Aghios Nikolaos holidays are the bee's knees for beach lovers, with Blue Flag sweeps queuing up along the coastline.

Big on Blue Flags

Crete’s beach destinations have a right ding-dong when it comes to who’s number one, and this place has plenty of clout to back up the claim. There are seven stretches that have been given the nod by Blue Flag, ranging from pebbly pockets to sand-strewn sections. They’re spread out along the cusp of Mirabello Bay, and the swanky Blue Flag marina is the cherry on top.

Picture-perfect looks

Tourists are drawn to Voulismeni Lake like moths to a particularly good-looking flame. It’s tied to the sea by a slender channel, and gives the beaches a run for their money when it comes to views. Tufty sandstone cliffs curl around the back edge, and fishing boats bob beside a ring of pizzerias and Greek restaurants on either side. Saunter through the rest of town, and you’ll come across tree-spotted shopping avenues, tucked-away churches and an archaeological museum with thousand-year-old artefacts.

Island adventures

This might be the biggest island in Greece’s back catalogue, but its pint-sized neighbours get a lot of attention from the holiday pack, as well. Boat trips from Aghios Nikolaos tick off a couple of sleepy favourites, starting with the nearby island of Agioi Pantes. Silky smooth beaches and old military ruins pepper this place. Travel a little further afield, and Spinalonga comes into play. This island looks like a giant fortress, and it’s been deemed handsome enough to appear in a handful of TV shows and films.

At a Glance

  • Hop across to the island of Agioi Pantes
  • Grab a bite at a waterside taverna
  • Beach-hop along Mirabello Bay