If you’re planning a mates’ break, it can be a hard ask to please everyone with the choice of destination. It’s a given that you want to choose a place you can really let your hair down (because how often do you get to go away just with the boys, and when might it ever happen again?), but you don’t want to arrive home like you’ve gone 10 rounds with a wrecking ball!
Malia, on the Greek island of Crete, offers the perfect vibe. It’s Party Central in all the ways you want it to be (and yes, it deserves those capitals, because it really can get wild after dark), but it’s also got plenty of ways you can relax and do a whole lot of nothing – which is exactly what you’re going to need after a few days…
Out and About
Head Off-Road on a Jeep Safari – A Jeep safari is absolutely the best way to get off the beaten track and explore the area around Malia. Oh, alright – and just have a bit of down and dirty fun really! Grab your mates and head off-road on one of these great 4 x 4 tours, and if you can’t decide on a designated driver (and remember, there’s always the possibility of stopping for a cheeky drink in a mountain village or beach bar) you’ll be able to get a professional guide to do all the hard work.
Being part of a cavalcade of Jeeps is great fun and, even though there are usually only four to a vehicle, there are plenty of stops along the way to get to know everyone. If a day bouncing along tracks and dirt roads through mountains, villages and coastal drives sounds a bit like fun, you’re absolutely right!
Hollandse Jeepsafaris offer several different routes around Malia, Monday to Saturday. They offer discounts for group bookings. Ph +30 28970 21316.
Dive into a Scuba Trip: While there’s plenty to see on land, if you’ve never taken the plunge (see what we did there?) to visit the whole other world that’s going on under the sea, Malia is the ideal place to do it. Whether you’re already certified (show off!) or a rank beginner, there’s a dive site to suit your skills.
If you’ve never dived before, a three-hour Discover Scuba Diving course will teach you the basics before heading out into open water sites to a depth of 10 metres. If you really get a feel for it, there are also full-day programmes, and by the second dive you’ll be qualified to head down a little deeper. Underwater adventure? Make it happen!
Divers Club Crete offers Discover Scuba Diving courses to sites like the Messerschmitt Wreck, Dia Island, Agios Giorgios and more. They offer great discounts for groups of six or more. Contact them on +30 28970 32570 for the latest prices.
Get High on High Energy Water Sports
Well, you’re on an island, so it’s more a case of what can’t you do when it comes to water sports! The beaches here are jam-packed with activities (although, if you want to just chill out and work on your tan, go right ahead), and there’s a huge range of experiences that are a great antidote to the leftovers of a heavy night of partying.
Here’s a sample of some of the many awesome ways you can get out on the water:
- Peddle boats
- Jet skis
- Banana boat rides
- Wind surfing
- Water skiing
- Flyfish (an inflatable fish, that flies!)
- Wake boarding
If all that sounds a little energetic, you can always head out on a speedboat ride with a driver or book a fishing safari to go in search of the one that got away…
And Now for the Chill Time…
While you’re here for a good time not a long time, there’s definitely going to be days when all you want to do is shed your clothes and soak up the sun with a couple of well-earned beers on the beach. You’ll have a choice of several within the immediate Malia region, and these three below are pretty hard to separate in terms of the best – so get out your sun cream and sample them all!
Central Beach: Well, as the name suggests, it’s central! You’ll barely raise a sweat to get there and, if you do, there are plenty of bars to replenish that energy. With 600 metres to stretch out on the wide sandy shore, even though it’s very popular there’s always room to move.
Sun Beach: It may not be a very original name, but you certainly get what’s on the tin! Situated about 1.5km past the eastern end of Central Beach, this lovely bay has cold drinks, hot sun, crystal clear water and is the perfect place to hibernate under an umbrella for a siesta for a few hours.
Potamos Beach: A little further away (around 3km from the centre of town), Potamos Beach is the ideal place to sneak off to if you want to get away from your rowdy mates for a few hours of peace. If you’re a secret culture vulture, nobody will be any the wiser if you hot foot it over to the Minoan Palace for a look.
For an absolutely top-notch boys’ break, it’s hard to beat Malia – a destination with the perfect blend of fun times and chill times. Yamas!
Tip: If you want to check out what the rest of Greece has to offer, have a look at this blog post for some ideas.
How to get to Malia from Heraklion N. Kazantzakis Airport
Crete is just over four hours from the UK, with plenty of budget airlines offering regular services to the island’s two main airports. If you’re visiting Malia, the most convenient option is to fly into Heraklion N. Kazantzakis Airport, which is around 30 minutes away by road.
The quickest and most hassle-free way to get from the airport right to the door of your accommodation in Malia is on one of the fast Heraklion airport transfers. Shuttle Direct operates budget-friendly shared and private services to Malia, and you’ll be met at the airport by a friendly driver and whisked straight to your accommodation to begin your boys’ holiday.
Where to Stay
Hotel Malia Holidays – You’ll really feel like you’re on holiday at the Hotel Malia Holidays, (which is the idea, right?) with its wonderful gardens, proximity to the beach, pool and totally chilled-out atmosphere. You’ll get the best of all worlds with the spacious budget-friendly accommodation, a games room to play billiards, taverns and bars within walking distance and a fantastic full English breakfast to top it off.
Vergas Hotel Malia – A true home away from home in Malia, the Vergas Hotel Malia offers a traditional family-run vibe with all the mod cons you could want. Just 200 metres from the beach, you can sleep late then cook up your own breakfast in your apartment, enjoy the onsite catering, or wander a few metres to the centre of town with its cafes and restaurants.
Malia Mare Hotel – Experience the upmarket side of Malia with your mates at the Malia Mare Hotel. Still maintaining an authentic Cretan feel, the contemporary rooms have all the modern comforts, including private balcony, mini bar and air-conditioning – so you can relax in luxury without even walking out the door. When you do drag yourself outside, you can enjoy a get-together with the boys at the pool and sun terrace, complete with whirlpool bath and swim up bar.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct offer a safe and convenient service for airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. Our easy to navigate online booking system means you can book your travel arrangements before you leave home. One of our friendly drivers will meet you at the airport or cruise port of your choice to transport you directly to your accommodation, and back again when you leave. With both shared and private transfers available, we have a service to suit any budget.