you can spend more time than 1 hour on Spinalonga. Ask the captain, how longer can you stay on the islet. (Every 30′ or 1 hour, the boat is coming back to bring new visitors and take the other. Our author, Anna Giakoumaki, used to spent at least 2-3 hours on Spinalonga each time, for a better vision of the islet. Don’t forget that the last boats arrive at Spinalonga about 6:00-6:30p.m and you need 10′ to 15′ to get to the Spinalonga’s harbor when you are from the other side of the islet!)
* If you forgot to be on Spinalonga’s harbor on time, don’t panic. You can kindly ask to any other boat to cross you opposite. Just ask where are they going, because there are three destinations from Spinalonga to: Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka. You can also ask for help from the guards at the reception of Spinalonga.
* Don’t forget your big smile when you are with Cretans. A big true smile, always activates the sense of the Cretans about hospitality.