Touring in Crete: Malia

The islet of Afendis Christos from the beach at Malia, Hersonissos, Crete

7th stop: Malia

Malia is a coastal town which is part of the municipality Hersonissos. It lies 34 km east of Heraklion, the Cretan capital city. The town has a population of nearly 4000, located in the northeast corner of Heraklion Prefecture. The town is a tourist attraction, primarily for its significant archaeological site and nightlife. The Minoan town ruins lie three km east of the site and cover an area of about 1 km². The original name for the town is unknown.

Minoan map of Crete, showing the location of Malia

 

 

 

 

 
 
Coordinates: 35°18′N 25°0′E
 

The ruins of Malia palace under semi-transparent roofs, Crete
The Palace of Malia

The palace of Malia, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age; Knossos and other sites were also destroyed at that time. The palace was later rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age. Most of the ruins visible today date from this second period of construction. The palace features a giant central courtyard, 48m x 23m in size. On the south side are two sets of steps leading upwards and a maze of tiny rooms. Also here is a strange carved stone called a kernos stone, which looks like a millstone with a cup attached to the side of it. On the north side of the courtyard were storage rooms with giant earthenware pithos jars, up to two metres tall. These were used for holding grain, olive oil and other liquids; the floor of these rooms has a complex drainage system for carrying away spilled liquids.

A model of Malia PalaceThe palace of Malia was discovered in 1915 by Hadzidakis, a Greek archaeologist and was fully excavated a few years later by the French School at Athens in collaboration with Greek scholars. What has recently been discovered is that the palace was surrounded by a Minoan town. Excavation is ongoing. Important parts of the old and new excavations are covered by a series of large semi-transparent roofs, which protect them from the elements. In places tourists are allowed to wander among the ruins; in others, walkways allow passage above.

The Bees of Malia (two golden bees holding a drop of honey) Malia, Crete 1800-1700BCThere are rooms which have been identified as metal workshops, ceramic workshops and meeting rooms; there is also a large residential dwelling with on-suite bath, which is similar to a design at Phaistos, both taking advantage of expansive views.


Modern Malia

Malia Photos
This photo of Malia is courtesy of TripAdvisor
 

The Malia Strip during the day, Hersonissos, CreteToday Malia is a holiday resort, tourism is the main economic activities in the town, with plenty of hotels, restaurants, gift shops, bars and nightclubs. Malia has become one of the most popular tourist locations on Crete, and one of the most popular in Europe. It is mainly visited by young British tourists.
Malia has earned its name as one of the leading spots for nightlife in Europe because of the events and big name DJs. The Main Strip is home to many bars, clubs, taverns and restaurants. This is supported by the many hotels and apartments in Malia and the immediate area. Malia has a fine sandy beach which starts from the bottom of the strip and continues towards the East near the Minoan palace of Malia.

Things to do

Photos of Landrover Safari Crete, Malia
This photo of Landrover Safari Crete is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

LandRover Safari: This could be the most exciting day of your holiday in Crete. You are guaranteed to have a day full of information about rural Crete, opportunities for photographing breathtaking scenery and getting in touch with the local life. The best way to witnessing Crete’s wildlife which most people never get to know first hand. The drivers are most willing to share their great knowledge with a sense of humor, making your day one that will highlight your holidays.

Landrover Safari Crete
Parlama 22, Malia, Crete 70007, Greece
Tel: +30 28970-32666   Safari Club Website

Accommodation

SunVillage Malia Emmanouil Tsagaraki
Panagia, Malia, Crete 70007, Greece
Tel: +30 28970 29597   Hotel Website
Prices: $52 – $98

Matheo Hotel
Theodoros str.1, Malia, Crete 70007, Greece
Tel: +30 28970-32980    Hotel Website
Prices: $52 – $111

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