If you desire to have vacation in a place full of civilization and history, then your choice should be Crete. Even more, if you want to add to your travel experience exotic blue sandy beaches, then your destination is Malia…
Only 30 minutes from the capital of Crete, Heraklion and Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, in a picturesque village called Malia, you will find a paradise. This paradise is called Niriedes Hotel. Niriedes is a three star hotel, located behind the central church of Holy Mary and St. Nektarios. It is only 10 minutes away (on foot) from the famous beach of Malia and 3 minutes from the beach road, where someone can enjoy delicious food, coffee or drink and have fun till early in the morning. The hotel consists of 19 totally renovated and fully equipped apartments that may accommodate couples, families and groups of friends, who want to feel the cretan hospitality in high level.
A quiet and safe environment with friendly staff and high standard services is a promise to make your holiday in the beautiful island of Crete unforgettable.
Niriedes Hotel offers a great variety of services in order to satisfy every client’s demand and to reassure the pleasant stay of its guest..
All of the apartments are designed based on a mixture of simple shapes, clean – cut lines and earthy colors, equipped with new comfortable beds and mattresses. Illuminated with private balconies with view either to the garden or to hotel’s swimming pool, offers a sense of calmness and relaxation to all guests.
The location of the hotel is considered to be ideal, since it is in a quiet location in the heart of the village of Malia, far from the bustle, and so close to the traditional alleys and the coastal road that it offers a range of options for every type of entertainment. Walking 10 minutes and enjoying the route, the visitor will be found on the famous beach of Malia where you can enjoy the sun and the sea, while the local market is a short distance away you can do your shopping. For lovers of archaeological sites it is advisable to visit the Minoan palace which is just 3,5 km away.
|Knossos||37.7 km||Mini Golf Sisi||7 km||Heraklion|
|Hospital||36.8 km||Minoan Palace of |
|3.5 km||Golf Club |
|34.3 km||Medical center||200 m||Cretan openm air museum|
|9.8 km||Rethimno||112 km||Pharmacy store||100 m|
|Labyrinth Park||9.5 km||Stalida||3.3 km||Chania||172 km|
|Super Market||50 m||Star beach |
|6.6 km||Hersonissos||12 km|
|Agios Nikolaos||28.7 km||Bus Stop||100 m||Water City||8.6 km|
|Hersonissos port||8.7 km||Elouda||36.3 km||Aquaworld Aquarium||7.3 km|
|Heraklion||34.2 km||Sitia||94.9 km||Malia Antiquties||3.5 km|
Crete is the largest island in Greece, the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea and covers an area of 8336 square kilometers. It’s capital and largest city is Heraklion. It lies 160km at the southern part of Greek mainland, it spans from east to west and it is the southern point of the Aegean Sea. Crete it is divided in four prefectures: Heraklion, Hania, Lasithi and Rethymnon. In Crete flourished at about 3000-4000 BC, one of the first civilizations in Europe, the Minoan, with its main centres in Knossos, Faistos and Kydonia.
In Crete the Cretan dialect is spoken, which is considered to be the longest lasting Greek dialect. There is also a tradition of Mantinades, a 15 syllable rhyming couplet. Crete is also known for its traditional music, distinctive instruments which are mainly the Cretan lyra, and the laouto and secondly the mandolino and ascomandoura. Some of the most famous Cretan musicians are Nikos Xylouris, Thanasis Skordalos, Kostas Moudakis and Psaradonis. There is a great tradition of at different kind of dances which are regarded to be the continuation of ancient dances like “pyrichios”. The most famous dances today are siganos, pentozalis, Haniotis, sousta and maleviziotikos. Characteristic is the Cretan traditional costume, which is usually worn by the traditional dancing groups.
In literature the Cretan authors have offered a significant contribution, the most widely known are Vitsentzos Kornaros who wrote Erotokritos in the 17th century, Nikos Kazantzakis in 20th century, who was nominated three times for the Nobel of Literature and the awarded Nobel poet Odysseas Elitis. During the Renaissance, in Crete the Cretan School of Art flowered and affected Dominikos Theotokopoylos ( known as El Greco). The island is still known for many traditional customs like the Cretan Wedding.
Heraklion is located on the north part of Crete .The largest city in Crete it ranks 4th in Greece, with a population of nearly 200 000 inhabitants. Built on the north coast of the island overlooking the Cretan Sea surrounded by its old Venetian walls, the most important monument inherited from the Venetian occupation, which underlines the city’s adventurous past. Concerning the name Heraklion, according to mythology Rhea, the mother of Zeus, entrusted the Curetes with guarding her newborn son so as to conceal him from his father Cronus. One of them, the Idaean Hercules (not to be confused with the famous hero Hercules of the twelve labours) went to Olympia and organized with his brothers (Paeonaeus, Epimedes, Iassius and Idas) the first footrace in the world. The Idaean Hercules crowned the victor with the branch of an olive tree he had planted there himself. Since then, the custom of crowning Olympic winners with an olive wreath began.
Later Clysmenes a descendant of the Idaean Hercules founded the Olympic Games and built an altar in honor of his ancestors, on the site of ancient Olympia. Heraklion is named after the Idaean Hercules. As regards the Curetes, legend has it that they were not born, but sprang from the Earth, when it was wet by the first tears of the infant Zeus. This symbolizes that they were indigenous. That’s why tradition talks about the Curetes as the first inhabitants of Crete and it is assumed, without precise etymological explanation that the words Crete and Cretan are derived from the word Curetes ( C- u – retes). The word Curetas ( the singular of Curetes) is also similar to the word Kouros, which means ‘’young man’’ in Ancient Greek, while Kore means ‘’young woman’’ (modern Greek, daughter). Historians, like Stravon, mention the port of Knossos like ‘’Heraklium’’, obviously in honor of Hercules, who had come to Crete to capture Minotaurus and thus fulfill the 7th of his twelve labours. According to Greek mythology, Zeus the father of Gods, brought Europa in Crete, a beautiful young maiden, with whom he was in love. From their union a son was born, Minoas, out of whom one very important king of Crete was named after, and as well one great historic civilization, the Minoan (3000-1400 BC) .During the Minoan era, Heraklion was the port of Knossos, the centre of Minoan civilization During the 9th century AD the Arabs occupied Crete and founded a new city called “Handaka”. The name is still used today by some older residents of Heraklion. In the 10th century AD the Byzantines took control of the island and managed to stay in power until the beginning of 13th century. During the 14th century AD, it fell into the hands of Venetians. The Venetian era lasted 4,5 centuries and it was a time of great progress in areas such as trade, architecture, literature and arts. The world famous painter Dominichos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) was born and first worked in Heraklion, while many Venetian monuments still exist in Heraklion today, like the old walls which surround the old part of the city, the castle (Koules), the Loggia, Morozini’s fountain etc.
Following the siege of Herakilon by the Turks, which started in 1648 and lasted for about 25 years, the Venetians were forced to surrender the city to the Turks. Cretans rose in revolt many times against the Turks, until 1898 when the island of Crete gained its autonomy and in 1912 it joined Greece. The Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922 led to the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey. New suburbs were added to the city, the harbor expanded, the cars in the streets increased and the city acquired an airport. On the eve of the Second World War, Heraklion presented the image of a growing urban centre, with intense commercial and maritime activity and a lovely social life. On 28 October 1940 the Greek-Italian War was declared, while the Germans invaded in Greece in April 1941. On 23 May German bombers unleashed a violent attack on the whole city of Heraklion. Their targets were not only military installations but any building of the city. At the end of the bombardment, a third of the city lay in ruins with terrible loss of life. During the occupation, Heraklion, like the whole of Crete, was a hotbed of resistance against the occupants and on 11th October 1944 the longed for day of liberation of Heraklion arrived. Every visitor knows the famous Minoan museum and the Palace of Knossos which lies at the outskirts of Heraklion (5km from the center of the city). The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion boasts exhibits of Neolithic findings (5000 BC) to Roman remains (4th century AD) and is included in the list of the best of its kind in the world. There is also a Historical and Ethnographic Museum with exhibits from the Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish periods and the Cretan civilization of the 20th century.
For those who love literature Heraklion is certainly an attraction. It was here where Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous Greek writers of the 20th century, was born, raised and worked. He is buried at a small fortress hill, Martinego, not far from the city centre. A place of interest is the museum dedicated to him at the village of Myrtion (15 km from Herakilon). Heraklion can be considered as a cosmopolitan city, with the third port in the country and one of the major Mediterranean harbours. A great number of cultural activities with local European and international dimension and appeal take place in Crete. Art exhibitions, theatre, literary events, international conferences and scientific meetings put their seal on its daily life. Crete’s location and its mild climate have turned it into one of the major tourist centres of the country.
Malia is located 34 kilometers east of Heraklion, on the way to Agios Nikolaos. The main road is like dividing the town in two: the old Malia at the foothill of Mount Selena and the newer part near the coastline. The history of Malia goes back to Minoan times. Here was the kingdom of Sarpedon, with the famous Minoan Palace of Malia, the third-largest in Crete, covering a total area of 7,500 km2. According to mythology, Sarpedon, Rhadamanthys and Minos were the three sons of Zeus and Europa. Each ruled a different part of Crete. Sarpedon at Malia, Rhadamanthys at Phaistos and Minos at Knossos. The excavations leading to the discovery of the Minoan Palace of Malia were begun by Iosif Hatzidakis and continued under the French School of Archaeology. The palace has been revealed in all its glory, but unfortunately looters got there 65 years earlier. Resulting in the loss of many treasures, mainly Minoan jewellery which was sold to goldsmiths, who melted them down. A few of the findings were sold to foreigners who understood how old and valuable they were, while the famous Minoan “bee pendant” from Malia is now on display in Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
During the Byzantine period and the following centuries, Malia was harassed by pirate attacks, like the rest of coastal Crete. The first mention of this place in Venetian documents and maps dated to 1390 , as Manlia and Maglia. Malia during Turkish Occupation Malia was given to the Sultan, when the Turks conquered the island in 1646. Thus, the Sultan was the sole proprietor and exploiter of the area, it was a royal property and taxes from agricultural produce increased his wealth. Malia was never really inhabited by the Turks, because the oppressors could not divide the area amongst themselves. Another reason seems to be that the area of Malia was haunted by malaria. The villagers became their own landholders when the Turkish law ceding Malia to the Sultan, was abolished in 1850.
With the Greek War still continuing in the 19th century, Malia was a poor community, with severe losses. The economy was mainly based on barley and carobs. With the invention of the windmill and water pump, crop cultivation changed and turned the Malia area into the vegetable garden of Crete, growing okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes and watermelons. In the same period an exotic plant was introduced from Egypt, surprising everyone, baby bananas. Within a few years, the area was full of banana trees, since people really seemed to like their flavour. Malia, like the rest of Crete, was occupied by the Germans during World War II. Due to its location close to the shore, the Germans feared allied invasions and sowed the fields with landmines. When the war was over and people started to cultivate the fields again, the forgotten mines took quite a few Malian lives, probably more than the actual war casualties.
After the 1950s Malia began to flourish and people started to come here on holiday. A large number of hotels were built and the tourist field bloomed. Thus, Malia became a popular destination in the 1980s and later, this, of course, brought about a big change to the town, the economy of the region and the life of the residents. In order to visit the archaeological site of Malia, you should go out of Malia, towards Agios Nikolaos. About 2-3 Kilometres away from Malia you will turn left. The road leading to the Palace of Malia continues down to the sea and the beach. Bear that in mind, if you get a bit hot touring the archaeological site and want a swim to cool off. You can then continue along the same road back to Malia. The total length of the coastline is 6Km, from the picturesque Stalida to the famous Potamos beach, west of the archaeological site, the well-known and beautiful beaches of Malia with their golden sand and clean blue water extend. All the beaches are organized and offer comfort and unforgettable moments of joy, tranquility and entertainment. The visitor can enjoy the sun, the sea and the water sports offered. The most popular beach of the municipality, and one of the most beautiful in Crete, is the beach Potamos. It’s regarded as the ultimate destination for those seeking tranquility and relaxation. It has recently been awarded with a Blue Flag.
The Niriedes (a general name of ancient Greek goddesses), were worshiped as the goddesses of calm sea and were friendly towards humans. According to Greek mythology, were nymphs, who represented the various facets and characteristics of the sea. They were daughters of Nereus and Oceania Doris and granddaughters of Oceanus. The number of the Niriedes was about 50, while according to some other views reached the number of 100. The Niriedes lived at the bottom of the sea in their father’s palace and spend their days swimming and playing with dolphins or sitting in golden thrones or rocks singing and weaving or drying their rich and long hair. They did not allow any mortal to be compared to them on terms of beauty. They had the power to upset the sea and to calm it.Generally they were always happy about their immortality and accompanied the chariots of marine Gods.
The most famous of them were Amphitrite the wife of Poseidon and mother of Triton. Thetis (the future mother of Achilles), Psamathe (wife of Aiakas) and Galatia (wife of the Cyclope Polyphimos). The names of the Niriedes refer to different situations and joys of the sea. They remind the boons of the sea, the wealth giving to humans and the easiness that offers to trade. According to traditions they were especially proud of their beauty. When Kassiope, wife of king Cepheus, boasted that she was more beautiful than the Niriedes, they got furious and made Poseidon punish her. Indeed, Cepheus was forced to chain his daughter Andromeda to a rock so as a sea monster eat her. But Perseas intervened and save Andromeda.
The Niriedes are part, to this day, to Greek folklore with a slight change in their name as nymphs, “Neraides”. The term Niriedes is the most ancient one, used by Homer, Hesiod etc. These two words “neraida” and “Nireid” are derived by the term Nerti which means “sink”. The etymology of the word, according to which the word “neraida” is derived from the word “water”, shows their close relationship to the water. Besides, the fairies of the fairy tales were invariably bound to water like the nymphs, they live in the mountain, woods, rivers, founts, fountains, caves, in the whole nature and are called in different names : anersdes, anergodes, neraisses, xeramenes, avragides etc. They move to places that are circular in shape (threshing floor, fountain, lake, cistern), circular as well are their movements in dancing or spinning.
Their dancing leaves circular tracks on the grass according to the traditions of many countries. They are beautiful with long, blond hair and usually have green eyes. They wear white dresses and scarves and can only be seen by those people who were born on Saturday or were moonstruck. Their leader is the lady- Kalo and have a lot of names like Astero, Ourania, Lampetia, Kanela, Kalo etc. They like dancing and quite often kidnap the people who play the lyra so as to play songs and dance, usually they appear at midnight, get into the houses and steal the women’s clothes. As women, they tempt the men, they charm them and then they get away, due to their split expression of their sexuality. Although their nature is supernatural, their activities coincide with those of the everyday women : they take care of the cleaning and love water in general. Female Neraides marry male Neraidous, have children and in some traditions weave. Neraida represents the ideal and breath taking femininity. The term gathers numerous feminine attributes : the representations refer to the symbol of water, spinning and household representing as well the bride hood, lust and death.