The lovely serene little town of Agios Nikolaos is the cosmopolitan capital of the prefecture of Lasithi with 20000 permanent residents. The town is built on the site Mandraki, on the west side of the Gulf of Mirabello, but the current name comes from the Byzantine church of Saint Nikolaos located west of the city.
Here was the site of the Minoan "Lato pros Kamara", the seaport of Lato town near Kritsa. Later, in the Byzantine era, it was known as the Diocese (Episkopi) of Kamara, but was never developed. Because Venetians never gave importance to the region, Agios Nikolaos was not fortified and remained a small fishing village until when the capital of Lassithi was moved here (early 20th century). Since then, the city transformed into a picturesque resort with the main pillars of development being its tranquility and the beautiful beaches.
Trademark of St. Nicholas is the picturesque Lake Voulismeni, a small lagoon in the center of the town, used as a small harbor where fishing boats stop. Dozens of legends are associated with it, mainly because of its very deep waters (e.g. that it has no bottom). At the bottom of the lake the Germans disposed all their war material before leaving Crete in 1944. A walk around the lake is a very nice experience indeed.
Other sights of Agios Nikolaos include the neoclassical buildings, the marina (the first marina in Crete), the island of All Saints (Agii Pantes) where many endangered Cretan wild goats are protected, Kitroplatia square with the taverns and the pedestrian road with the cafes. Moreover, you'll be impressed by the stairs that are almost everywhere, as the city is built in an area with very steep slopes and roads could not be constructed.
Agios Nikolaos is accessible from the mainland and the whole of Europe through Nikos Kazantzakis (HER) airport, and the many daily ferry services in Heraklion 64 kilometres (50 minutes). You can also travel through Sitia airport boarding onto a domestic or charter flight or through its harbour 70 kilometres (60 minutes).