Agios NIkolaos, the beautiful capital of the Lasithi prefecture, is in the west side of the Meramvelo peninsula. The Voulismeni Lake in the center of the city is its characteristic.
Agios Nikolaos is a touristic city and thousands of people visit it during the whole year. 19.000 people live in the city and their main occupations are tourism, agriculture, livestock and commerce. A large number of shops, restaurants, taverns, cafeterias and night clubs are in the city.
The marina of the municipality where sailing races are held, the “kera tis Amaltheias” sculpture made by local artists on the stone atrium opposite the Agioi Pantes Island, the Nearchou square decorated with mosaic sea patterns and Kitroplateia are worth visiting. Kitroplateia (i.e. the square of citron, in Greek) is a square with a small beach from where the wayfarer starts (it ends to the marina). The name of the square came from the citron trade as, before the building of the port, small boats were loaded and unloaded their goods there. There is also an Archaeological and a Folklore Museum in Agios Nikolaos.
A walk next to the Voulismeni Lake is very worth having. It is a lagoon in the center of the city that is surrounded by restaurants and trees. Its diameter is 137 meters and its depth 64 meters. It had been a freshwater lake until 1870 when the canal that united it with the sea was made. A small theatre is also next to the lake where art festivals take place.
There are many myths about the Voulismeni Lake (see Myths). It is also said that war records are in the bottom of the lake. The Germans dropped them after the end of the World War II.
The Agios Charalampos hill has panoramic view of the lake and Agios Nikolaos. It is full of pine trees and next to a small church.
The stairs are also a trademark of the city. The city is built on hills and the stairs makes the access to different areas easier.
The small islands opposite the city, Agioi Pantes and Faros, are also sightseeing of the area. They are very close to each other and very beautiful, historical and naturally important due to their flora and fauna. The Cretan wild goat, Kri Kri, was transferred to the Agioi Pantes Island in the previous century.
Many sports facilities e.g. of football, volleyball, basketball, beach volleyball, mini golf etc are also in Agios Nikolaos.
The city is known for its many clean beaches.
The beaches of Agios Nikolaos begin from the northern side, go through the city and end to its south. Blue flags are given to them.
The small and organized Ammoudi beach is in the cove of a large bay, in the city of Agios Nikolaos. It is a sandy beach and water sports can be done there.
The beach is protected from the northern winds due to its geographical position.
The organized Kitroplateia beach is a few meters from the center of Agios Nikolaos. Restaurants and taverns are near it. In order to reach Kitroplateia, you have to follow the coastal street, pass the small bridge where the lake is united with the sea and follow the M. Sfakianakis Street.
The Ammos beach is a few meters in the south of Kitroplateia, after the marina, in the heart of Agios Nikolaos. It is sandy and organized.
Mini golf, water sports, billiards, ping pong, football and basketball courts and a swimming pool are some of the features of the E.O.T. beach. It is in the city of Agios Nikolaos and pebbly opposed to the rest of the beaches in Agios Nikolaos.
One of the most important water lands of Crete, Almiros, is on the 2nd kilometer of the road to Kalo Chorio. It is very green and full of eucalyptus and reeds that are developed in water springs. The Almiros beach is one of the most beautiful of the city and also organized. The Almiros River discharges in that area.
Ammoudara is 4 kilometers in the south of Agios Nikolaos. It is an organized beach with many taverns and hotels.
The Chavania beach is in the north of Agios Nikolaos, on the road to Elounta. It is a beautiful, organized and sandy beach. There are restaurants very near.
Agios Nikolaos is built on the place where the ancient Lato city to Kamara was. It existed from the Minoan Years but flourished economically and in population during the Hellenic-Roman Era.
In the First Byzantine Era, the city was stated as “Episkopi of Kamara” in “Sinekdimos” of Hierocles.
The name of the city came from the Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos, in the bay of the city.
There many myths related to the Voulismeni Lake of Agios Nikolaos. According to one, Athena and Artemes, the goddesses, used to take their baths in it.
It is also said that the lake has not a bottom and that it is related to the volcano of Santorini.