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Palace of Malia
Vacation Travel Guide

Stroll around one of the best-preserved Minoan palaces in the country and learn how this ancient civilization lived.

See the Palace of Malia’s famous Kernos construction and climb the preserved Grand Staircase. Hear about rituals and ceremonies that took place at the altar and see storage rooms where the ancient Minoans kept their supplies. Learn about this fascinating civilization in the information center. Find out about priceless treasures unearthed in archaeological digs.

The Palace of Malia is the third-largest Minoan palace on Crete. It is said to have been the palace of Sarpedon, the brother of King Minos. Archaeologists have dated the original building back to 1900 B.C., though it was destroyed around 1650 B.C. Most of what you see today are parts of the second palace. This was destroyed around 1450 B.C., most likely in an earthquake, but much of it remains extremely well preserved. Walk around the grounds for a fascinating insight into Minoan culture.

Enter via the eastern gate; the large space of a central courtyard is before you. To your left are the Royal Treasury and the Magazines (storage rooms). Take a look around and note the large clay pots or “pithos,” which were used to store essential supplies such as olive oil or grain. Wander through the central courtyard where you’ll see paving stones that Minoans walked on thousands of years ago.

Make your way past the altar and imagine the ritual sacrifices and ceremonies that took place here. Moving west, don’t miss the Palace of Malia’s most famous monument, the Kernos of Malia. This is a circular stone construction with a hole in the middle. Archaeologists believe this was used to perform a ritual where the first harvests were given to the gods.

A short walk north of the palace you’ll find the necropolis where the Minoans buried their dead. Excavations here have uncovered many treasures, including the famous golden bee pendant, now housed in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

The Palace of Malia is located 22 miles (37 kilometers) east of Heraklion. Opening hours vary depending on the time of year, so check locally before making the trip here. There is a small charge for entry.

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Top Hotels Close to Palace of Malia

Cretan Malia Park a Member of Design Hotels
Cretan Malia Park a Member of Design Hotels
5 out of 5
Cretan Malia Park, Malia, Crete
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Nestled on the beach, this Malia hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Palace of Malia and 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Stalis Beach. Strand and Malia Beach are also within ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (117 reviews)
Amazing for families

"Perfect for a family holiday, especially with little kids. Beautiful beach, two great pools, very good food, great kids club. Only thing is there is a very big difference in your experience of the place depending on where your room is. Initially we got a ground floor room overlooking kids club and ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 11, 2020

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Olympus Studios
Olympus Studios
1 out of 5
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Situated near the beach, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Palace of Malia and 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Stalis Beach. Strand and Malia Beach are also within 1 mi ...

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Marianna Studios
Marianna Studios
2.5 out of 5
37, Machis Kritis Str., Malia, Crete Island
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Situated by the sea, this aparthotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Palace of Malia and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Stalis Beach. Strand and Malia Beach are also within 1 ...

3.5/5Good! (2 reviews)

"Maria (the owner) was lovely and welcoming, she always checked on us to make sure everything was ok. Her grandson, Yiannis who worked behind the bar was so friendly and made our stay at Marianna Studio’s even better. The food was amazing and reasonably priced, we ate there most lunch and dinners ..."…"

Reviewed on Jul. 1, 2019

Marianna Studios
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Palace of Malia

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Cretan Malia Park a Member of Design Hotels
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