Agios Nikolaos

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The varied ocean-view experiences are probably why sleepy Agios Nikolaos first began attracting visitors in the 60s, and quickly developed into a tourist town. But these days things are calmer and this town, of all of Crete has the best blend of cosmopolitan liveliness and seaside peace which is reflected in the best places to stay in Agios Nikolaos.

Agios Nikolaos is set around a charming harbour, once the heart of the place when it was a fishing village, which opens into a deep lake just behind a narrow inlet. This peaceful 'lake' gives Agios Nikolaos reams of additional seafront lined by cafes, bars and tavernas. The actual seafront also has a long stretch of sandy beach, so this is one of the few places on Crete where you'll find a beach right in the centre of town. And then there's the marina.

If you're looking for accommodation recommendations go straight to our guru's list of the best places to stay in Agios Nikolaos. Otherwise here are some of the town's highlights, and some of the best places to stay in Agios Nikolaos to enjoy them.


As well as the sandy/ shingly bit of coastline at the centre of town, Agios Nikolaos has some pretty spectacular beaches.

  • Ammos Beach, right by the marina is all sand no shingles, and the water here is pretty calm.
  • Almyros is a quiet sandy spot you can only reach on foot via a pretty coastal path.
  • Almios and Ammoudara are great because of their excellent facilities, and they're only about two kilometres out of town.
  • But if you drive a bit further you'll find Voulisma Beach, which has startlingly turquoise waters and pale sand.

Day Trips

Spinalonga Island makes for an excellent day trip from Agios Nikolaos, it's unoccupied now, but its ancient Venetian fortifications and pebbly beaches were once home to a leper colony - which only closed down in the 60s.

Agios Nikolaos is also close enough to the ruins at Knossos, Phaestos, Gortyna and the Samaria Gorge to take day trips from here.

Best Places to Stay in Agios Nikolaos

  • Minos Beach Art Hotel has enough on offer so that you could have a perfectly lovely holiday without leaving its pretty, green sanctuary dotted with contemporary artworks. There are semi-private beaches and coves and four restaurants, and the accommodation ranges from rooms and suites to entire whitewashed cottages, so this is one of the best places to stay in Agios Nikolaos for families. If you do want a bit more activity it's not far to travel to the buzz of town.
  • If you want nothing more than the perfect Cretan beach resort then book into the St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas. It's a low-rise garden resort looking out over the peninsula towards the town and its beautiful bay. The small beach is surrounded by lushy landscaped gardens, and there's a spectacular infinity pool. This was one of the first real luxury resorts on Crete, and it's got a charming retro feel about it.

Still not sure which to book? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Agios Nikolaos, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively check out our full listing for Crete.

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The best hotels in Agios Nikolaos

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  • Minos Beach Art Hotel

    Agios Nikolaos, Crete

    Set in an out-of-this-world location right on the Cretan seafront. A collection of understated luxury rooms and bungalows elegantly decorated with simple white walls and furnishings and minimalist artworks. Excellent mediterranean dishes are served up in the restaurants. Ideal for totally relaxing.

    129 rooms from $187
    Honeymoons  -  A haven of tranquility with private villas with mountian and sea views, spoiling massages and haute cuisine overlooking the bay.
    Beach Life  -  Set directly on the crystal clear waters, indulge in diving, sailing, fishing or simply basking on the stunning beaches.
    Sailing  -  Venture out in the hotel's motorboat around the bay or day cruises to Spinalonga and Mochlos.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels
  • St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas

    Agios Nikolaos, Crete

    Low-rise garden resort with immaculate seaside grounds. Rooms with floaty linen curtains have excellent sea views from their large glass windows. Suites and private villas have personal pools. A good selection of bars and restaurants. Explore the surrounding islands or simply lie back and relax.

    107 rooms from $284
    Romantic Break  -  Spoil yourselves with chartered yachts, tandem massages, chic rooms, five on site restaurants plus cocktial bar and beach bar.
    Total relaxation  -  Totally unwind with relaxing Poseidon Spa face and body therapies, sauna, Hammam, jacuzzi and cocktails!
    Sailing  -  Explore untouched beaches and coves in the hotel's 34-foot sailing boat.
    Full of character
  • Daios Cove Luxury Resort

    Agios Nikolaos

    Luxury beach resort just minutes from Agios Nikolaos. Sumptuous suites and villas with cool contemporary interiors and fabulous sea views, and many with their own private pool. Private sandy beach, and fantastic facilties for all the family including luxury spa and kids club.

    300 rooms from $383
    Kids Club  -  Supervised kids' club for children up to 12 with a huge range of activities.
    Swimming Pool  -  Two outdoor seawater infinity pools, plus two indoor pools too!
    On the beach  -  Private beach
    Views  -  Fab sea views
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