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Malia in Crete

The Cretan town of Malia is renowned for its nightlife and is by far the busiest and most popular "party" town on the island of Crete. Thirty four kilometres from the Island's capital of Heraklion, the resort is only a short transfer from the main airport.

Malia is in fact a Municipality of four separate towns; Malia, Stalis, Mochos and Krasi. Mochos and Krasi sit in the mountains that border the coastline. Reached either by car or by trail for the more energetic these offer a taste of the real Crete and are a far cry from the crowded streets of the main resort. Mochos is home to the temple of Evagelistria. Set in the heart of the village this temple is surrounded by restaurants, cafes and traditional stone houses. Krasi offers spectacular views of the coastline and Cretan countryside. Walkers and nature lovers will enjoy the tracks that lead from the village to the Azilakon Forest. The trails eventually lead to one of the area's historical sights, the ruins of "Kraf".

The old town of Malia remains untouched by the hordes of tourists and is a haven of whitewashed houses, flowered courtyards and peaceful churches. Three kilometres from the town sits the ruined palace of Malia. Once surrounded by a Minoan town these ruins date from the Middle Bronze Age. Ongoing excavations discover more and more each year and visitors are allowed to walk through the ruins.

The beach in Malia is a two kilometre stretch of golden sand offering snack bars, volleyball and sun beds. The usual range of water sports activities are available from waterskiing to jet skis. Whilst the beaches are perfectly safe for children many may find the area too hectic for young families. The mornings are the only time you will find any peace on the beach as the party goers will still be sleeping off the night before. For those who want a break from the beach or the hotel pool there are a couple of water parks in the area.

By far the biggest lure of Malia is the opportunity to party until dawn and beyond. For those with the head (and stomach) to get out of their beds the beaches are dotted with bars to offer a hair of the dog or an early start. Probably the most infamous of these is Bikini Beach. Occupying the biggest stretch of beach in Malia this area (sometimes called the Pleasure Beach due to the second beach bar on the beach) offers more than just sand. With a grassy area, two bars to choose from and a pool you can soak up the rays whilst DJs play the hottest club sounds of the week. For those few who want a bit of peace, swim out to the small island just offshore and relax. The bars offer a large selection of snacks and drinks including cocktails. One of the best times to visit the beach is just before sunset, the tempo calms down and the DJs play chilling music for those who want to sit back and watch the sun sinking slowly into the horizon. A perfect battery charger before venturing into those legendary clubs and bars!

Finding something to eat in Malia is never a problem. From British style pubs to Italian there's enough choice to keep everyone happy. You may even find the odd traditional tavern still tucked away in the old town, but on "the Strip" and the side streets around it food is geared to the young and lively.

For those with the energy to do even more after a day in the sun and then a slap up meal, the bars and clubs of Malia will be bursting with activity until the very, very, wee hours. Café Mambo is a good place to start the night. At the top of the strip it offers delicious cocktails and the chance to take in some TV or a game on the Playstation before heading down the strip to join the party. The newest club in Malia is the Candy Club 2010. This club has three dance floors, two dancing stages and a VIP area. Club 69 is another place to be "seen". With laser shows and excellent house DJs it's one of the biggest clubs in the resort.

Of course anyone taking part in the hectic Malia scene needs somewhere to shower, sleeping doesn't normally come into it! Most of the accommodation in Malia is in self catering accommodation, some of which can be quite basic. The Oasis Studios are centrally located and close to the beach. With a large pool and pool bar, the rooms all offer good views across the resort and are a popular place to stay. For something more traditional try the Stelios Apartments which are in the old town. A five minute walk from the town centre these apartments are family run and offer a real home from home and have many return guests.

Malia really is a place that never sleeps; if long lazy days and peaceful nights is what you want in a holiday then don't come here; but if you want a holiday that will make sleep all the way home, then this is definitely the place for you.