Malia is a town and former community in the province of Pediados with 3,722 inhabitants (2001 census) and is a Municipal Department in the Municipality of Hersonissos in the prefecture of Heraklion. They are famous for their horticultural products, their picturesque windmills, the wetland with rare flora and fauna, the sandy beach and their abundant waters, from which Heraklion is watered. Today it is a cosmopolitan tourist center with wonderful hotels and decent holiday centers, tourist shops, etc. It is located at the 34th kilometer of the main highway to the Prefecture of Lassithi, whose borders are at 38 kilometers, further east. Main occupations are the tourism professions, the cultivation of vegetables and bananas. To the east, at a distance of 37 km, are the antiquities of Malia. In Malia there are, among others, 1 kindergarten, 2 kindergartens, 2 Primary Schools, Gymnasium, Lyceum, regional clinic, conservatory, cultural, women's, volunteer (Sarpidonistas) and sports club, KEP and all the services of the Municipality. The PANOM team, founded in 1970, is active in football.

From September 2017 was established by the Municipality of Hersonissos "Municipal Free Open University (DEAP) Stefanos Xanthoudidis"

In the past Malia was especially known for its vegetable products and windmills. Today they are best known for the clear beaches with clear blue waters and the Minoan palace of King Sarpidon, one of the three largest palaces in Crete. The city of Malia is a popular tourist resort that combines the modern with the traditional. These two different aspects of the city are separated by the main road, to the south of which is the old village with its picturesque alleys that maintain the traditional rhythms and to the north, the new part of the city, where the visitor can have fun in countless bars, clubs and restaurants. The visitor, wandering in the alleys of the old village, will be able to admire traditional buildings (recently restored with the help of Sarpidonistas volunteers and villagers), churches (some of which date back to Venetian rule) and visit traditional taverns and restaurants. In the new part of town, the visitor can do their shopping during the day, but also enjoy the nightlife, either in one of the many cafes or in a restaurant with traditional cuisine.



To the east of Malia is a Minoan palace. Throughout the area there was a city in antiquity, with a name unknown today. In archeological writings it is listed as the palace of Malia. The area is now called Tarmaros and it is believed that this name is related to the name of the ancient city. It is also believed that the ancient king of Sarpides, son of Zeus and Europe, lived in the city. Sarpidona was expelled by his brother Minos and found refuge in Lycia in Asia Minor. The palace is considered to have been rebuilt during the construction of the palaces of Knossos and Phaistos and followed their fate. Around 1700 BC. destroyed for unknown reasons, then rebuilt and destroyed again in 1450 BC. The site continued to be inhabited, although the palace was not rebuilt. An early Christian basilica was unveiled to the west of the palace at Marmara. A marble sarcophagus was found there.

The archeological site of Malia was initially unknown. Until the last decades it belonged to the prefecture of Lassithi. In 1880 the owner of the area Elliniko Livadi discovered some gold leaves, about 500 meters west of the palace. This event was the occasion for the excavation of the entire area by gold diggers. Since then the area has been named Chrysolakkos. In 1915, after the discovery of new finds, the archaeologist Iosif Hatzidakis ascertained the existence of antiquities in that part. After Hatzidakis, the excavations were continued by the French Archaeological School. Excavations have shown that the inhabitants of ancient Malia were engaged in fishing and agriculture. The area was not as rich as Knossos and Phaistos.



The name comes from the toponym smooth> Malia = flat area. It is preserved in its original linguistic form in the place name Omales (oi), which is a flat area north of Selena and in the plateaus Omalos of Dikti and the White Mountains. In 1583 villa di Maglia with 620 inhabitants is mentioned. In 1881 it had 800 Christian inhabitants. Turks did not live in Malia.

In a total length of coastline of 6 km, from the picturesque Stalis to the famous beach of Potamos, west of the archaeological site, stretch the famous and beautiful beaches of the Municipality of Malia with the fine golden sand and the crystal clear blue waters. All beaches are organized and offer comfort and unique moments of joy, tranquility and entertainment. The visitor can enjoy the sun and the sea and enjoy the water sports that are offered. The most famous beaches of the Municipality are, in Stalis, "Vagies" in the small natural forest of palm trees, "Finikas", and "Psarolakos", and in Malia "Klontzani", "Pyrgos" and "Potamos" . The most popular beach of the Municipality, and one of the most beautiful in Crete, is the beach "Potamos". It is the ideal destination for those seeking tranquility and relaxation. The management of the beach has been undertaken by the Municipal Development Company of Malia, which with absolute respect for the natural environment and the visitor of the area, has built an organized infrastructure with locker rooms, chemical toilets, wooden access corridors to the coast, etc. distinction of the Blue Flag.

In the town is the recorded church of the Assumption of the Virgin, known as Panagia Galatiani, because when it was built milk was used instead of water, which was offered by the breeders of the area. In the church is the old icon of Panagia Kardiotissa and Agios Tryfonas. The building originally used architectural members from older buildings. There are also the temples of Agios Ioannis the Baptist, Taxiarches, Agios Dimitrios and Evangelismos, Agios Georgios (in Loutra, a church with damaged frescoes), Agia Pelagia and Agios Savvas, near the sea, as well as also of the Transfiguration of the Savior on a small island. Opposite the islet there is a spring with water which, according to the residents, facilitates the conception of women who do not have children, when they drink or wash. For the church of Agios Georgios, the tradition states that it was built to protect Agios Georgios those who spent the night there, from the fairies, which according to the belief are presented in the area.