The third biggest palatial centre of Crete lies at a short distance from the shores, in close proximity (3km) to the village of Malia. The Minoan Palace in Malia was erected approximately in 1900 BC, during the Minoan Era, at the same time as the other palaces in Knossos and Phaistos and it was the third most important one on the island of Crete.
Although it was destroyed in 1900BC – probably from an earthquake- the palace was erected again at the same spot in 1650BC, following the typical architectural design of all Minoan Palaces.
Little things are known from the original palace, as we don’t have many findings from this era. The second palace was destroyed around 1450BC along with several other Minoan structures and Buildings in Crete.
Malia Palace featured various functions, religious, political, commercial, economical, for which we have evidences due to the excavations that took place onsite.
The palace was excavated by the French Archaeological School under F. Chapouthier, and is still continuing today. It features a giant central courtyard, storage rooms, magazines, cult rooms and apartments.
The archaeological site includes the agora and the western settlements which are covered today by a large arched roof which protects the soft ground. There are visitor walks carved on the ground, allowing visitors and tourists to get a good look at the ruins.
The archaeological site in Malia offers a pleasure walk through and a useful insight to the everyday life of Minoan People. It is considered to be one of the major tourist attractions on the island of Crete and can be easily accessed by hired car, due to its close proximity to Malia resort village, the city of Heraklion and the Heraklion Airport.