In recent years, Malia has become something of a tourist resort location, rivalling Ibiza and Magaluf in terms of the quality of its cafés, bars and nightclubs. It’s located on the north coast of Crete, and is an archaeological novelty, although recently more prominently a leading attraction to big-name DJs and party events, attracting people from all over the world to enjoy sizzling Malia holidays.
Archaeological digs have been on-going in Malia since the early 20th Century, uncovering spectacles such as a Minoan town on the outskirts of the city, where visitors can wander among ancient ruins and walkways. There are rooms that have been identified as metal and ceramic workshops, as well as large meeting rooms, and there is also a residential dwelling and en-suite bath. The Minoans were a Bronze Age civilisation that lived on Crete probably between the 27th and 25th Century BC.
The palace of Malia is another site of popular interest. Destroyed during the Bronze Age, it was later rebuilt, and these second ruins are visible to sightseers. They feature a massive courtyard leading up to a maze of tiny rooms, including storage rooms with earthenware jars up to two metres tall, probably used to store olive oil and grain.
The main strip through Malia, called Beach Road, has a variety of clubs and pubs that play music that ranges from R&B to dance to garage. Hotel rooms and apartments are spread around this exciting centre, where neon bars and pumping clubs jostle for space, and the beach is just a short walk from the bottom of the strip, along a safe, clean and cobbled street.
Malia is just more than 30 kilometres east of Heraklion, the capital of Crete, and less than an hour’s drive from Heraklion’s airport, where cheap flights regularly deliver partygoers. The season tends to be busier in the warmer months between April and October, while those interested in historic and archaeological sites may enjoy the lighter crowds over the cooler winter season.