A Tour of Malia, Crete, Old and New
|Malia Beach at sunset in Crete, Greece. Photo: Henry Jackson Photography. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
One of the strange juxtapositions of European beach holidays is the wild mix of modernity and antiquity, that in a single location you can experience a fun and crazy nightlife and then spend your day exploring the deep past of human civilizations. Such is the case with iconic destinations like the Greek village of Malia, where Cretan partygoers might mend their hangovers in close proximity to budding archaeologists eager to wander pre-Homeric sites. Be it for hedonism or intellectualism, Malia holidays provide an opportunity to revel in pleasures both contemporary and historical.
The centre of Minoan civilization in the Bronze Age, modern-day Malia is today a world-class beach resort teeming with restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs. In fact, in recent years Malia has become one of the most popular tourist locations not just of Crete but also the whole of Europe, rivalling Ibiza and Magaluf for top choices among young British tourists. Consequently, there are sites devoted to helping you book flights, hotels, and last minute deals to Malia.
|Malia at Night. Photo: Shaun Woods. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
The town is composed of a bustling main street, a long strip of idyllic sand, and a charming old-village section. There is a huge variety of restaurants to sample; among the favourites are the Greek cuisine of Maliaport, the international menu at Eva Taverna, and the Mexican fare at Gringos Restaurant & Bar. Accommodations cover an equally wide spectrum, from the family-friendly luxury of the Hotel Cretan Park to the self-catering convenience of the Maria Rousse Studios. There is no shortage of nightclubs to while away the evening/morning hours, where the action hits peak levels during the warm summer months.
|The Ruins at Malia Palace in Crete, Greece. Photo: Andrew Skudders. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
Now, back to ancient Greece… if one were so inclined to explore the past, the ruins of the Malia Palace await just 3 kilometres east of the town centre. Discovered in the early 20th century, this ancient Minoan cultural centre dates back 4,000 years and is believed to have been levelled by a late Bronze Age earthquake. Walking through the ruins, a comfortable distance from the party streets of Malia, one can enjoy the quiet reprieve of this ancient palace and imagine the wild nights of long ago along this scenic coast of Crete.The best time to travel to Malia depends on your particular taste for fun. After the wild and raucous summer months, the area starts to quiet down around mid-September. Temperatures start warming in June (22 °C), stay hot until September (24 °C), and then cool to an annual low of 8 °C by December/January.
This voyage to Crete was brought to you by Thomson Holidays!