Malia’s known for up-all-night partying and great beaches. But behind the big personality, holidays to Malia offer up a sensitive side, too – with sugarcube churches and laid-back tavernas in the hidden old town.
A town in 2 parts
At first glance Malia is a high-rise, modern town earning its name as Crete’s party capital – with world-class nightlife and activity-fuelled beaches to match. Party credentials aside, though, there’s also a secret network of cobbled streets and dinky Medieval churches to explore in the old town.
Malia is feted for its beaches – 5 kilometres of golden sand divided into 6 beaches, each backed by restaurants and bars. From the heady atmosphere of Glozanie Beach with its jet-skis and banana boats, you can wander down past the children’s lido, sun loungers and umbrellas of Sun Beach. Then finally you reach the clear-blue waters of Potomas Beach, a quieter affair that’s popular with locals.
Malia’s main strip – just behind the beach – is crammed with more chic bars, pubs and clubs than you can shake a glo-stick at. Malia rivals the Balearics for big-name DJs, too, with shows from the likes of Tinie Tempah all summer long. Even better, the clubs won’t usually charge you to get in.
Handy for Heraklion
Crete’s historical capital, Heraklion, is about 45 minutes’ drive away. The scenery runs through the ages here – from the Venetian fortress of Koules to the 19th-century Ottoman Vezir Mosque. Daily ferries go from the Venetian harbour to Rhodes, Santorini and Athens. On your return you might fancy a nightcap in one of the candle-lit tavernas near the harbour.