Ayios Nikolaos is clustered on a peninsula alongside the Gulf of Mirabello, a dramatic composition of bare mountains, islets, and deep blue sea. Behind the crowded harbor lies the picturesque Lake Voulismeni, linked to the sea by a narrow channel. Hilly, with narrow, steep streets that provide sea views, the town is a welcoming and animated place, far more pleasant than Malia and the other resort centers in this part of Crete: you can stroll along waterside promenades, cafés line the lakeshore, and many streets are open only to pedestrians. Ayios Nikolaos and the nearby Elounda Peninsula provide an excellent base for exploring eastern Crete.
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