Malia Holidays 2024/2025

The vibrant city of Malia is one part beach, one part culture and a whole lot of nightlife. You could visit a different beach every day of your holiday in Malia, or spend your time sightseeing and shopping, even join the biggest bar crawl and you still wouldn’t cover all of Malia’s highlights.

Sun-heavy Malia holidays have a huge emphasis on beaches and cocktails, but there are tons of other activities available too. Whether you’re exploring somewhere new with the family, or sleeping all day and partying all night with your friends, a holiday to Malia will be one to remember (or maybe not!). There’s plenty of affordable hotels and low cost ways to make the most of this beautiful resort, but to get started, browse our cheap holidays to Malia and see which takes your fancy.

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A town filled with energy

After around a four hour flight, you’ll hit the northeast shores of Crete, where parties, beaches, incredible hotels and tons of history awaits.

The vibrant town of Malia is made up of two distinct halves, which are split by a main road that’s bursting with energy. The first encompasses the coastal part of town, where you’ll find six beaches backed by bars, plus, one of the best nightlife scenes in all of Europe. On the other half of town is where quieter days are spent, strolling along the cobbled lanes of Malia’s old town and sipping coffee from the terrace of a local taverna.

If it’s a clubbing holiday you want, it’s a clubbing holiday you’ll get. But, if it’s sandy beaches and quaint cobbled streets and an all round laid back feel, then that too is what you’ll get. Because really, there’s no need to pick between raucous and laid-back holidays – in Malia, you can have them both.

Brimming with beaches

Malia is home to five kilometres of sandy coast, which is divided into roughly six beaches. Each has a unique personality and offers different beach vibes to its sun-seeking visitors. The main beach begins at the bottom of Beach Road – Malia’s main strip – and is lined with beach bars, sun loungers and umbrellas, so your afternoon on the sea is sound-tracked by music drifting in from town.

The most populated beaches are where you’ll find a great range of water sports. The Aeolos Beach Water Park & Water Sports centre offers a huge range of activities, from jet skiing to windsurfing and hopping aboard a speedy banana boat. It also has a small water park for kids with a few slides and a children’s pool.

For a stretch of sand that’s a little quieter there’s also Sun Beach and Tropical Beach, which are middle of the road in terms of activity. While, Potamos is where leisurely lounging is to be had. It still has umbrellas and a couple of tavernas nearby, but mostly it’ll just be you, the waves and mountains towering in the distance. Whether you’re sticking to a budget friendly, cheap Malia holiday or not, a picnic here every day sounds good.

Party central

Look out Ibiza and Magaluf – Malia prides itself on rubbing elbows with even the most sought-out nightlife destinations. The town’s neon-lit main strip is packed with bars and clubs that pull out all the stops for those in search of Crete party holidays, so you’re sure to have a wild night when drinking here.

There are cool cocktail bars and clubs boasting paint nights and foam parties, not to mention some seriously hype-worthy DJ sets. If you’re looking for a quieter spot, there’s plenty of chilled-out quiet wine bars too.

The main strip is closed to traffic at night, so most of the drinking takes place in this area. It’s also dotted with takeaway spots to grab a 2am bite after drinking and dancing. Happy hours help you save a little cash on drinks, as will wristbands that offer discounts, free shots and sometimes money off club entry too – usually you can get these on the night from the pubs and clubs.

If you’re looking for more solemn nights out, head away from the beach and into the old town, where you’ll find authentic tavernas and beautiful outdoor terraces.

Getting out and about

Malia has a lot more to offer than just its assortment of clubs. It’s home to the island’s third largest Minoan Palace, which was destroyed in the same earthquake that ruined other ancient island towns. It was rumoured to be ruled by Zeus’s son Sarpedon, and is now open for touring. You can see the ruined remnants of workshops and palace walls, as well as scraps of ancient pottery.

If retail is more your cup of tea than history, Beach Road is shopping central in Malia, should you find yourself in need of retail therapy. Here, you’ll find everything from accessories to souvenirs, and clothing to beach bits. There are even a few shops selling handcrafted wares, including pottery and jewellery.

How about a bit more adventure? If you’re looking to see Malia on a full scale, there’s no shortage of sightseeing opportunities with a side of thrill. You can embark on a boat cruise and explore the coast or set out on a guided nature drive aimed at checking out the mountain terrain. Other options are getting around by bike or via the Happy Train, which stops at locales giving expert insight into Malia life, past and present.

Around the world dining

Dining in Malia isn’t limited to just classic Greek cuisine, though you’ll certainly find a huge array of quaint tavernas with live music pouring from their windows. With everything from full English breakfasts to casual pizzas on the menus in Malia, there’s something for everyone – even the fussiest of eaters. These restaurants are usually located closer to the coast while the tavernas are further inland, and offer a quieter ambiance than the busy main strip.

Whether you’re staying All Inclusive or booking a cheap holiday to Malia, trying traditional Cretan cuisine is a must! Moussaka, a lasagna like dish with aubergine, minced meat, sliced potatoes and plenty of cheese is a specialty in Crete, as well as any dishes with seafood. They also have a sweet tooth, so you’ll find plenty of desserts on the menus, especially those with cream, fruit and cheese!


Though Malia holds its weight in terms of activity and culture, it meets its match with big brother Heraklion, the capital city of Crete. It’s only a 45-minute drive away, and makes for excellent day trips or a second half to your Greek holiday.

The main attraction here is undoubtedly the incredible ruins of the Palace of Knossos, the centre of ancient Minoan life. You can wander past the crumbling stone walls or learn more about this fascinating civilisation at the Heraklion Archaeology Museum. Heraklion is also home to a huge number of wineries, where you can taste the local Cretan flavours alongside the people that make the island’s famed vino.

Aghios Nikolaos is surrounded by archaeological wonders too. There’s ancient ruins and important historic structures throughout this small town, plus, a trip to the Aghios Nikalaos Archaeology Museum will have you learning all about the history here – there’s some artefacts dating as far back as 6,000 years ago! Admission to the museum is low cost so can make a great day out for your cheap Malia holiday, to explore somewhere new, and learn something new too.