Malia is located about 36 Km east of Heraklion. And is one of the main resorts on the island that has been engulfed by the effects of mass tourism. Here you will find a beach and party mentality, that includes a nightlife that does not end until the morning. If you are young and looking for a good time, then this could well be your ideal holiday spot, but if you expecting to come here and to experience anything like a traditional Greek atmosphere then you will be bitterly disappointed.
As for accommodation, there are hundreds of hotels, both large and small, and are mainly contracted to the many tour operators that include Malia in their itineraries. If you want to be able to sleep at night, then try to ensure that your hotel is not located near the centre of town. As for eating, there is fierce competition to get your custom, so prices are kept to a reasonable level, and overall the quality is good. The speciality of the town seems at times to be the full English breakfast, but look past all the fast food places and you can still find the odd, good Greek restaurant. The town of Malia has become the tourist Mecca of Crete, and is packed out with mainly young British tourists, who are not looking for peace and quiet, and don't really care if they are in Crete or not, as long as they are having a good time. So if you are looking for some peace and quiet during your stay, and have some interest in experiencing the real Crete, then Malia is best avoided.
The beach has fine sand and is very good, no doubt this has contributed greatly to the popularity of Malia as a holiday resort. It is usually not too crowded in the mornings as most holiday makers spend the first part of the day recovering from the night before.
Malia has one of the longest stretches of beach in Crete which actually starts from the village of Stalis, west of the town, and extends for more than 4 km to the east. This beach is well organized and has all the amenities demanded by the modern tourist. During the high season, the beach can get fairly crowded. However there are many smaller beaches in coves in the area, for those who prefer a little more seclusion. Opposite the beach there is a small islet, with a very small church on it. As long as you can swim, the islet can be easily reached.
The archaeological site of the Minoan palace at Malia is located 3 km East of the village. The excavations at Malia were begun in 1915. During this time, the palace, houses in the town and the cemetery at Chryssolakos have been excavated. The site was inhabited in the Neolithic and early Minoan period 6000 to 2000 B.C. but very little remains today. The Palace of Malia, covered an area of 7,500 square metres and is the third largest of the Minoan Palaces on Crete.