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The picturesque coastal town of Agios Nikolaos known for its sandy beaches, stunning coastlines, and beautiful bays lies on the northeast coast of Crete. Although Agios Nikolaos has rapidly developed in infrastructure to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people who come to visit each year it has managed to retain its traditional charm and character while providing a hospitable and relaxing atmosphere to its guests. Agios Nikolaos is amphitheatrically built on the slopes of a mountain that overlooks the beautiful curving Bay of Marabello. The picturesque harbor is filled with colorful sailboats and a seafront promenade that leads to the stunning sandy beaches and secret coves found along the coastline. A narrow channel then connects the town's harbor to the fascinating circular saltwater Lake of Voulismeni. While two small uninhabited islands that protect the harbor's entrance are found in the middle of the bay. The smaller island of the two hosts the town's lighthouse and the bigger island also known as Agioi Pantes is home to the holy chapel of the same name and the endangered Cretan wild goat, a protected species to which the island serves as a refuge. The attractive town of Agios Nikolaos is found above the harbor composed of whitewashed traditional houses that blend in nicely with the neoclassical buildings as you journey through the cobblestone streets. Perched on a hill the charming Byzantine chapel of Agios Nikolaos built in the 7th century decorated with vivid paintings and scriptures from the bible that also offers breathtaking views of the town bay from up above. Of course, renting a car in Agios Nikolaos is the best way to explore all the sites and discover what this popular Cretan town is made of. Your journey with your Agios Nikolaos car rental awaits you!
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Agios Nikolaos is known to have been built on the ancient city Lato pros Kamara which was used as the port of Lato, an ancient city found in today’s small town of Kritsa. The settlement at the ancient seaport Lato pros Kamara occurred during the Bronze Age by the Dorian Greeks who were also occupants of Lato realizing greater security as they settled in the coastal area. In the Gulf of Mirabella, numerous Minoan-era ceramic containers used for oil and wine were found that are believed to be the remnants of a shipwreck that occurred during the volcano eruption in Santorini that created a massive tsunami and wiped out Lato and the Minoans around 1600 BC. A little further out of town is the archeological site of Priniatikos Pyrgos which appears to have been settled in the Neolithic Era that continued to the Minoan, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian periods. All excavations have unearthed artifacts that prove the existence of these ancient cities and are currently exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos. Also, on display at the museum is a Minoan treasure the “Goddess of Myrtos” which is a vessel shaped like a woman carrying a vase with a detailed design of clothing and the facial features of a female. Another item on display is the skull of a young athlete wearing a golden wreath that dates back to the 1st century AD. The skull was found in an ancient cemetery among the ruins of Latos Pros Kamara.
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Visit all the sites and tourist attractions with your Agios Nikolaos rent a car. Begin with the beautiful Lake Voulismeni found in the heart of town. A small lagoon surrounded by steep red rock formations and lush vegetation to the one side and open-air cafes and delicious seafood restaurants to the other, providing a romantic and relaxing atmosphere all hours of the day. Many myths and legends are associated with Lake Voulismeni. According to Greek mythology, the goddess Athena bathed here. Local legend believed that the lake was bottomless until 1867 when the lake was connected to the sea and the stagnant waters finally became clear, it was then discovered that the lake is 64 meters deep. Others say it is where the Germans disposed of all their war material before leaving Crete in 1944. Continue your journey and visit the Cretan Olive Farm, hands-on experience in winemaking, harvesting olives, the production of olive oil and honey also the skill of weaving, pottery making, and distilling raki or tsikoudia. The farm also hosts a variety of farm animals, immersing you in life on a farm. Next visit the Iris Museum where you can learn about native plants and herbs that grow in Crete and how they are used in traditional medicine and herbal remedies. Also visit the Folklore Museum which resembles a traditional Cretan home filled with hand-crafted textiles, embroidery, and hand-carved objects. Be sure to also take the Submarine tour, an 80-minute trip offering a spectacular view of the sea and marine life through the windows of the glass-hulled boat. Visit the nearby beaches in Agios Nikolaos including the pebbled beach of Kitroplateia and the sandy beach of Ammos. Further down visit the famous beach of Almyros composed of golden sand, shallow sea waters, and eucalyptus trees, one of the few beaches in Crete where freshwater flows into the sea. A must-see with your Agios Nikolaos rental car is the spectacular Voulisma Beach featuring soft white sand backed by cliff walls and crystal-clear sea waters. Then not far from town visit the Diktaen Cave, considered to be the birthplace of the God Zeus, also a place of local cult and worship for thousands of years. The cave is composed of five chambers at its deepest point a beautiful array of stalagmites and stalactites encircle a small deep lake. See and do all that and so much more in the comfort of your car rental in Agios Nikolaos.
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