The town of Malia is a big, very popular tourist resort and destination, situated at a distance of 36 kilometres east of Heraklion, which especially in summer is crowded with tourists from all over the world. From the main road down to the seafront, intense tourism development has taken place during the recent decades, turning Malia into a cosmopolitan and extremely lively beach resort, one of the busiest and most popular on Crete.
Malia is a place suitable for families, couples, young singles, all those who seek sun and fun, want to have affordable holidays and want to get full value for their money. Here everyone can enjoy a full lively 24 hour day.
Malia take pride in their 3 miles or so golden sandy beach, which is considered to be one of the best on the island and is obviously crowded with locals and tourists especially during the high season.
If you watch out for the strong undertow during windy weather which can be proved very dangerous, you can certainly enjoy very good bathing. The more active people can engage themselves in water sports, including water-skiing, windsurfing, pedalloes and parasailing, with lessons for beginners. For the less active ones, there are hundreds of sun-beds and umbrellas waiting for them. However the nearby beaches of Stalida, 3 kilometres west of Malia and Potamos, at the eastern end of the long Malia beach, are much less crowded.
From the main high street to the seafront there is a vast number of pubs, bars, discotheques and a lot of good haunts for young people, where the wet, noisy party of the multinational bunch of youngsters goes on sometimes until sunrise.
You can find any kind of accommodation in Malia; many hotels of all categories, studios and rooms to let are available. Food and drink are offered in the numerous cafes, tavernas and restaurants of the town.
The original old village, with some traditional houses, lies about a hundred metres inland from the very heavily trafficked main shopping road. It has about 4000 permanent residents.
It is worth visiting the area and enjoy it with the residents, in an atmosphere of fun and amusement any period of time in the year, as the climate is very mild and staying here very pleasant even in winter months.
The history of the village goes back to the Neolithic times, but during the Minoan times it seems that Mallia was one of the most important and flourishing towns of Crete.
The famous palace of Malia, equal in fame and archaeological importance to the palaces of Knossos and Faistos, which also flourished during the same period, lies at a distance of 3 kilometres eastern to the village. According to the myth, the area was dominated by Sarpedon, the brother of Minos.
North-eastern of the palace, a very important necropolis dating back to the Old Palace period, has been found near the coast. The famous necklace presenting two bees (a symbol of fertility), now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion has been found at this place.