Escape the bustle of mainstream Malia for a day to explore the fascinating Old Town. It’s the best kept secret in Malia, and so remains peaceful even during the summer months.
The old town of Malia is well worth strolling around. Like a labyrinth, the small streets lead you to unexpected places, such as beautiful old churches and small squares with restaurants, some of them with live music.
In old Malia there are still old houses with courtyards full of flowers, children play in the street in the warm summer evenings, and adults bring their chairs outside and sit with the neighbors, chatting about the village news, a bit of gossip, a few jokes and teasing.
The Palace of Malia is situated on the North coast of Crete, East of Malia. At 7,500 square metres, it is the third largest of the Minoan palaces. The Minoan name for the Palace is not known and it takes its name from a local town.
In the view of Jan Driessen, the building would not have been a Palace like the ones that emerged later but would have been more like a monumentalized court, the beginning of a process of bringing ritual in from the natural environment to a closed, artificially constructed environment.
At Malia, remains of the buildings appear to represent a town or small city considerably larger than anything that existed before.
The wonderful Lassithi Plateau is located about 25km south of Malia. Located in a peaceful and fertile region, it is surrounded by the wild mountains of Dikti and several smaller plateaus.
The altitude ranges from 800 to 850m, making Lassithi one of the few residential areas in the Mediterranean at such high altitude.
Lassithi plateau is famous for its windmills with white cloths, a trademark of the area.
Finally, the most important attraction of Lassithi is the impressive Dikteon Cave, rich in stalagmites and stalactites, were Zeus was born according to legend.
The main beach of Malia is located in front of the town and is crowded by thousands of people. Thus, those who cannot stand the crowds and congestion prefer to go to one of the sandy beaches located east of the port of Malia, very close to the site of the palace of Malia. The easternmost beach is known as Potamos (i.e. River), because a small stream flows in its east part, next to the wetland of Malia.
Potamos is a long sandy beach, very well organized, but usually less crowded than the main beach of Malia. Around Potamos there are small sand dunes, where you can see the amazing white sand lilies.