Located 35 km east of Heraklion, Malia belongs to the municipality of Hersonissos divided in four smaller sections, namely, Malia, Hersonissos, Gouves and Episkopi. The municipality of Hersonissos is the municipality with the biggest sea front in Crete and Malia the area that includes the longest sandy beaches in the municipality.
From being a simple agricultural village to the point of becoming a famous holiday destination worldwide, Malia has come a long way in the past decades. The city of Malia today is as vibrant as ever with a variety of modern and traditional restaurants, bars and pubs, clubs and numerous beaches with water sports facilities.
The beauty of the town, however, lies on the diversity in the scenery, something that a lot of foreigners seem to appreciate since there is a growing number of expatriates now residing in Malia.
Although the town centre is packed with tourists, especially during the summer months, you can always find a quiet romantic spot to sit back and take in the real beauty of the area.
The visitor can benefit from the serenity of the Cretan landscape and simultaneously enjoy the comforts of a modern town in the surrounding locations with unique natural beauty.
Old Town Malia is the part that includes the earliest settlements of the town, located South of the Malia main road which can be thought as the border between the Old and the New parts of the town.
The distinctive features of the old town are the winding , labyrinth-like, alleys, the traditional stone buildings, relatively short with small windows, colourful just like the doors of them with small balconies or an occasional loft.
Adding to the tranquil atmosphere of the Old Town and attracting one’s interest are the four churches in the area (St.Dimitrios, St.Ioannis, St.George and the church of the Virgin Mary, i.e. Panaghia).
When the nearby traditional restaurants and taverns open, the visitors can sit back and enjoy the surroundings while sipping a drink or tasting a delicious local dish.
Representing authentic Cretan tradition, Malia Old Town has been for years a hugely popular attraction worldwideEach street and neighbourhood of the old town are highly idiosyncratic, every crossroad constitutes a point of interest as the courses of the streets as well as the spatial positioning of the buildings, their forms and colours synthesize a one-of-a-kind whole of particular interest.
Around 2000 BC, the Minoans built the first palace of Knossos, the palace of Phaestos (or Festos) and the palace of Malia.Their impressive, considering the times, technological advancements allowed them to produce fine pottery and jewellery of silver and gold. The Minoans are considered to have developed the first advanced civilization in Europe.
What is known as the “Golden Age” of the Minoan Civilization (1700 B.C. to 1380 B.C.) was brought to an abrupt halt by a natural disaster circa 1450 BCThis disaster, assumed by scientists to have been a huge volcanic eruption on the island of Santorini (Thera), destroyed the Palaces and is linked to the demise of the civilization.
For more information about Crete and Malia