Situated on the stunning island of Crete is the popular town of Malia. It’s an excellent place for a holiday in 2018 thanks to its lovely old town, wide array of bars and restaurants, and excellent position for enabling you to explore the rest of the island. The several beaches in the area, the closest of which is just 1km from the town, offer visitors glorious stretches of sand perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Head to one of the fantastic restaurants in the area and tuck into some delicious Greek cuisine including olives, bread, fresh fish and local vegetables.
Malia is famed for its nightlife and attracts those looking to let loose and party. There is a range of bars and nightclubs which are open late into the evening. Head a little further out of town and you’ll find plenty of quieter cafés where you can relax with a glass of wine away from the hustle and bustle of the central district. From discovering the area’s ancient history to spending the afternoon in lively a water park, there's something for everyone on a visit to this exceptional resort.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 4h 25m
When to go
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Malia's location on Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, brings a wealth of opportunity for exploration. Malia Old Town is an excellent place to start your adventure. There are traditional shops, cafes and restaurants situated in buildings that date back over 300 years. The ancient Malian Minoan palace is open to the public every day of the week. Visitors will get a rich insight into the lives of the Minoans and feel the energy living on in this ancient relic.
Outside the town, there are many more attractions just waiting to be discovered. The Palace of Knossos is the most famous example of Minoan civilisation on the island of Crete. Its impressive structure remains largely intact and is full of hidden treasures. The island is home to many secret caves, some of which can only be reached by boat. It is thought that they are over 3,000 caves on the island's shores, from the famous Milatos and St Paul's to other beauties that remain elusive.
Wine and Dine
Greek cuisine relies heavily on Mediterranean ingredients. Many of the dishes incorporate fresh olive oil, cheese, fish, herbs and vegetables. It is common to start with a meze consisting of fresh bread, fried vegetables and a mix of cheeses and beans. Greek cuisine puts a huge emphasis on fresh fish and one of the Cretan specialities is lobster. Pork is also popular here – marinated in vinegar and cooked with a range of aromatic herbs, it is a delicious treat for anyone on holiday in Malia.
Traditional Greek restaurants in Malia include Helios Cafe, Brasserie Restaurant Malia and Malia Port Fish Taverna. The latter has excellent views of the port and is located near a small church, offering a delightfully authentic atmosphere where you can watch the sun go down. Given its popularity with visitors, there is also a wide variety of international restaurants open late into the evening.
An easy four-hour flight from home makes Malia an excellent destination for those travelling with children. Youngsters with a flair for water exploration are in for a treat when on holiday in Malia. From glass-bottomed boat trips to scuba-diving opportunities, there is plenty to keep those with an interest in marine life occupied. Hire a bike and cycle along the many picturesque mountain pathways, visiting traditional villages along the way.
Head to Aquaworld and get up close and personal with some of the ocean's biggest animals. They have many hands-on exhibits and a range of information boards aimed at young children. Thought dinosaurs were extinct? The dinosaur park in Crete gives a unique chance to get friendly with a massive selection of model dinosaurs from the Mesozoic era. With its many interactive displays and games, kids can learn about this historic era in a fun and playful manner.
Action and Adventure
Crete is not only a destination for relaxing, it's also a place where you can get active and release your inner wild side. Malia beach is full of opportunities to try some water sports and has excellent water conditions for swimming. Many of the beaches offer horseback rides - a great alternative way to see the local area. Jeep safaris are also popular. They can take you just about anywhere on the island and are a great way to combine your transportation with a little adventure.
The Psiloritis Mountains are an excellent place for hikes. Just be sure to bring your comfortable shoes and plenty of water in the hot weather. It is also advisable to plan your route well in advance. The island is home to thousands of caves, some of which can be explored on foot and others that are only accessible by water.
Malia's central beach is located 1km from the town centre. This gorgeous stretch of sand extends 600m along the shore and is awash with bars, restaurants and facilities like toilets and showers. If you want to head a little further afield, then just east of Central Beach you’ll find Sun beach, popular with families thanks to its children's pools and lack of crowds.
Crete is a huge island so there are plenty of opportunities to seek out a quiet and secluded bay away from the popular resorts. Elafonísi's white sands are peppered with pink coral, giving it a distinctly tropical feel, complete with vibrant red starfish. If windsurfing if your passion, then Koureménos Beach is the place to be. Conditions here are excellent and there are many authentic tavernas where you can head for a spot of lunch or a drink in the sunshine. Last, but certainly not least, is Mátala. Famed for being the home of a hippy community, its many caves are illuminated at sunset making for a magical place to enjoy a cocktail when on holiday in Malia.
There are a variety of different nightlife establishments in Malia, ideal for those looking to party the night away. If you're seeking something cheap and cheerful, Premier Bar offers an excellent combination of reasonably priced drinks and a karaoke stage. Help Bar is popular with young people looking to enjoy enormous cocktails. If you're looking for something with an Indie flair, Orgasmic and Squeeze Bar are where it's at - both offer a more alternative vibe.
Heading to a club is a popular choice in Malia. Candy reigns as one of the most highly-rated venues with an amazing sound system, several dance floors and two bars. If retro music is your thing, Reflex 80’s Bar is the place to be. This incredibly popular venue is known for its vintage tunes and music memorabilia from decades gone by.
Malia's romantic island atmosphere is perfect for those looking to get away from the stresses of everyday life and indulge in a romantic getaway. Spend your days chilling out in the beautiful Greek sunshine and your evenings dining on grilled fish, accompanied by excellent wines. While Greece has become popular primarily with beach lovers, it also has a stunning island interior which will suit couples looking to embark on an adventure.
You could discover the ancient ruins of the Minoan civilisation, traverse the mountain tops for spectacular views and explore some 3,000 caves around the island. While on holiday in Malia, you can’t miss a visit to one of the authentic tavernas. They are abundant across the island but head to a small village to experience dinner like a local.
Greece is known for its history and culture all across the world - and the island of Crete is no exception. A holiday in Malia gives you the opportunity to explore the ruins of the Minoan civilisation. These can be discovered either in the ruins of the palace of Knossos or in the island’s many museums. The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is one of the island's top museums - a must for those who have an interest in history.
Spinalonga Island is a fascinating visit. This former Venetian fortress. that was later occupied by the Turks, has most recently been used a leper colony. The story of the island was turned into a novel by the author Victoria Hislop. Today the island is open to visitors, offering visitors an insight into the life of the exiles who lived here.