The Santa Marina Hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Agios Nikolaos, (Coordinates: 35.187948) one of the most popular resorts in Greece. Only a short walk to 'Voulismeni' Lake and harbour, where daily cruises are available to the island of Spinalonga. Aprrox. 65 km from Heraklion and Kazantzakis International airport.
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Explore the island of Crete, an island steeped in thousands of years of history, the largest of the Greece islands, offering diversity of mountains to beaches, a destination that has it all.
Crete, is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, stretching for 260 km from east to west and dominated by mountainous range, Dikti to the east, Lefka Ori to the west and Psiloreitis (Idi) having the highest peak at 2456 metres. These mountains rise above the plains of Nída, Omalós, and Lasíthi.
Once the centre of Europe's first advanced civilization, the Minoans, 2700 to 1420 BC, the Minoan civilization was taken by the Mycenaean from mainland Greece. Later Crete fell to the Romans and afterwards the Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire until 1898 becoming a Cretan State and later part of Greece in 1913.
Crete forms a significant part of the economy and heritage of Greece, while still retaining its own local culture. The island is steeped in history and known for its unique environment and varied natural terrain, beautiful sandy beaches, unspoiled valleys, sheer gorges and caves.
Heraklion is the largest city and the capital of the island, the principal seaport and the international airport of Kazantzakis is located nearby. Home to the famous Archaeological Museum, displaying artefacts from gone civilizations and also, Knossos Archaeological site and Palace. The surrounding villages are famous for their olive groves and vineyards. A vibrant city offering urban lifestyle making it appealing to all age groups and an all year round destination.
The region of Hania, also known as 'little Venice' located on the west side of the island, overlooked by the Lefka Ori mountain range and its National Park, the 'Samaria' gorge being the best known. The city maintains its original characteristics from the Venetian period, famous for elaborate churches and Venetian architecture. Rethymno, is the smallest prefecture, offers impressive beaches, historical monasteries and traditional mountain villages with unspoilt scenery.
Lassithi region is to the east of the island and the home of tourist resort town of Agios Nikolaos on the Gulf of Mirabello bay, the windmills of Lassithi plateau, the palm tree forest of Vai and countless beaches are just some of the notable attractions.
Co-existing with traditional culture, inspiring cuisine and the mild weather conditions, it makes the island of Crete a destination that has it all.
- Heraklion Archaeological Museum
- Natural History Museum
- Byzantine & Postbyzantine Museum
- Historical Museum of Crete
- Nautical Museum of Crete
- Greek National Football Museum
- Kotsanas Museum
- Maritime Museum of Crete
- Nikos Kazantzakis Museum
- Museum of El. Greco
Agios Nikolaos is now a vibrant resort located on the Gulf of Mirabello. It was once a busy Venetian port and fishing village. Less than an hour’s drive from the capital Heraklion and Kazantzakis International airport. The town is an ideal holiday destination, offering visitors an array of extraordinary experiences and an opportunity to sample true Cretan hospitality.
The famous landmarks of Agios Nikolaos is the Voulismeni Lake, bottomless lake where according to legend Aphrodite and Athens came to bath, the remains of Kamara town, and the beautiful Neo Classical building that surround the harbour area, where boat trip depart to the island of Spinalonga.
A short distance from the town you will find the chapel of Agios Nikolaos dating back to the 9th century, displaying early-Byzantine icons and the town was named after. Panagia Kera church of Kritsa, dating back to the 12th century displaying Byzantine frescoes. Following the coast road you reach the
picturesque town of Elounda, made famous for numerous movie productions including Walt Disney. Located approx. 15 min. drive is the town of Neapoli, the birthplace of Pope Alexander V. The Dikti mountain range is home to the Psychro Cave, which was, according to Greek mythology, the birthplace of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods.
Whether you are a history lover, foodie, adventure seeker or simply wanting to relax on the beach, Agios Nikolaos caters to all. Agios Nikolaos offers a rich selection of cultural events throughout the year. Find what the next event is during your stay.
If you're here to soak up the sun, there are plenty of fabulous beaches in and around Agios Nikolaos and further afield.
Ammos beach is a sandy beach located by the entrance of Santa Marina Hotel. This 'Blue Flag' awarded beach is organised with umbrellas and loungers for hire.
Kitroplatia beach, located a short walking distance from the Santa Marina hotel, a small sandy beach organised with many restaurants nearby.
Ammoudi beach, located about a kilometre from the Santa Marina Hotel, inside a cove that offers protection from the north winds. Nearby restaurants & shops. Sun-lounger and watersports activities available.
Havania beach, a small pebble beach located on the road towards Elounda, approximately 2 kilometres from the town of Agios Nikolaos. An organised beach with several tavernas nearby.
Almyros beach, approx. 2 km or short walk from the Santa Marina Hotel, a large beautiful sandy beach with a freshwater mountain stream and shallow waters. Watersports and sunbeds available for hire.
Ammoudara beach, located approx. 5 km from town a sandy beach with loungers and watersports for hire and nearby restaurants.
Kalo Chorio beaches, approx. 10 km from Agios Nikolaos, Agios Panteleimonas (Blue flag awarded beach), Voulisma (Blue Flag awarded) white sand and turquoise waters and Karavostasi (Blue Flag awarded sandy beach).
Vai beach, located on the east side of the island. A popular attractions of the island. It features the largest natural palm forest in Europe.
Preveli beach, on the south coast with palm trees and a blue lagoon. Difficult to reach but worth the effort.
Elafonissi beach, near the town of Paleochora a beautiful sandy beach
Xerokambos beach, on the south east coast, an isolated beach that is reached by track from Pano Zakros. Matala beach, a sandy beach on the south west coast famous for its caves.
Bali beach, a cove in the village harbour with brown sand.
Outdoor activities in and around Agios Nikolaos.
The diverse landscape of Agios Nikolaos offers endless outdoor opportunities for nature lovers. The rugged landscape, dramatic gorges and mountains makes it a dream for hiking, mountaineering, trekking and cycling.
Spring and autumn are the best times for these activities, whilst the hotter months are perfect for water enthusiasts, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and rafting activities.
For a less strenuous walk is the Kolokytha Peninsula, which links Elounda to Kolokytha island and the site of the ancient sunken city of Olous.
Short sailing trips to Spinalonga Island, a Venetian fortress built in 1715 to defend the coast from the Turkish. Then a leper colony until 1957, today remains are visible of the isolated community that once lived there.
The mystical Faraggi Gorge near the village of Kritsa or further afield is the Ha Gorge, near Ierapetra, are perfect for enjoying the countryside.
The most famous waterfalls with water flowing all year round are the falls of Kourtaliotis by Plakias, Richtis gorge and waterfall near Sitia and Mylonas near Ierapetra.
Bungee jumping, on the southern coast, is an impressive location and the second highest bungee-jumping bridge in Europe. Thrill seekers leap 138m into the narrow gorge from the bridge that crosses over the canyon.
- Spinalonga Island
- Lassithi Plateau
- Chrissi Island
- Vai Beach
- Knossos Palace & Heraklion Archaeological museum
- Samaria Gorge
- Jeep Safari
- Vineyards & Olive farms
- Car & Bike Hire
Delivery and collection to the hotel