Ancient ruins, chic cities, and a whole lot of caves – it’s no wonder holidays to the Lassithi area pull in the punters. And that’s before you even start on the first-rate beaches…
Set on Crete’s east coast, Lassithi has its fingers in more than one pie. For starters, the region has some really lively beaches. In Agios Nikolaos and Elounda, for example, the stretches of sand are metres away from the town centres, so you can go from beach to bar to shop in a matter of minutes.
History is easy to come by in the Lassithi area, too. The timeline of Agios Nikolaos – one of the main holiday towns here – can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Plus, the famous leper colony of Spinalonga is less than a half-hour boat ride from Elounda harbour.
If one of Lassithi’s feet rests in the past, the other one is firmly in the present. Agios Nikolaos takes the crown as one of Crete’s chicest towns. Expect harbour-side wine bars, upmarket jewellery shops, and late-night ice cream parlours.
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Set on the east coast of Crete, Aghios Nikolaos – or Ag Nik as it’s fondly known – is all about the water. You’ve got a marina here and a harbour filled with colourful fishing boats. They’re just the warm-up acts, though. The town’s real star is the lake, which comes ringed with lively cafés and bars.
Elounda is a seaside town on Crete’s northwestern coast. It’s an up-and-coming retreat that revolves around a colourful harbour and the main square just next door. The place is packed with authentic Greek tavernas and friendly bars – it also comes with a sandy beach that looks out to the intriguing Spinalonga Island. It’s quite a lively spot, but if you want more action there’s Agios Nikolaos just 15 minutes’ drive away.
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