Agios Nikolaos.Agios Nikolaos is a picturesque town in the eastern part of the island built on the northwest side of the peaceful bay of Mirabello. Agios Nikolaos was settled in the late Bronze Age by Dorian occupants of Lato, at a time when the security of the Lato hillfort became a lesser concern and access to the harbour at Agios Nikolaos became sufficiently attractive. The name Agios Nikolaos means Saint Nicholas, and its stress lies on the second syllable of the word "Nikolaos". Agios Nikolaos or Ayios Nikolaos (alternative transliterations of the Greek Άγιος Νικόλαος) is observably a common placename in Greece and Cyprus, since Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors and of all of Greece. Agios Nikolaos is probably best known as a tourist town that serves as a hub to the twenty or so small villages and farms that make up that part of Lassithi. Tourist attractions include the small lagoon Lake Voulismeni, small beaches in the town, the tiny island Agioi Pantes, the archaeological museum, the local flora exhibition “Iris” and numerous fairs. Tourism is mainly West European with Greek tourism concentrating in mid August. The lagoon features a small park with a trail, traditional fishing boats, ducks, pigeons, an amphitheatre and many cafès. Agios Nikolaos is accessible from the mainland and the whole of Europe through Nikos Kazantzakis airport, and the many daily ferry services in Heraklion. Two ships connect Aghios Nikolaos daily with the ports of Piraeus and Dodecanese, and recently the town became host to a department of a Technological Educational Institute (TEI), offering tourism-related courses.
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