The bouncing resort town of Malia, 21 miles east of Heraklion, the capital of Crete, has become a magnet for fun seekers in recent years and is now one of Greece’s most popular party spots.
But there is more to Malia than nightclubs. The cobbles of the old town hint at its rich history, there are secluded beaches and ancient Minoan ruins to explore.
It’s emergence as a destination to rival Ibiza means that demand for flights to Malia goes through the roof during the summer months. July and August are the busiest times of the year, but the party season runs from April to September. Cheaper flights to Malia are available at the start and end of the summer season.
Autumn is still warm, with temperatures averaging 20°C in November, and much quieter than the summer. Winter is cooler and rain can be expected.
If you are planning to visit Malia during peak season be sure to book well in advance as demand soars once the bars and clubs swing into life, but there are plenty of ways to ensure you find a bargain when booking with Expedia.
Flexibility is key when looking for fares. Most flights to Malia arrive at Heraklion, but you can use the ‘Nearby airports’ option to compare fares from different UK airports.
The ‘Show flexible dates’ option allows you to compare prices to and from Malia if you fly on different days.
Optimal flight times from UK cities to Malia include:
The nearest airport to Malia is at Heraklion, the capital of Crete, 21 miles west of the resort. Officially named Nikos Kazantzakis, after the author of Zorba the Greek, it is the second-busiest airport in Greece although almost all its traffic is seasonal.
The airport terminal was upgraded and expanded prior to the 2018 summer season.
Among the airlines that fly from the UK to Malia are:
There are regular buses and hotel shuttles from Heraklion to Malia and a good bus service in Malia itself, running east west through the town. It also takes visitors to the ancient Minoan palace a few miles outside the resort.
If you are staying on the strip and just want to party, you will not need to venture far. If you want to expand your horizons, consider renting a car. There are options at Heraklion Airport and in Malia.
Malia is home to the third largest Minoan palace on Crete, which dates back 4,000 years. A day spent away from the beach exploring the ruins is well worth the effort.
The central beach in Malia is the place to get the party started. The white sand is lined with bars and clubs and at night the strip gets even busier. If you want a quieter seaside experience head east to the beaches of Pirgos and Potamos.
Away from the neon lights and dance music the old town of Malia has a more laid-back vibe, with traditional tavernas and quaint cobbled streets.
There is a north/south divide in Malia. Those there to party head north of the main road, and those who value their sleep should stay to the south.