Malia is a small resort town with 3500 inhabitants, located 30 kilometers from the airport of the capital of Crete Heraklion. This place was chosen by young people from Western Europe, who like local clubs and night party life. Young hangers from France, England, Germany of both sexes come in a cheerful company, rent inexpensive housing and dine in local restaurants. They ride on the roads on scooters and sleep on the beaches. Here tourists get acquainted, have novels and just live a relaxed life, not caring about anything. During the day they lie on the beaches and soothe in the sea, at night they hang out at the disco and consume something hot. They rest culturally, without breaks and showdowns, since this is not accepted by Europeans. About 10 nightclubs in the season are packed to the brim with hot tanned bodies. Through the historical center to the sea descends the main street of the city, where beer houses are replaced by strip clubs and disco bars. In addition to beaches, clubs, restaurants in Malia and the surrounding area there are attractions that are worth visiting.
Old Town – Malia City District
Walking through the stone streets, you can feel the local atmosphere and the measured way of life of the Cretans. Stone houses are decorated with fresh flowers, carpets and old furniture. Old people nap in chairs at the entrance to the dwelling, occasionally sipping another mug of coffee. Stepped Greeks exchange news in taverns, discussing ill-mannered European youth. Children ride bicycles or kick a ball. Against the background of stone streets, wide doors stand out, which the Greeks like to paint in a bright blue color. Every house will definitely sit lazy and well-fed cat – a favorite pet of the inhabitants of Malia. The narrow streets sell fruit, ice cream and local fast food. Prices in private shops and shops are slightly higher than in the local supermarket “Halkidiki spar”. Walking through the streets of the old town, you can come across some quiet and cute café “for the locals”, where it is so pleasant to drink coffee or a glass of cold homemade wine. Generally speaking, the best taverns with the most delicious food are located in the Old Town. Another entertainment can be considered looking at the decor of houses – sometimes there are elegant specimens with wonderful decorations that you immediately want to photograph for memory.
Church of St. Nectarius
The temple is located in the heart of the city on the main street and consecrated in honor of St. Nektarios of Aegina. Vladyka led a difficult ascetic life, suffered slander and disgrace, headed a theological school and restored a nunnery in Aegina from the ruins. The glorification of St. Nectarios took place in 1961, since then he has been revered by all Orthodox Greeks. It is said that through prayers to the saint, the Lord God heals the most serious diseases of those Christians who have enough faith. The temple was built in the 20th century and is decorated from the inside with a beautiful painting by the master M. Vasilakis. The walls of the inner space, the dome – everything is painted with bright colors. Scenes of the last judgment, angelic faces, lives of saints and the exploits of St. Nectarius can be viewed for hours. The carved iconostasis is decorated with traditional icons in the Greek tradition. The architecture of the church is made in the neo-Byzantine style with a white paint. For such a tiny settlement, the cathedral of St. Nektarios has a majestic size and enjoys veneration in the Orthodox environment.
Address: El. Venizelou 79, Malia 700 07, Greece
St. John’s Church
The Venetian church of St. John (Agios Ioannis) dates from the 15th century. The building has the appearance of an ordinary stone house without architectural delights. Around in tubs are planted bright purple flowers of bougainvillea, which makes the temple a popular place for photo shoots. On the patronal feast and Easter, the doors are opened for tourists, the rest of the time the interior decoration is closed for inspection. Venetian is called because the church was built in those days when the city was under the rule of Venice.
Address: Agiou Ioannou, Malia 700 07, Greece
Church of St. Demetrios
Located on the square near the church of St. John. The building has a beautiful façade in the antique style and is notable for being built on the foundations of an older temple. That is, the place is prayed and holy, which, as you know, is not empty. Saint Demetrius of Thessalonica was from a noble family of secret Christians who raised their son in faith and piety. Having inherited his father’s place, proconsul Demetrius began to openly profess the Christian faith and distribute property to those in need. It was during the time of open persecution under the emperor Maximinus, who, passing by, received a denunciation of the proconsul. Soon Demetrius was martyred at the hands of imperial executioners.
Address: Agiou Dimitriou 25, Malia 700 07, Greece
Palace in Malia
In 3 kilometers from Malia there are excavations of one of the 4 palaces of the Minoan civilization, which died as a result of mysterious cataclysms about 1500 years BC The ruins of the palace have been excavated for almost 100 years, during which many artifacts of that era have been found. Inside the perimeter of the fortress walls there were large cellars with a developed system of water supply and drainage, a printing yard and workshops. The territory of the Malian Palace is much smaller than that of the famous Knossos, but still amazes the imagination when you imagine how much effort and labor was spent on its construction. It is better to visit the object in the morning, since the excavations are closed to visitors for the time of the siesta. The excursion is accompanied by a guide’s story about valuable finds, the life of the Minoan civilization, the history of excavations. You can also come here on your own by rented car.
Address: Malia, Crete 700 07, Greece
The museum complex of the Greek ethnos in Crete is stylized as a castle and has an excellent exposition with craft workshops. There is also an orchard, café and benches. People come here to get acquainted with the medieval way of life and traditions of the inhabitants of Crete. “Lihnostatis” compares favorably with other museums in that here the exhibits can be touched with your hands and even tried on for a spectacular photo. In season, on Wednesdays, they treat them with wine and let them trample grapes with their feet – as ordinary peasants have done for centuries. Another nice thing is an audio guide that you can rent and walk with it around the museum, listening to interesting information. An amazing thing is that the fisherman’s room smells of fish, the shepherd’s house smells of goats, and the moonshine machine works in the peasant hut. A lot of attention is paid to details – everything is authentic, up to the items of clothing and stylization of interiors. The center of attraction is a real medieval mill, moved from another village. The museum works from 10 to 14, the ticket price is 6 euros. The object is located near Malia in the suburbs of the city of Hersonissos.
Address: Hersonissos, Crete, Greece
Yojikoff85 writes a review: “I was very pleased with the visit to the museum “Liknostatis”. It feels like a child who got to a large playground: I want to visit all the houses faster and try everything. Delight from visiting school – desks, teacher’s table, cabinets with many interesting details. I only heard about this from my grandmother’s stories. Then I went to a typical house of the Greeks: either they tortured someone here, or they live like this. Very interesting: a lot of real antique things. Then he visited a stylized café, a church, the house of a fisherman, a winemaker and, like the icing on a cake, a giant moonshine machine. For 6 euros I got a lot of emotions and a real admiration for the arrangement of the museum!”
Labyrinth Theme Park
Park “Labyrinth” is a great place for leisure activities for the whole family. People come here for the whole day, water bottles and panama from the sun will come in handy. In the park there is a café with an adequate price tag. The main attraction is a real labyrinth with 4 rooms, which you need to get to. In one of them hides an evil minotaur. Also included in the ticket price is a game of mini-golf on a comfortable course with 18 holes. Passing the quest with a maze and playing golf takes at least 3 hours, but the children will love it. There is a motivating program with medals and prizes. Other attractions of the park are available for a small surcharge of 3 euros. Shooting from a real bow is one of the favorite among teenagers who will have to get to the target center to pick up the prize. In the pottery workshop, they give you to sculpt a craft that you can take with you as a souvenir. The Trojan horse and other entertainment are waiting for their tourists. The object is located 4 kilometers from Hersonissos on the road to Castellion.
Address: Labyrinth Park, Hersonissos 700 14, Crete, Greece
You can get to the island only by ferry or boat. Turquoise water, pebble beaches and green flora make it feel like you’re in a garden of Eden or a living postcard. A very beautiful place where the main attraction is nature. Nearby there are several good bars and restaurants where you can taste Greek cuisine and fresh fish. On the island permanently live several hundred inhabitants who fish. The territory is easy to get around in a day, having tried all the beaches, including nudist. It is convenient to rent a bicycle (5 euros) or a moped (25 euros) to drive with the breeze on the roads. Spectacular photo shoots against the background of a paradise landscape will remain in memory of this protected corner. There is no other entertainment, although a refreshing sea trip is a holiday in itself. An excursion from Malia to Koufonissi costs 46 euros per person. Includes a bus transfer, a ticket for a pirate ship, swimming in the open sea from the deck and a 3-hour stay on the island itself.
Star Beach Water Park
“Star Beach” beats all water parks by the fact that the entrance here is free. Guests pay only for the services they intend to use. Slides cost 8 euros, there are no especially dangerous descents here. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. There is a children’s pool where children are monitored by animators and lifeguards while parents can relax a little. The water park is located by the sea: you can rent a sunbed with an umbrella on the beach (6.5 euros) or by the pools (15 euros). The modern spa area includes massages, steam baths, jacuzzis and body care. Water activities are inexpensive: scooter and skis, rolling on a banana and cotton candy. Swimming in the pools is free of charge. Young people like foam discos, which are held by animators from 16:00. In addition to the main restaurant, there are several cafes and four bars with original interiors on the territory. It serves traditional Greek and Italian cuisine, fast food and various snacks. Bartenders continuously mix cocktails for guests on sun loungers. Aquapark “Star beach” is located in the city of Hersonissos near Malia.
Address: Star Beach Waterpark, Themistokleous 5, Chersonisos 700 14, Greece
Helenaotz writes a review: “At the entrance to the water park hangs a warning that you can not bring food and drinks. But we were hauling fruit and water – no one said anything. Then we learned an important thing: it is enough to pay for a chaise longue in any place you like and you can freely move around the territory, use the shower and toilets, swim in the pools and even change the sun loungers. The main thing is not to lose the check for payment. Sun beds are for every taste: by the sea, on the lawn, by the pool. On the shore there is a sandy bottom, the entry into the water is pleasant. Pools – a great many and for every taste. There is a special swimming pool built into the bar. You swim to the counter and order “Long Island Ice Tea”. Pour, drink and swim away like a drunken mermaid. We also liked the tent with a masseur and a view of the sea. There is a scene where the music is turned on in the evening and a complete breakaway is arranged. By the way, you can not pay for a chaise longue, it is enough to lay a towel and lie down to sunbathe – no one will cling to it. “
An excursion to the village of Mojos is organized in open-top trailers, which are pushed uphill by a cute tractor. The cost is 20 euros. Thanks to the lack of glass, the trip will be refreshing, and the views of the mountains and the sea are fascinating. On the way, joyful tourists on the move wave their hands to the venerable Cretans, they smile and wave back. In Mohos, time froze: old stone streets, Greek pensioners sitting on chairs, flowers and cats. Nothing seems to have changed here for centuries. Of the attractions – 10 small churches with antique icons of Greek writing and carved iconostasis. The population grows olives and presses oil on the only village oil mill. The center of attraction is a colorful coffee shop with a hand-made interior, in which an old widow cooks frappe for 1.5 euros per glass. On the central square there is also a large café for tourists. Everything here is real and traditional – the Cretan hinterland. You can come to Mohos for free on a special trail organized for tourists. You need to take more water, comfortable shoes and sunscreen ammunition: panama, sunscreen, dark glasses.
Monastery of St. George
The monastery complex is located in the gorge of Selinaros on the road to Agios Nikolaos and is popular with pilgrims. It consists of several temples, gardens with courtyards and a museum. The territory of the monastery is an example of landscape art. Stone paths made of paving stones are buried in flowers and greenery, which are cared for by skillful hands. Temples in the Byzantine style are painted and repaired, everything is kept in purity and splendour. It is better to come to this place during the morning or evening service, when the slender singing of choristers and the reading of psalms are carried throughout the territory from external speakers. The main part of the monastery is closed to tourists. The chapel of St. George is available, where you can put candles and submit notes. There is also a patio with lots of flowers in tubs and a beautiful view of the gorge.
The object is located 25 kilometers from the town of Agios Nikolaos at an altitude of 200 meters. The underground galleries of the Milatos cave extend deep into tens of meters. Stalactites and stalagmites divide spaces into rooms and passages. The cave has two entrances – the main wide and the second narrower, leading to the altar of the underground church. Local residents support this “catacomb” church and arrange prayers. It is pleasant to go down into the cave during the scorching heat and cool down in the gloomy mountain gorges, studying the inscriptions and imagining the life of the ancient Greeks, who were hiding here from the exterminating raids of the fierce Turks. In the 19th century, hundreds of local residents died in the cave, tortured by enemy troops. The Turks burned fires, trying to smoke the unfortunate peasants. The besieged suffered from hunger and thirst, as the exits from the cave were protected. As a result, most of the people died, and the survivors were taken into slavery.
The object is located between Malia and Mohos on a trail trodden especially for tourists. Maria’s Cave is smaller than the more famous Milatos, although it reaches a depth of 30 meters. Inside is beautiful: stalactites and stalagmites create bizarre shapes, some of them, however, destroyed by tourists. The cave consists of a large room and narrow passages leading to it. An amazing feature is that it is always warm here, so you will not need additional clothes.
Cave address: Milatos Cave, Vrachasi, Lassithi
Attractive and interesting places that are worth visiting in Malia and around it, much more than this review contains. For example, orchards with lemons, peaches, figs and other fruits. In them you can not only enjoy ripe fruits, but also breathe the spicy aromas of fruit trees. Souvenir shops in Malia can also be considered a landmark, as they sell souvenirs from different eras, hand-made crafts and decor items that are not ashamed to decorate any apartment. Not far from Heraklion there is an oceanarium with excellent exposition and relief of the seabed. Sharks, tropical fish, giant turtles will delight both children and adults. Near Hersonissos there is also an oceanarium, but a smaller size. In Heraklion, it is most convenient to rent a bicycle and go around all the sights on it in one day. Tourists praise the archaeological museum, the embankment, fountains. All this is within walking distance, but on bicycles it will be 2 times faster. The island of Santorini has a volcanic nature and wonderful landscapes that are worth visiting with an excursion. In Hersonissos, horseback riding is organized along the mountains and the coast. The horses are calm, the views are beautiful, the owner after the walk treats a barbecue of his own preparation. Horseback riding is suitable for both families with children and young couples. Come to Malia for the cleanest sea, equipped beaches and visiting local attractions – you will not regret it.