Agios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, lying east of the island's capital Heraklion, north of the town of Ierapetra and west of the town of Sitia. Tourism is mainly West European with Greek tourism concentrated in mid August, though there are a considerable amount of Russian vacationers in East Crete. The modern city of Agios Nikolaos became internationally well known during the 60's, when it was "discovered" by famous cinema directors, BBC producers and many others. It was then that the rapid tourist development of the area started.
Tourist attractions include the small lagoon Lake Voulismeni, small beaches in the town, the tiny island Agioi Pantes, the archaeological museum, the local flora exhibition “Iris” and numerous fairs. There are boat trips up the coast to see Barbarossa's cave and the old leper colony (formerly a Venetian fortress) of Spinalonga, which are fascinating and amazing value and usually include an ocean swim. The lagoon features a small park with a trail, traditional fishing boats, ducks, pigeons, an amphitheatre and many cafès. Go to Almyros beach, a long sandy beach with a cold water stream entering the sea at the southern end. Perfect for a cooling paddle if the heat gets too much. About a 20 minute walk from the town center but worth every step!