Modern day Malia is a holiday resort, tourism and commerce are the main economic activities in the town, with plenty of hotels, restaurants, gift shops, bars and nightclubs. Malia has become one of the most popular tourist locations of Crete, and one of the most popular in Europe. The prominence of Malia as one of the leading spots for nightlife in Europe is cemented by the attraction of big name DJs and events. The Main Strip is home to many bars, clubs, taverns and restaurants. This is supported by the many close by hotels and apartments in Malia and the immediate area. Malia has a fine sandy beach which starts from the bottom of the strip and continues towards the East near to the Minoan palace of Malia.
Malia is a coastal town and a former municipality in the northeast corner of the Heraklion regional unit in Crete, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Hersonissos, of which it is a municipal unit. It lies 34 kilometres (21 miles) east of Heraklion, the Cretan capital city. The town (pop. 3,224 in 2011) was the seat of the municipality of Mália (pop. 5,433). The municipal unit also includes the villages of Mochos ), Krasi, and Stalida and has a total land area of 60.720 square kilometres (23.444 sq mi). The town is a tourist attraction, primarily for its significant archaeological site and nightlife. The Minoan town ruins lie three km east of the site and cover an area of approximately 1 square kilometre (0.4 sq mi). The original name for the town is not known.
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th-largest island in the world and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece. The capital and the largest city is Heraklion.
Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). It was once the centre of the Minoan civilization (c. 2700–1420 BC), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe.