Fancy dipping a toe into the lively nightlife scene of Malia without being tied to the up-all-night nature of the Crete hotspot? Well, there’s good news. Malia’s neighbour of Stalis is the perfect halfway house option. Stalis is a long, narrow stretch of sandy beach lined with coastal tavernas and bars. It’s a top spot for working on your tan or indulging in a host of watersports, such as windsurfing, jet-skiing or hopping aboard a banana boat. If you’re looking for a bustling family location, then it’s a top notch option. But it appeals to couples and singles too. It’s a much more relaxing, quieter alternative to Malia, without being too far away if you get the urge for a boogie. Malia is only a couple of miles away, and it can even be difficult to tell where one resort ends and the other begins.
Stalis is also a great base for exploring other nearby attractions in Crete. Kids will be itching to try the slides and rides at the waterparks found at the neighbouring resort of Hersonissos. There’s also a golf course at Hersonissos if you fancy playing a hole or two. Those holidaymakers who have brought their sea legs to Stalis are in luck. There are boat trips to the fascinating Spinalonga Island. Nightlife is not the only attraction to be found in Malia either. The town has plenty of history and culture to explore.
Malia has developed an international reputation for its dusk till dawn nightlife. Party animals are spoiled for choice over its bars and clubs. But there are also picturesque alleyways to be found in the old part of Malia, where you’ll stumble across a souvenir shop or two. Remains of ancient civilisations can also be found in Malia at the Minoan Palace. These ruins date back more than 3,000 years and you can wander around like a budding Indiana Jones.
Many of the locals in Stalis live in the nearby village of Mohos. If you’re feeling energetic, then climb the nearby mountain to take a look around this traditional village. It’s quite a climb. The road winds up the mountainside towards Mohos, but it’s well worth the hike when you get there. You can look out over the entire sea and the bright lights of Stalis and Malia.
A short westwards hop along the coast from Stalis will take you to the major resort of Hersonissos. It’s a fun place for families, with Crete’s only golf course and two water parks. The beaches are lovely, while there’s a modern town with plenty of shops selling souvenirs. If you’re feeling peckish, you can find restaurants and cafes selling cuisine from across the world.
The island of Spinalonga is a great day trip when you’re staying in Stalis. Ferries depart from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka to reach Spinalonga, which was a leper colony until the 1950s. You can take a tour of the ruined buildings where the patients lived. If your schedule is fairly flexible, then boat cruises are also available to Crete’s neighbouring Greek island of Santorini. Beautiful Santorini is well worth the visit.
You won’t get any complaints from the kids if you spoil them with a day or two at the waterparks near Hersonissos. Both Acqua Plus and StarBeach are relatively inexpensive attractions within easy reach of Stalis. There are a number of rides and pools to splash around in at Acqua Plus. StarBeach, meanwhile, has several fun and dry activities, including bungee jumping and go-karting.
Stalis is ideal if you’re looking for a quiet night with the family. There areß lots of cafes and beach bars where you can enjoy a couple of drinks and watch the sunset. But if you’re chasing bouncing nightclubs and lively bars, then you’re equally in luck. Hersonissos and Malia are both just a short taxi ride away and won’t disappoint.
Beaches in Stalis
The inviting sandy beach in Stalis is divided into two. One part goes from the Anthoussa Hotel to the corner of the bay, while the other heads from the hotel to Malia. It’s a particularly good spot for children to play in the sea. Lifeguards are on hand to keep an eye on swimmers and the sea remains shallow for several metres.
Simple, but delicious, is the basic lesson about Crete cuisine. Superb local produce such as mountain greens, fresh fish and olive oil are used to create mouthwatering dishes. Crete is particularly renowned for its cheese. Sheep or goat’s milk creates nutty, creamy and mild cheeses. Forget about the diet for a week or two and indulge in these cheesy treats. One of the most famous dishes in Crete is gamopilafo; rice boiled in a rich meaty broth. It’s like a glamorous risotto, and was traditionally cooked up for Cretan weddings. Nowadays, you can find it in most tavernas.
Restaurants in Stalis
You don’t have to go searching along the back streets to find the restaurants in Stalis. The resort is all centred along one main road, with the restaurants lining the route. Many tavernas can be found on the beachside, where there’ll be fresh fish on the menu. Traditional entertainment will often be on show for the customers. After a few glasses of raki, no doubt you’ll be keen to join in!
If you’re looking for a great family vacation in Crete, then Stalis is the perfect solution. With waterparks, brilliant beaches and watersports, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained. Stalis is equally good if you’re looking for something a little bit more lively. You can reach the vibrant neighbouring resorts of Hersonissos and Malia without any hassle. Look no further than easyJet holidays as the best way to get to Stalis. The best bit? If you book your hotel and flight together with easyJet holidays, you can save on the price of your trip. If you’re still hesitating, then why not read our other Crete destination guides.