Autumn is probably the most extraordinary season for Crete. This is mainly due to the island’s exceptionally mild climate and its privileged geographical position. The area of Agios Nikolaos combines all those elements that make it an excellent choice for autumn vacations. Temperatures are among the highest in Europe and the Mediterranean basin and thus, the area is ideal for autumn activities which probably would be difficult to perform in other areas.
Most hotels remain open until mid-November and offer better prices than in summer. At the same time they maintain almost all of their services which actually become more personalised because of the relatively lower number of visitors.
Direct flights all year long
Those who love the sea will be thrilled by its high temperature (among the highest in the Mediterranean Sea for this time of the year). The blazing summer sun acquires a mellow touch and allows for extra hours of sunbathing, the beaches are significantly less crowded and the local strong northern winds of the summer fade away. The tranquil windless days of autumn are here.
Agios Nikolaos’ countryside and nature are at their best. A lot of people chose this specific time of the year to walk along the numerous paths that lead to old villages, monasteries, churches, archaeological sites and summits with superb views or simply to go on a romantic walk.
It is the ideal time of the year to cross gorges and there are plenty of them located within the limits of Agios Nikolaos municipality; Crete, after all, is a top destination for trekking, canyoning and exploration. Cooler temperatures mean that cyclists may go on those midday rides that the hot summer sun had made impossible to enjoy.
Photography aficionados find ideal natural light conditions and an incredible colour palette matched with the exceptional clarity of the atmosphere so typical of Agios Nikolaos in autumn months. The absolute tranquillity of the landscape will please those bird watching enthusiasts who come to the area knowing that Crete is located on the main migration routes of migratory birds.
As we move inland we find many small villages which offer visitors a glimpse of the authentic Cretan way of life which is marked by the amazing local cuisine based on pure local products, the music that accompanies friendly gatherings in the traditional cafeterias and the unique spirit of the inhabitants. At the same time, the Agios Nikolaos Archaeological Museum, the folklore museums in the area and the archaeological sites are less crowded and thus, easier to visit. At this point it is worth mentioning that the important archaeological site of Knossos is just a one-hour drive from Agios Nikolaos.
Hiking – Cycling
The inland of Agios Nikolaos offers opportunities for a wide range of outdoor activities. Its excellent continental location combines different…View More
The rich iconography and different styles make the church of Panagia Kera in Kritsa the most important monument in the region.View More
Windsurfing – Sup
Windsurfing is an exciting sport that combines sailing and surfing. The ideal location of Mirabello Bay offers a unique advantage…View More
Neapoli, the historic seat of the Municipality, is located in the northwestern part of the Prefecture of Lassithi, the so-called…View More
Spinalonga is a significant historical attraction of Crete. This infamous islet was the base for one of the most important Venetian castles of Crete.View More
Museum of Rare and Endemic Plants “Rodanthi” in Kritsa
The collection of the Rodanthi Museum in Kritsa features various groups of plants which include some of the rarest plants…View More
Autumn, however, is also the time of year when some of the most iconic agricultural activities take place that are completely intertwined with the region’s history, gastronomy and culture: Raki distillation (kazanemata) and the olive harvesting (liomazoma). After the harvest of the vine and the pressing of the grapes, the pomace (the remains of the grape pressing) is kept until mid-November, when the distilleries open for the distillation of raki, the famous Cretan spirit that accompanies locals and visitors in most of their social acts. Distillation takes place in an atmosphere of fellowship and feasting, friends gather and sing and the finest delicacies are served for the occasion.
It is almost a ritual that dates back to ancient times and takes place shortly before the beginning of the olive harvest (late November). Crete and the area of Agios Nikolaos are full of olive trees (more than 33,000,000 olive trees, more than 6,000,000 in the regional unit of Lassithi alone), the olive oil produced is one of the best in the world and it is perhaps the most famous Cretan product. The local olive oil has won several accolades in international competitions.
Naturally, the area’s gastronomy in autumn is full of delicious surprises. The apple trees and the pomegranates offer their wonderful fruit; the markets are full of quinces and plums, pears, kiwis and lotuses as well as the impressive and wholesome prickly pears with their thorny armour. Also, in late November, the first chestnuts make their appearance. After the first rains, the fields are loaded with mushrooms and the connoisseurs collect them as one of the finest delicacies. A unique feature of the area is that in autumn vegetables grow for the second time in the same year. This is indeed very amazing and it is caused by the mild climate.
Every year, on World Tourism Day (late September), the municipality of Agios Nikolaos honours the unique culinary tradition of Crete by organizing one of the most successful events in the island, dedicated to Cretan cuisine and nutrition. The event takes place in the city streets (street food festival) and hosts many enterprises, hotels, producers and restaurants that present their gastronomic proposals. This delicious journey is complemented by the presence of winemakers and wine experts and by music events. Renowned Greek chefs coordinate the whole event.
Autumn and Agios Nikolaos. A wonderful season, a place of unique beauty with an amazing climate. Visit Agios Nikolaos in autumn and explore the beautiful nature and the unique topography of the area, let yourself be carried away by its culture and history, meet warm, authentic people and enjoy Crete at its best.
Δεκέμβριο-Φεβρουάριο έχετε την ευκαιρία να ζήσετε από κοντά τη μοναδική εμπειρία του λιομαζώματος, καθώς γίνεται η συγκομιδή του καρπού της ελιάς.