|Copyright 2004-6 Carol Palioudaki. Living in Crete www.livingincrete.net
Things to do in and around Malia
Crete is the largest, and probably the most diverse, unique island in the Greek archipelago, with a
population of over 600,000 people. Well-known for its natural beauty, with a stunning spread of
mountain ranges pitched next to gorgeous white sandy beaches, the island also plays host to
Europe’s only palm tree forest, on the eastern side.
On the north coast of Crete, Malia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, with
youngsters flocking here for the fantastic beach and nightlife on offer. But it’s not all about playing
and partying hard. Malia is also steeped in history and there are many sites around the town for
anyone looking to take in the culture.
While Malia does boast one of the best beaches on the island, with three miles of golden sand
vanishing into the clear blue sea, there’s so much more to this fascinating town. Malia’s Old Town,
situated at the top of the new town, is an intricate maze of narrow streets and traditional houses.
There are four churches in the town, each strikingly decorated, including the Agios Nektarios, which
is covered in impressive wall paintings by Michael Vassilakis, and the church of Agios Dimitrios, built
in the 19th century on the ruins of an earlier church. The oldest church in Malia is the Panagia
Galatiani, which means “milk of the Virgin”. It is believed that shepherds gave milk from their lambs
to mix with the mud that was used to build the walls. The structure dates back to before the 1400s.
About three kilometres outside of the main town, you’ll find the Minoan Palace of Malia, the third
largest of its kind on the island. Excavations have proved that the original palace was erected in
1900 BC. Visitors are invited to walk around the expansive palace site, with opening times between
8:30am and 3pm Tuesday to Sunday.
If you’re looking for a more modern day out, you might be interested in visiting one of the fascinating
aquariums. Aqua World lies just 20 minutes away from Malia in Hersonissos and has a wonderful
selection of marine life and reptiles. Most of the animals that live here were unwanted pets or rescue
cases who have found security in this comfortable, caring atmosphere. Aqua World is open daily from
April to October.
Whether you already live in Crete and you are looking for a day trip, or you are thinking about
moving here, there is much more to explore in Malia than just the nightlife.