Stalis is a laid-back little resort with one of the best beaches in Crete – plus party-loving Malia is just down the road.
Stalis sits right in the middle of an 8-kilometre string of beaches, with bars and restaurants cosying up to its white sands. The calm Mediterranean waters and gently shelving shore make it one of the most popular swimming spots on the island.
Families will enjoy Stalis’s relaxed vibe, safe beaches and child-friendly bars. If you’re a party-seeker, Stalis is the perfect place to chill out by day before hitting the strip in Malia after dark. As for couples, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic seafront restaurants.
The ‘Happy Train’ is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to travel around Stalis. The little train winds its way through the local countryside and can take you on trips to Malia, Hersonissos and the mountain villages of Mochos and Krassi.
Stalis Beach stretches from one end of the resort to the other, flowing on towards Malia in the east and Hersonissos in the west. The soft white sands slope gently into the sea and lifeguards patrol the waters by day, making it super-safe for swimming.
The beach is the real showstopper in Stalis, but venture into the mountains just outside of town and you’ll also find perfectly preserved traditional villages to admire. Mochos and Krassi are two of the prettiest. Mochos is about a 10-minute drive away and Krassi is about 10 minutes further.
Head to the west end of the beach and you’ll find watersports galore, from pedalos to paragliding. Stalis is also a top spot for fishing, especially when it comes to mullet. The local fishermen are normally all too happy to offer a few tips. If you’d rather watch the fish than catch them, then the rocky coves just along the coastline are perfect for snorkelling.
When it comes to eating out, Stalis really spoils you for choice. Stroll along the seafront and you’ll find everything from traditional Greek tavernas to Indian, Italian and Chinese restaurants. As for drinks, you can take your pick from sand-side cocktail bars and a host of English and Irish-style pubs, complete with pub grub.
There are lots of little shops dotted around town where you can pick up postcards and souvenirs. Crete is famous for its leather goods, so keep an eye out for bags, belts and shoes. The local minimarkets will keep you stocked up on holiday essentials like bottled water and sun cream.
Stalis may be quieter than its next-door neighbour, Malia, but there’s still plenty to do after dark. You’ll find nightly quizzes, bingo and karaoke in the local bars and some of them put on movie nights, too. For live music and a good craic, head to the Irish pubs. If dancing’s your thing, there’s always a handful of DJs spinning tunes into the early hours.
Stalis is on the north-east coast of Crete, tucked between the lively resorts of Malia and Hersonissos. It’s a 30-minute drive from the airport, which you’ll find just outside Heraklion, the island’s capital.