|Iris and white poppies at Malia|
I did find some evidence that dogs had enjoyed this walk, not too long before I got there...
If you find yourself in the area of Malia, with or without a dog, and feel like escaping the tourist strip, head off in the direction of Agios Nikolaos and take the turning for the Palace of Malia, which you'll come to after just a couple of minutes driving. There is a parking area just outside the gates to the site.
|Road by Palace of Malia|
The road curves around the site, next to the sea. You will pass by Quartier Mu - a part of the Minoan town contemporary with the first of the Bronze Age Palaces at the site. From outside the fence you have a good general view of this section of the site, which is extremely well-preserved. The buildings are constructed from mud brick, which survives to heights of a couple of metres - enough to give a real sense of how the town would have appeared. A modern shelter protects the site from above.
|Quartier Mu, Malia, view from the road|
|View from behind the Palace of Malia towards Lasithi Plateau|
I found my way along by the coast on small footpaths, enjoying the huge range of Spring wild flowers - irises, white poppies, bermuda buttercups (Oxalis) and many more. It's a truly lovely time of year to be in Crete. My photos were taken in the early evening after the buttercups had closed; during the day the flowers open and there is a sea of bright yellow and green.
The Chrysolakkos Necropolis is quite visible from outside the perimeter fence. This necropolis is also contemporary with the first palace and Quartier Mu (the so-called Protopalatial period). This was a monumental stone tomb, resembling a house in style and structure, with a grand facade of large worked stones. The finds from here were also particularly special, including the gold 'bee' pendant which is used as a sort of logo for the Malia area.
Although this site is not very well preserved, there is a useful information board that provides a plan of the building and a brief summary of the construction, use and excavation of the site. Despite the fact that little remains here, especially in comparison with the amazing buildings in the Palace complex, it's really fun to wander the coast and enjoy the scenery of this area, and to stumble across hidden-away Minoan sites.