Maleme holidays sort you out with a lovely and peaceful beach, a short shuffle west from historic Chania Town.

Under the radar

Maleme’s name comes from ‘malama’, meaning gold. And that’s what it struck with its beautiful beach. One of Crete’s liveliest cities, Chania Town, is only half an hour’s drive. But most of the beach-seeking city slickers plonk themselves on closer towns and villages, like Platanias, leaving Maleme’s beach chilled and crowd-free.

Sleepy sands

This place deserves a pat on the back for its beach. It’s a pretty mix of white pebbles and sand. You’ve got your usual line-up of cafés and sunbeds on half of it, but the western front goes au natural – bar a few trees for shade. Divers are in luck, too – a German plane sunk just off-shore during World War Two.

History in dollops

Tucked behind the town, there’s a German war cemetery dedicated to the soldiers killed during the Battle of Crete in 1941. That’s because Maleme was the location of a failed German airborne assault. It’s worth popping your head into the ancient Vaulted Tomb on the way, too. Or you can overdose on history in Chania Town, which has serious Italian vibes.

At a Glance

  • Hunt down a secluded patch of sand
  • Tot up the Venetian buildings in Chania Town
  • Pick a tune in one of Platanias’ karaoke bars