Places near Agia Irini
Lake Voulismeni is a former sweetwater lake, later connected to the sea, located at the centre of the town of Agios Nikolaos. It has a circular shape of a diameter of 137 m and depth 64 m. The locals refer to it as just "the lake". The lake connects to the harbour of the town by a channel dug in 1870. A panoramic view of the lake can be seen from a small park situated above it. According to legend, the goddess Athena and Artemis 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.It was reported that the German army during their withdrawal from the area at WW2, disposed parts of their weaponry and/or vehicles into the deep lake.A local urban legend has it that the lake is bottomless. Based primarily on locals noticing disturbances at the surface of the water during the Santorini earthquake of 1956, many assume a possible geological relation of the two locations.
Agios Nikolaos, with over forty years of experience in the tourism industry, is an international and cosmopolitan resort that welcomes thousands of visitors annually.
The lake is its most charming feature. Legend suggests that Athena and Armetis bathed in its waters. This lake is connected to the sea by a straight channel, while its natural surroundings of red rock and trees attract the visitor magnetically.
At a small open-air theatre by the lake, locals and visitors alike can enjoy interesting artistic and cultural presentations. A walk around the shops of Agios Nikolaos is an enjoyable experience. In the many stores the visitor can find a wide selection of traditional Cretan artwork, copies of pieces from different archaeological museums, jewelry, and embroidery. There are also many examples of woven goods and Byzantine icons.There are bustling cafeterias, charming coffeehouses and taverns serving traditional Cretan “mesedes” or tidbits of local food.
Agios Nikolaos Agios Nikolaos Agios Nikolaos
You can find innumerable opportunities for night-time entertainment at a variety of cafes and restaurants. Visit the outdoor summer cinema ”Christina” where the surrounding walls are covered by honeysuckle, or find other places of entertainment where genuine Cretan feasts are always accompanied by local wine or strong raki.
Temporarily Closed due to restoration works in progress.
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The prefecture of Lassithi covers the eastern end of the island. The mountain range in this area is the Dikti. Its tallest peak is Mount Dikte, 2,148 metres above sea level. The prefecture has four provinces: Mirabelo, Lassithi, Ierapetra, and Sitia. The major cities are Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra, Neapoli and Sitia. The earliest settlements in Crete are in this prefecture, including the palaces of Zakros, Praisos, Mochlos, Vasiliki, and Gournia. An important early Greek city, Lato, is near Kritsa. The fine Archaeological Museums of Agios Nikolaos and Sitia display some of the artefacts from these and other excavations. Lassithi has a special beauty that reflects serenity and tranquillity. You can surely visit this prefecture if you want to relax and get away of crowded places. The light of Lassithi transfers you to your dream place. Its capital, Agios Nikolaos, is a colourful, picturesque town. The gulf of Mirabello with countless rowboats lined up next to each other is a fabulous landscape that you mustn't miss visiting. In the north of Agios Nikolaos, a beautiful place, Elounda , hosts the most luxurious hotels of Greece and many gourmet restaurants that will fascinate you. Visiting the villages of Lassithi, you will explore the tradition of Crete mixed with the wonderful natural environment. If you are a mountain lover you should visit Lassithi Plateau on the foot of Mount Dikti , where you will be fascinated by the view of 10,000 windmills. According to legend, the Dikteon Andron Cave, on the Lassithi Plateau, was the birthplace of Zeus. The area around Agios Nikolaos is not only the most developed area for tourism but one of the most interesting. The church of the Panagia Kera near Kritsa contains some of the best-preserved Byzantine frescoes in Crete. Elounda has one of the strongest Venetian forts built on Crete. The area of Sitia is full of Byzantine churches and Venetian villas, as well as ancient Minoan sites. The famous Toplou Monastery has a museum displaying its well-known icon collection. The area also has very good beaches with many coves between Ierapetra and the Kapsa Monastery that offer excellent swimming. The area of Vai has a unique palm grove that attracts many people. In the north of the prefecture fabulous small and large beaches covering 65 km. will complete your dream vacations. These exotic places have luxury hotels, villas or apartments with so many facilities so as to make you forget any unpleasant moment of your life! Ierapetra is one of the four provinces of Lassithi. Its capital is the city of Ierapetra. The province of Ierapetra has many good examples of Byzantine churches with frescoes in them There are two monasteries of note, Exakousti Monastery and Faneromeni Monastery. East of Ierapetra there are many fine beaches in the Makrigialos Bay. Sitia is the largest province of Lassithi in area and population. Its capital is the city of Sitia. The mountains are lower then in other parts of the island, but have a distinctive and varied landscape. The earliest Minoan settlements are here at Mochlos, Palaikastro, and the Minoan palace of Zakros. The Kilada ton Nekron (Valley of the Dead) in Zakros and the Hellenistic site of Itanos near Vai are also of interest. There are many Byzantine churches in the area. Evidence of the Venetian era may be seen in the villages of Etia and Handras. The monastery of secluded Kapsa offers visitors a view of monastic life; there is much to see and do in this province.
Lasithi Prefecture (Greek: Νομός Λασιθίου) is the easternmost prefecture on the island of Crete, to the east of the prefecture of Heraklion. Its capital is Agios Nikolaos, the other major towns being Ierapetra, Sitia and Neapoli. The mountains include the Dikte to the west and the Sitia Mountains to the east. The Sea of Crete lies to the north and the Libyan Sea to the south. To the east of the village of Elounda lies the island of Spinalonga, formerly a Venetian fortress and a leper colony. On the foot of Mount Dikti lies the Lasithi Plateau, famous for its windmills. Palm Beach Vai is well-known for its datepalm forest.Thanks to stunning beaches and its mild climate year-long, Lasithi attracts many tourists. Mass tourism is served by places like Vai, Agios Nikolaos and the island of Chrissi. More off-beat tourism can be found in villages on the south coast like Myrtos, Makrys Gialos or Makrigialos, Xerokambos and Koutsouras.The prefecture is home to a number of ancient remains. Vasiliki, Fournou Korifi, Pyrgos, Zakros and Gournia are ruins of Minoan date, Lato and Itanos were Doric towns.The history of Lasithi can be traced over at least three millennia. The region has considerable ancient history antecedents, including the Dorian era settlement of Olous and Lato.Population records
1991: 70,762, density: 38.82/km² 2001: 76,318, density: 41.77/km²
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