We sailed for 12 hours to get to Agios Nikolaos Marina
The marina attendant responded to our VHF call quickly and asked us to radio once we were at the entrance. As soon as our bow turned in, we saw a man waving us down and instructing us where to go.
My husband, Simon, easily backed the boat in, I threw over our warps and then secured them and I took the mooring lines to the front and secured the bow. Within 15 minutes we were settled into our new mooring.
Before we got to the marina, I made eggplant parmesan. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to make such a dish?! I knew we had to motor for a while so I thought I’d make use of the engine being on. When the engine runs, I can use the stove without running down the batteries.
We enjoyed our dinner and then got off the boat to have a bit of a nose around the town. For more information about the town, read Sailing around Crete – Agios Nikolaos, Gournia, Mochlos and Vai Beach.
Overall, we stayed 3 nights in Agios Nikolaos Marina
The first day, we chilled out and walked around the city. The next day we rented a car and went to Gournia and Vai Beach. We intended on leaving the following day, but due to high winds, we stayed and instead went to Knosos, Aqua Park and Elounda.
Agios Nikolaos was a great base for us to leave our boat safely, rent a car and travel the west and central parts of Crete. And the cost wasn’t too bad either. We paid 45 euros per night (keeping in mind that we have a 56’ yacht).
Let me do a run-down on the various variables for you
The customer service was great. We were met upon entering the marina and mooring was very easy. Our attendant helped with the lines and ensured we were settled before getting on his scooter to drive 20 meters back to the office. We needed an adapter for our electricity and the attendant found us one to use – he had to drive back and forth to the office to get the right one. It was funny to see someone use a scooter for such a short distance.
When we rented a car we asked if we could open the gate entrance to the marina to park it next to our boat. Our wishes were granted. Seeing the attendant use the scooter made me lazy too!
The marina, itself, has an bit of a run-down feel to it. There’s a boat yard that lines the back of it with pieces and parts here and there. It’s very well-kept and clean…just a bit dated.
Looking around, there’s a beach and line of bars and restaurants to the south of the Marina. To the northwest, there are cliffs that fortunately drown out most of the high-street bars. And other than sea, you can view mountains with patches of homes, businesses and shops in the background.
The marina is very close to the center of town.
Comfort of mooring
The mooring lines were very good and we felt extremely secure in our berth. The winds were heavy and our boat barely moved.
When you live on a boat you have to get used to noise. Even in quiet bays, you could find yourself next to a big gin palace that runs it’s generator all night long. In Agios Nikolaos Marina you’re next to a beach and loads of bars. Until 11pm, music, people and car horns can be heard, but the sounds melt into the background.
I was woken up once around 2am by a bunch of giggly girls – perhaps it was a Hen night/Bachelorette party?! On another night, the skipper of a Russian owned gin palace decided to show off the speaker system to some locals. Thereafter, they drank vast amounts of alcohol and in the end a fight broke out between the skipper (a Kiwi) and 2 Crete men.
Who knows if those noise levels are typical? It’s a city so it’s not going to be quiet.
General Atmosphere on the Pontoon
I felt that the boat was secure but I wasn’t comfortable with the amount of people walking around the marina. There was free access for people to walk in so we made sure to lock our boat when we went out.
Aside from the Kiwi skipper and a few other boats, the marina actually seemed very quiet. Most of the boats looked like they’ve been tied up for a while.
Facilities on the Jetty
The usual electricity and water was available – once we borrowed the correct electrical adapter everything worked fine. The wifi was the best marina wifi I’ve come across. There were three wifi routers so you just needed to pick the one with the best signal. I was able to upload and download video very quickly. As you can imagine, I was a happy bunny.
Facilities on land
During the course of our stay I used our own facilities. But before we left, I asked hubby to take some pictures of the toilets/showers for you. They didn’t come out very well, but the above picture is the outside of the building! I can’t comment on the water pressure or the temperature but they looked clean.
My husband told me that they were dated but functional.
Distance to facilities
We were berthed on the first pontoon as you entered the marina. The facilities are located about midway across the marina. It would take no more than 5 minutes to walk from most moorings to the facilities.
During our short stay, one of our floor mats was taken. We often put a mat on the jetty so you can wipe your feet before getting on the passerel. It could have been kids that took it or perhaps someone needed it more than us? It’s just a bit disconcerting when something goes missing.
Overall, Agios Nikolaos Marina is a great place to put your boat if you want to rent a car and explore the amazingly diverse and beautiful west and central parts of Crete. We were told to stay away from Heraklion marina – apparently it’s very run down and dirty. That being said, the next marina along the North coast is Rethymno where we also stayed.
If you’re planning on sailing to Crete, I definitely recommend Agios Nikolaos
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