Aghios Nikolaos, Crete

Built on the ruins of an ancient city, this 3rd-century trading center is the gateway to the many small villages and farms of Crete. Lake Voulismeni in the center of town connects to the sea by a narrow canal, with a park, amphitheater and collection of cafés taking full advantage of the idyllic setting. It is said that this lake is where the goddess Athena slipped into its waters to bathe and wash her glossy tresses.

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