Route of the city and the area around Agios Nikolaos SEE ALL AVAILABLE ROUTES
The capital of the Prefecture of Lassithi is built around the small lake of Voulismeni. It has a wonderful view of the Gulf of Mirabella and retains its picturesque character. It combines an insular character with its Cretan identity and offers a charm that disarms visitors. The warmth and hospitality of its citizens have made Agios Nikolaos one of the top tourism destinations in Greece. The popular tourism centre of Eastern Crete is home to the second largest archaeological museum on the island, with findings from the broader region of eastern Crete. The heart of the city beats in the area around the small lake and the coastal road.
The city and broader region of Agios Nikolaos is graced by numerous churches of great religious and historical value and visitors to them are afforded a great opportunity to become acquainted with the culture and people of the region.
The Holy Church of the Vrefotrofos in Agios Nikolaos can serve as the starting point for a religious itinerary through the city and the nearby area of Agios Nikolaos, which also includes Agios Nikolaos in Ormos, the Early Christian Basilica in Elounda, Kera, Agios Ioannis Prodromos, Hodegetria, Agios Georgios Kavoussiotis and Agios Ioannis Theologos in Kritsa, Metamorphosis in Neapolis, Agios Onoufrios in Voulismeni, Kera-goniotissa in Latsida, Agios Georgios Selinaris, Agios Georgios Vrachassotis Monastery, Fraro Monastery and Megali Panagia in Neapolis, Koufi Petra Convent and Kremasta Convent in Vrysses.
Agios Georgios (St. George) Kavoussiotis (Kritsa)
This is a small single-space arch-covered church with 13th and 14th century murals depicting prophets and full-size-bodied Saints, the most impressive being the exceptionally vibrant Saint George on a horse.
Hodegetria (Our Lady of the Way) (Kritsa)
The 19th century two-aisled church is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary and to Saint Charalampus. The church is unique in that it combines elements of Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman architecture. It is home to numerous portable icons, chief among them being that of Panagia Galaktotrofoussa (Virgin Mary Nursing the Baby Jesus).
Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist) (Kritsa)
This is a small arch-covered church that was recently restored. The murals date back to 1370 and the most remarkable are those on the eastern side, depicting scenes from hell.
The church of Panagia Kera at Kritsa
The three-aisled, barrel-vaulted church of the All-Holy Virgin ‘the Lady’ with a dome on the nave is located to the south and at a distance of around 500 metres from the settlement of Kritsas. The church is one of the most important visited monuments of Crete because of its extensive and well-preserved wall painting decoration […]
Saint Onoufrios at Voulismeni
The single-nave church of St. Onoufrios is located to the north of the village of Voulismeni on a plateau at the top of a small hill. It may have been the catholicon of a monastery –abandoned today already from the beginning of the 20th century– without any known reference to it in the sources. The […]
The Metropolitan church of Megali Panagia at Neapolis
The metropolitan church, dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15), rises magnificent in the north corner of the central square of Neapolis. Its erection at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century lasted a long time due to the financial constraints of the period. It had been founded in the year […]
Metamorphosis tou Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Redeemer) (Neapolis)
The two-aisled church is located in the cemetery of Neapolis and is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus and to All Saints. The northern aisle was the original centre of the church, in contrast to the southern aisle, which is more recent. The murals date back to the late 13th – early 14th century, the […]
The Early Christian Basilica at Elounda
In the location of the ancient city of Olous, at the isthmus of Poros, the settlement of Alyngos, as Elounda was called in the sources of the sixth century, developed in the early Byzantine period. The most important excavated monuments of the settlements are, until today, the two early Christian basilicas of the 5th century, […]
Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) at Ormos
The church of Agios Nikolaos is located at the small cove where ships were stranded during the Byzantine and Venetian eras. This is an exceptionally old domed church, one of the few of the Early Byzantine era that survive on Crete, with an impressive apse over the altar. It was built before the Arab conquest, […]
All – Holy Virgin the Vrefokratousa at Agios Nikolaos
The particularly elongated church of the All-Holy Virgin in the old centre of the city of Agios Nikolaos is the result of two successive expansions to the west of the original barrel-vaulted, single-nave church. The original church and the first expansion have two layers of mural paintings of which the oldest, dating to the first […]
Holy Monastery of Kremasta
The monastery of Kremasta is located at a distance of around 2,5 kilometres from Neapolis on the slopes of Mount Kavallara on the route towards the Plateau of Lasithi. According to the dedicatory inscription on the lintel of the catholicon, it was founded in 1593 by Metrophanes Agapetos. From around the middle of the 19th […]
Holy Monastery of Koufi Petra
The female monastery of Koufi Petra (Hollow Stone) is built to the west and at a close distance from the monastery of Kremasta, also on the slopes of Mount Kavallara. The only mention of the monastery in the sources is the indirect reference in a contract of the monastery of Areti, in the year 1630, […]
Holy Monastery of Saint George the Vrachasotes
Even though the oldest reference to the monastery dates to 1549, during the abbotship of Joachim Kontoioannes, the dating of the wall-painted north aisle of the catholicon to the 14th century, places the first use of the space to an earlier period. Indeed, the heyday of the monastery, as can be determined from the surviving […]
Agios Georgios (St. George) of Selinari
Agios Georgios Monastery, located in Selinari gorge, was built during the 2nd Byzantine era. The catholicon is dedicated to Saint George. There are two other churches, one dedicated to the Epiphany and the other to the Resurrection. The icon of Saint George, the protector of travellers, is considered to be miraculous and is a traditional […]
This is a Franciscan monastery, its name originated from the phrase ‘Frates Minores’. It was founded before the second half of the 14th century and its catholicon, dedicated to Saint Anthony, is of Roman Catholicon construction with an ogival arch.