Thinking of booking a trip to Maleme on Crete? Here’s what to expect from this quiet beach resort near Chania.
Where is it?
Maleme is on the north coast of Crete not far from Chania, between Gerani and Tavronitis.
What’s the vibe like?
Maleme is a quiet and laid-back place which is home to several large resort hotels.
The beach here is popular with locals who drop by for a swim, to walk their dogs on the vast pebble beach, or to visit one of several seafront tavernas. The resort hotels are tucked away and the rest of the village has a residential and slightly windswept feel, with businesses spread out amongst apartment blocks.
Maleme forms part of Chania’s western beach resort area. The busiest section is between Stalos and Platanias, which basically forms one long strip. Maleme is on the quiet section of the coast and is essentially a continuation of Gerani.
What’s the beach like?
The 3km beach at Maleme is large and mostly empty, with just a few sections of sun loungers. It’s a mix of sand and pebble. The sandiest part of the beach is at the eastern end where it merges into Gerani. The pebbles get bigger the further west you get.
The beach is wide and mostly unorganised. There are tamarisk trees along the length of the beach.
Activities and amenities
Maleme has a handful of amenities – a bakery, a pharmacy, a petrol station, and a few tavernas, souvenir shops, and mini markets. It has a wider choice of restaurants and bars (mostly Greek and fast food) than neighbouring Gerani and the waterfront area has a gentle buzz at sunset.
There’s not much to do here beyond the beach, although the big hotels are well-equipped. There’s a road which runs alongside the beach where you’ll find several seafood tavernas and beach bars right by the sea.
It’s a short walk or drive from the west end of Maleme into Tavronitis which is a larger village with more local amenities. For tourist activities hop on the bus to Platanias.
At the far western end is Maleme Airport, an old WWII-era airstrip that’s home to a small museum, a German military cemetery, and a collection of aircraft. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public at the moment.
Transport and accessibility
From the airport:
Maleme is a 40-minute drive from Chania International Airport.
Prices for a private airport transfer to Maleme are around €50.
Maleme is on the Chania City Bus route to Kolymbari which runs from the city to the beach resorts along the west coast – see the Chania Bus website for timetables.
However, the bus leaves from the main KTEL bus station – not the main city bus stop.
The buses are bendy buses and are frequent throughout the day, especially in July and August, but they do get very busy – especially at the end of the day and early evening.
You can buy tickets on board but it’s cheaper to buy them before you get on at either the Chania bus station or any kiosk/mini-market near the bus stop.
The regional KTEL coach from Chania to Kissamos (the port for Balos) also passes through Maleme although less frequently.
To reach the airport by bus you’ll have to change at Chania.
Maleme is flat but fairly sparse and spread out. Most businesses are located along the main road or on the seafront road, with about 2 blocks (and a slight incline) in between.
The roads in Maleme are quiet with plenty of space for parking. Some parking spaces are reserved for hotel guests but there are also designated disabled spaces. There is a road running alongside most of the beach, it has wide pavement and several benches.
The main road has tactile paving and benches and several bus stops along its length.
Where to stay
There’s a big package tourism presence here, centred around the vast family-oriented TUI Creta Princess Aquapark at the western end of the beach.
5-star Myrion Beach Resort & Spa is right on the nicest patch of sandy beach (pictured above) with trees for shade, at the eastern end of the beach.
Other beachfront options include:
- 5-star Asterion Suites & Spa
- 3-star Maleme Mare
But there are also plenty of apartments and villas in the area – check Booking.com.
Read more about Crete:
Where to Stay in Chania Near the Beach
10 Most Beautiful Beaches Near Chania
Where to Stay on Crete: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide
10 Most Beautiful Beaches on Crete
Image credits: All images © The Mediterranean Traveller