Aghios Nikolaos, located in a strategic position on the road network of Crete, is the ideal starting point for daily excursions in all directions of the island by car, bus or motorcycle. Some of the most memorable trips can be made on foot or by bicycle. A sunhat and sunglasses, the right shoes and some water are all that is needed to enjoy a walk in paradise. This area appears green even in Wintertime because of the olive trees, and in Springtime nature bursts through from the mountainsides to the coast filling the area with red poppies, white margaritas and other multi-coloured wild flowers. Glancing around one can see a wild olive tree, dictamus, narcissi, chrysanthemum, capers, cuclaminus, thyme, and wild orchids.
Over 6000 species of plants and flowers thrive in Crete, and of these 170 species are endemic to Crete. Along the coast at the beginning of Autumn, one can spot the “Sea Lily” which is represented in Minoan and Thiraean wall paintings. In the mountains, partridges, blackbirds, badgers, weasels and hares provide company. At great heights one can spot one of the rarest species of eagle. At Almyros Beach, turtles, herons, eels and waterfowl can be observed. The preservation of this wildlife diversity is dependant upon our environmental awareness and sensitivity.
A few ideas that will help you explore our area
1. Aghios Nikolaos, Panagia Kera, Kritsa, ancient Lato, Lakonia, Limnes
2. Aghios Nikolaos, Kritsa, Plateau of Katharo, Kroustas
3. Aghios Nikolaos, Kalo Chorio, Prina, Kroustas, Kritsa
4. Aghios Nikolaos, Elounda, Plaka, Spinalonga, Vrouhas, Monastery of Areti, Fourni, ancient Driros, Neapoli, Milatos, Sisi
5. Aghios Nikolaos, Neapoli, Monastery of Kremasta, Vrises, Potami, Plateau of Lasithi
6. Neapoli, Vrahasi, Sisi, Milatos, Latsida, Aghios Nikolaos
7. Neapoli, Houmeriako, Lakonia, ancient Lato, Kritsa, Panagia Kera, Aghios Nikolaos
8. Elounda, Fourni, Nikithiano, Limnes, Aghios Nikolaos
9. Elounda, Spinalonga, Plaka, Vrouhas, Skinias, Finokalias, Nofalias, Neapoli
Sign Posted Walks and Cycling Paths
1. Kritsa Gorge
Starting point : 1km from Kritsa on the road to Lato (turning towards the Gorge).
Two options :
Until the 1st exit and return via the path that runs along the top of the Gorge. Walking time 2 hrs.
Until Tapes and return via the path that runs along the top of the Gorge. Walking time 4 hrs.
2. Kritsa – Ancient Lato – Lakonia
Starting point : at the village entrance.
Walking time 2 hrs (3 hrs until Aghios Nikolaos)
3. Kritsa – Plateau of Katharo
Starting point : 6km from Kritsa towards the Plateau of Katharo (turning towards Tapes) Walking time 4 hrs
Starting point : 2nd street to the right after the village entrance (Circular walk through paths around the village) Walking time 2 hrs
5. Kroustas – Kalo Chorio
Starting point : at the village exit (School) Walking time 3 hrs
6. Kroustas – Mardati
Starting point : at the village entrance (next to the iconostasis) Walking time 2 hrs (3 hrs till Aghios Nikolaos)
7. Kalo Chorio – Timios Stavros
Starting point : 2 km from Kalo Chorio direction Prina. Walking time 2 hrs
8. Lenika – Summit of Oxa
Starting point : From bus stop. Walking time 4 hrs
9. Pines – Elounda
Starting point : at the village exit direction Fourni. (Circular walk through paths around the village) Walking time 2 hrs
10. Fourni – Plaka
Starting point : from exit direction Elounda. Walking time 5 hrs
11. Plaka – Agios Ioannis – Faros Aforesmenou
Starting point : from the beach at the village exit direction Vrouchas. Walking time 4 hrs
12. Round of the island of Kolokytha
Starting point : the windmills at the canal. Walking time 3 hrs
13. Plateau of Katharo – Plateau of Lasithi
Starting point : church of Timios Stavros (Kopraki) and return from Chavgas (circular walk) Walking time 3 hrs
1. Aghios Nikolaos – Lakonia – Limnes – Aghios Nikolaos Distance 27 km Easy
2. Aghios Nikolaos – Kritsa – Kroustas – Prina – Kalo Chorio – Aghios Nikolaos Distance 45 km Intermediate
3. Aghios Nikolaos – Kritsa – Kroustas – Plateau of Katharo – Kritsa – Aghios Nikolaos Distance 55 km Difficult