The main town of Lassithi is the capital Agios Nikolaos, located at one end of the deep gulf of Mirabelou, just 65 km from the island’s capital Heraklion (only an hour’s drive).
It was built on the site of the ancient city of Lato which became very important in the 3rd century BC and even minted its own coinage. In the Byzantine and Roman periods, it remained a flourishing town. With the passing of time, both the Venetians and later the Turks continued to use its harbor and improved its defensive constructions. How to prepare your 7 days itinerary in Crete here.
Somehow part of the life of the inhabitants of this city revolves and has revolved around this peculiar lake. Mythology claims that the goddess Athena used to bathe in its waters. At the end of World War II when the German army had to leave Agios Nikolaos they were forced to throw their weapons and even their vehicles into the deep waters of the lake. Religious celebrations are also centred around the lake, such as the Orthodox Easter, when the whole town comes to the shores at midnight to celebrate with firecrackers and fireworks.
Today it is a busy tourist centre, attracting many visitors who seek not only the lively atmosphere and picturesque appearance of the harbour and town, but also the excellent beaches, the high quality of its tourist facilities and the friendly and hospitable character of its inhabitants.
Kritsa is one of the oldest and most picturesque villages in Crete, built amphitheatrically on a rock hill, it is located 10 km from Agios Nikolaos and surrounded by olive groves. It is part of the municipality of Agios Nikolaos. During the Middle Ages, it was thought to be the largest village in Crete. Kritsa has been destroyed many times during the last centuries because it participated in all of Crete’s revolutions.
From here you can visit also:
- Spinalonga island: 15min by car + ferry
- Palm Beach: 1h40 min
- Voulisma beach: 30min
WHERE TO SLEEP
Located right at the entrance of Agios Nikolaos’ port and 100 m from Kitroplatia Beach, close to bars, restaurants, tavernas and shops, Hotel Port 7- Boutique Collection offers rooms with direct views of the Mirabello bay and Voulismeni lake. Link here to book Port 7.
Guests can start their day with breakfast while taking in views of the harbor. The on-site restaurant serves Mediterranean dishes, while cocktails are also available.