Travelguide > Places > Lassithi Prefecture > Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is the capital of the Prefecture of Lassithi, the eastern part of Crete. From here you can make trips to many archeological sites. The town is situated on a little promontory on the western side of the Bay of Mirabello, protected by the mountains. Thanks to its warm climate, its calm sea and the fast transfer from the airport of Heraklion it has developed into a leading resort centre with large hotels. There is no romantic old town as in Chania or Rethimnon. The harbour is the base for countless pleasure craft and fishing-boats. There are less beaches near by the city. Daily tours to the plateau of Lassithi, to Kritsa and to the island of Spinalonga are offered. There are some ferry boat connections. In the summer the Lato-festival take place with many performances.
The town was given its current name in the 16th century, by the Venetians. The little chapel of St. Nicholas can still be seen today. The chapel, a single-aisled structure with a dome, is very old and has wall-paintings in two layers. They are among the finest on Crete.

After 1870 the town began to develop. Many refugees from Sfakia settled here to escape the bloody fightings which for decades had been the order of the day in Sfakia.