Travelguide > Places > Heraklion Prefecture > Malia

Malia, a modern town about 40 km eastern of Heraklion, is a stronghold of package tourism. At the main road are many hotels, taverns, souvenirshops, bars and rent-a-cars. For those who likes nightlife it will be a good choise. The hotels are built until the beach, wich is not a bad one. Because of the short transfer from Heraklion, Malia is like Chersonissos in the hands of package tours agancies.
The archaeological site lies approximately 3 km. to the east of the town.
This was the site of an important Minoan town whose ancient name is unknown to us. The contemporary name comes from the word Omalia' ('flat'), thus indicating the lie of the terrain.

Archaeological finds have shown that the ancient city prospered between the Early and Late Minoan periods. Here the ruling dynasty was that of Sarpedon, brother of Minos and Rhadamanthus.

Many items from this site are to be found at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

The first palace was built in around 2000-1900 B.C. The already existing significant settlement of which are preserved parts around the palace, was then converted into a palatial centre-city. The palace was destroyed in around 1700 B.C. and rebuilt in 1650 B.C. at the same site, following the plan of the older palace, while a few changes took place 50 years later. The destruction of the new palace came in c. 1450 B.C., along with the destruction of the other Minoan palatial centers.

The site was reoccupied for a short period in the 14th-13th century B.C. Remains of a Roman settlement cover an extensive area at the site called "Marmara", where a basilica of the 6th century is also preserved.