Sightseeing in Crete
The Lasithi region is unusually rich in sites of natural beauty and historic interest. The best way to explore the region is through its lovely towns and villages, which each have distinctive character.
The smallest of Crete’s regional capitals, Agios Nikolaos is also Lasithi’s largest town, a port city with enchanting character with a name to suit it perfectly – Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas) is the protector of sailors. The heart of the city is Agios Nikolaos’ inner harbor, Lake Voulismeni. This inner harbor is linked via a small channel to the sea, and is lined with cafes and delightful tavernas. This is a great place to get a taste of traditional Crete, and enjoy shopping for quality traditional handcrafts.
This region of Crete is rich in Minoan history – the Bronze Age civilization that thrived in Crete. Lovely findings can be seen at the small Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos. To learn more about Crete’s traditional culture, you can also visit the Folklore Museum.
Once a sleepy fishing village, Elounda with its beautiful location in the brace of Mirabello Bay is now a prime holiday destination, with pristine seas and lushly shaded beaches. Those pristine seas reveal the ruins of ancient Olous, a major trading center from around 500 to 200 BC. Elounda also has one of the most known sites of Crete – Spinalonga island. Now it’s also famous for having some of Greece’s most luxurious resorts.
Relaxed Sitia is welcoming to tourists but very much has a life of its own, which only adds to its unpretentious charm. This is a fine base for your explorations, with the nearby Richtis gorge whose stream is lined with old water mills and has a lovely waterfall. Many visitors come to Sitia to explore the nearby caves – there are over 300 of them. Sitia has a small international airport.
Set in a lush and fertile plain near Agios Nikolaos is an ideal traditional Cretan village, with elegant small homes, charming cafes, and a beautiful church.