LOCATIONAttractions in the area
Malia is situated in the Gulf of Malia the south-east of the city of Heraklion, on the northern coast of Crete. It is built along an exquisite sandy beach, about 36 km east of Heraklion. A rich plateau, boasting a great number of watermills, surrounds the village, with cultivations of orange groves and groceries. Today, the village is characterized by great tourist development and is one of the most visited areas on the island.
This coastal town welcomes thousands of visitors every summer and has all the needed tourist facilities. The town is extending over a large area and is divided into an old part and a modern one. The old town has narrow alleys where taverns, bars and shops are lining and get crowded in high season, especially at night.
To the east of the modern resort is the Minoan Palace of Malia, 3 kilometres east of the town.This is the third-largest Minoan palace in Crete, built in a wonderful setting near the sea, on the road linking eastern and central Crete.
This palace - the seat, according to myth, of Minos' brother Sarpedon - was first constructed circa 1900 BC. The already large settlement, some parts of which are preserved around the palace, thus became a palace-city. This first palace was destroyed circa 1700 BC and rebuilt circa 1650 BC, on the same site and with the same layout. Finally the new palace was destroyed circa 1450 BC and not reoccupied. During the Mycenean period a small building, probably a sanctuary, was constructed in the ruins.
At Malia we can actually walk around the actual palace, just as it was uncovered by archaeological excavations. Most of the ruins visible today belong to the Neopalatial complex - the second palace - whose rooms are set around three courts: the Central Court, the North Court and the Tower Court. The majestic size, complex plan and multiple details of the palace make it a fascinating place to visit.
What tempts most people away from the beach at Malia, however are the two big water parks - Aqua Splash and Star Beach - which together provide endless hours of family entertainment. There are enough chutes, tubes, white knuckle slides and river rides to keep the kids happy for days on end. Beachfront entertainment along this stretch of coastline includes everything from bungee jumping to bumper cars.
The Aqua World is a museum in Hersonissos, Heraklion, Crete another favourite visitor attraction. Aqua world is situated at the west end of Hersonissos, 30km east of Heraklion, 40km west of Agios Nikolaos. The majority of the animals on display are either rescued or were unwanted pets which now have a home in this caring environment. The philosophy of Aquaworld is simple - by bringing people and animals close together it is hoped to encourage interest in the creatures themselves and in their natural habitat. Aquaworld is open daily from 1 April until 31 October each year.
The Kolokytha Peninsula, east of Malia, offers rather different attractions in the form of a sunken city and the island of Spinalonga which was used to isolate lepers until the 1950s. If you snorkel near the causeway which joins the southern end of the peninsula to the mainland you'll be able to see the outlines of buildings and columns from the ancient city of Olous.
Join a boat ride out to Spinalonga you'll pass the islet of Ayioi Pantes - home to about 200 curly-horned wild Cretan goats which are a protected species living only here and in the Samaria Gorge.
Crete Golf Club
The Crete Golf club is a marvellous new addition to Europe's rich reservoir of courses and will soon be regarded as one of the finest tests in the whole of the southern Mediterranean.
It is described as a desert golf course hewn out of rolling landscape little more than half an hour from the international airport of Heraklion. It boasts a series of memorable holes that will test every aspect of a golfer's repertoire and offers stunning views over mountainous landscape that has hardly changed since the Minoan era back in 2600 to 1100 BC. The standard of service at Crete Golf Club is exemplary and adds a great deal to what is already a special experience.
Taking a Jeep Safari around the best places and rugged area's of Crete is an absolute must! The Safari Club having been running Jeep Safaris for many years and your safety and lots of fun are all guaranteed. They have the choice of 2 main routes, the first takes you to the beaches and coastlines of Preveli and the mountainous gorges of Crete.
The second route offers you the chance to go into the mountains of Lassithi where you can visit the cave of Zeus, visit Eco Village where they make arts and crafts the traditional way of their Cretan ancestors. Also included is a huge slap up BBQ with plenty of Free flowing wine.