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Mallia - Party Town on Crete

Barhopper beware

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Where is Mallia? Mallia, sometimes spelled Malia, is located on the northern coast of Crete, Greece's largest island, east of Heraklion just off the the main National Road.

Why You Should Go:

The cultural hotspot of Mallia is the remains of the ancient Minoan palace of the same name, said to have been ruled over by Sarpedon, one of the three sons of Zeus by his captured bride Europa. The site has a small museum and is well-curated throughout.Its seaside location is appealing and it's a nice contrast to the rebuilt ruins of Knossos.

It's also close to the Cretaquarium and Thalassocosmos complex, which is well worth a visit.

Where to Stay:

Mallia has some small family-run hotels and rooms available, but many visitors stay in larger hotels and resort complexes along the coast, often as part of all-inclusive tour packages booked from Britain.

One hotel located on the beach is the aptly-named Malia Beach Hotel, just far enough from the busy "downtown" of Mallia to give some sense of escape.

Where to Eat:

Mallia is renowned more for its bars and nightclubs than for its fine dining. The noise and crowd levels on busy summer nights tend to drive off those looking for a quiet high-quality meal. One possible exception is the Sirtaki, which specializes in pizza baked in a wood-fired oven, and some of the hotel restaurants.

Travel Tips: The National Road running along the northern coast of Crete from Heraklion makes it easy to get to Mallia. But on busy summer nights, the main street in Mallia can be virtually impassable.

The bar scene is hectic; some visitors report thefts, assaults, and drinks that use cheap and even dangerous alcohols.

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