Malia Crete

malia creteLocated approximately 36km east of Heraklion, Malia, with Krasi (another summer resort) together are a municipality with a combined population of 3,722 people. It is a popular resort in summertime due to its superb sandy beach. the beaches are well organised and the whole area is well serviced for tourists. It is one of the most visited areas on Crete.

The area is lush and fertile with a great number of watermills, despite a modern irrigation system. Due to the rich soil the cultivation of fruit and vegetables is the main occupation of the locals. Places of interest to visit include the Monastery of Panagia Galatiani and the archaeological site of Malia which is 3km away. Here a Minoan town has been has been excavated as well as an exquisite Minoan palace.

malia archaelogical site creteThe site is not so impressive as the ancient Knossos and Phaestos but will be a less crowded and equally fascinating experience. It seems that the remains that we see today were a rebuilding of the original palace which was destroyed in around 1700 BC. The ruins date back to the New Palace Period (1700-1400 BC) and follow the usual design of Minoan palaces with a west yard, a central yard, storehouses, chambers set aside for religious worship, sanctums, workrooms and so on.

The entrance to the palace is on the south side. Around the palace was a fairly substantial settlement and a Minoan graveyard has been excavated to the north of the palace. The findings at this site have been considerable. One piece in particular is especially exquisite a piece of gold jewellery which represents two bees and is a symbol of fertility. This piece can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion