It might not be as famous as the Palace of Knossos, but in its day Malia was a thriving Minoan city with an impressive palace complex.
These days, however, Malia is perhaps better known for the resorts and Ibiza-style nightlife of the site’s neighboring Malia town.
The seafront palace and town were destroyed by the earthquake that also toppled Knossos, and the ruins you can see on a tour of the site today were built following the disaster.
Walking around the compact site you’ll see the central courtyard of the palace, its ceremonial steps, storage rooms and workshops. One of the excavations reveals an impressive residence with a luxurious bath.
Some of the ancient sculptures and relics unearthed from Malia have been relocated to Heraklion’s archaeological museum. Perhaps the most beautiful and best known is the lovely pendant of golden bees holding drops of honey.
Malia and the town of the same name lie 34km (21 miles) east of the capital, on the coast.
The site lies 3km (1.5 miles) east of the township of Malia, connected by taxi and bus services.