Agios Nikolaos, Greece

Agios Nikolaos, capital of the Prefecture of Lasithi, is probably best known as a tourist town that serves as a hub to the twenty or so small villages and farms that make up that part of Lassithi. Tourist attractions include the small lagoon Lake Voulismeni, small beaches in the town, the tiny island Agioi Pantes, the archaeological museum, the local flora exhibition “Iris” and numerous fairs.

The lagoon features a small park with a trail, traditional fishing boats, ducks, pigeons, an amphitheatre and many cafès. A local urban legend has it that the lake is bottomless.

According to legend, the goddess Athena bathed in it. Every year at midnight turning to Orthodox Christian Easter day, the majority of the population of the town gathers around the lake to celebrate with fireworks, and firecrackers thrown by the people attending that highlight event.

Just a short ferry ride away from Agios Nikolaos is the island of Spinalonga, an old Venetian fortress turned ex-leper colony in the beginning of the 20th century.

The modern city of Agios Nikolaos became internationally well-known during the 60’s, when it was “discovered” by famous cinema directors (Jules Dassin, Walt Disney etc.), BBC producers and many others. It was then that the rapid tourist development of the area started.

Daphne du Maurier’s short story Not After Midnight was set in and around the town.
source: Wikipedia

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