Malia is a coastal town located 34 kilometres (21 miles) east of Heraklion, the Cretan capital city. The town, with population 3,224 residents in 2011, was the seat of the municipality of Mália (pop. 5,433) and has become one of the tourist meccas of Crete.
Great place to be if you are very young, love getting drunk and want to party.
Every second place in Malia seems to be a bar or a disco. There are also restaurants, shops for all your needs and the occasional hotel for those who need to sleep. There is also an old village in Malia which has retained a little bit of traditional atmosphere. It is located south of the main coastal road.
If you want some peace on your holiday and have some interest in the 'real' Crete, then you should avoid Malia.