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Home / Malia at a Glance
Malia at a Glance

City Profile: Area and Population

The city of Malia is situated along the northern coast of Crete, Greece’s biggest and most southern island. Since 1998 coastal villages Malia and Stalis plus their mountain counterparts Krassi and Mohos have formed one municipality of which Malia holds the administrative seat. It covers a surface area of 6720 acres and has a population of 6,210. The majority of the population is Greek. However, over the last 10 – 15 years Malia has become a rather diverse profile, as tourist development has brought about major changes in Malia’s demography. An increasing number of people from other parts of Crete and Greece come here for work; a number of tourists have settled permanently and, last but not least, there are the Balkan immigrants that have flooded the island since the 1990s.

Economic Profile

Agriculture is an important sector in Malia’s economic profile with main olive oil, potatoes, bananas, vegetables. However, it is only secondary to its tourism sector, which is the greatest contributor to Malia’s economy.

Language & Religion

The official language in Malia, as in the rest of Greece, is Greek. Especially in Crete, the Greek language has a recognizable accent and various dialects, some of which are hard to understand, even by (mainland) Greeks. An estimated 97% of Greeks belong to the Greek-Orthodox church. Other religions represented are the Islam, Roman-Catholic and Jewish.

Birthplace of Civilization

Remains of a unique Palace are evidence of the glorious Minoan civilization that flourished here 4,000 years ago and that turned Malia into an important trade and mercantile centre with substantial political and economic power.

Botanical Paradise

Located on a crossroad between Europe, Asia and Africa, Crete counts about 1,800 species of flora; Britain – 30 times the size of Crete – counts 1,550. Of these species about 160 are endemic only to Crete; this is a respectable percentage, compared to Britain’s mere 16 species.

Olive Oil

Olive oil, as a symbol of Crete, has drenched the island’s culture, its history and its religion. The area of Malia produces annually around 600 tons of olive oil, of which more than 75% can be labelled as extra virgin.

Sun Sea and Fun

The beach culture of Malia and Stalis is of the most developed on the island of Crete: with 6km of fine sandy beaches and access to a gradually deepening sea, it belongs to the area’s most treasured assets.

Baby Bananas

The cultivation of the Cavendish mini bananas in green-houses was first started in 1975 and reached a climax in 1987, with banana trees covering an area surface of 900 acres and an annual production of 4,000 tons. Today, a mere 50 acres are cultivated; the bananas – sweeter and tastier than any Chiquita can ever be – are sold at stalls along the road.

Malia Bee Pendant

This brilliant example of first-palatial Minoan gold jewellery was unearthed in the area of the Palace of Malia during the 1930s. Together with other rich finds it is known as the Aegina Treasure.