North Agios Nikolaos beaches
Crete | Greece

1. Agios Nikolaos North December 20, 2010 13:09

Agios Nikolaos is famous for its emerald beaches. Indeed, there are many beach options for those coming to town for holidays. Especially, north of Agios Nikolaos, there are many small beaches and we decided to present them as a unified section. Most of them are located in front of the local hotels.

After leaving the sheltered beach of Amoudi behind you and taking the road leading to Elounda, you will soon meet one bay 1km north of the center of Agios Nikolaos, next to Hotel Minos Palace. It is a small pebbly beach shaped in a protected narrow bay, which is mainly used as a harbor for boats (and thus is not organized). North of the hotel there is the main beach of Minos Palace, which is well organized by the hotel. Access is free, of course, as in all beaches of Greece.
Continuing 2km north of Agios Nikolaos you will meet the historic Hotel Mirabello. In front of the hotel there is a small bay with a beautiful sandy beach protected by docks, which is very well-organized. Opposite, you will see the Island of Agii Pantes (All Saints) that hosts a small colony of Kri Kri, the endangered Cretan wild goat.
1km on the north you will find the tranquil beach of Havania, where a well organized municipal beach operates. In Havania there are options for accommodation and food. On the beach you will find a lifeguard and water sports. According to reports, during the years of Ottoman rule there was a small port and its remnants are still visible in the sea. According to another tradition, in Havania came the Saracens (pirated) and laid their gold out on the beach. Anyone who dared to sleep closeby and looked at it was doomed to die! The area was filled with mines since the German occupation and was abandoned for several years, before getting cleaned up. In the same area according to other reports, there was a cave with stalactites but has now disappeared. Moreover, some large stones on the left part of the beach come from an old fortress, that has been demolished.
The last beach north of Agios Nikolaos, on the way to Elounda, is the beach of Katsikia (i.e. goats). The area is named after the many goat pens in the past. Similarly, Agios Nikolaos town was called Mantraki, that means goat pen. Katsikia host a nice sandy beach with stones in a places, well hidden in front of the hotel Candia Park. To get there you should walk either across the hotel or around it.
Continuing north, the road to Elounda climbs up till Lenika settlement (or Ellinika) where there are several parking spots with fantastic views to Agios Nikolaos and the Mirabello Gulf. Even northern, you can get some magnificent photos of the lagoon of Elounda and Spinalonga.