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The rite of passage that is the “lads/lasses holiday” isn’t a new thing, hell it isn’t even a new thing to write about. Television shows like Sun, Sea and Suspicious Parents and films like The Inbetweeners Movie have brought the excesses of drinking and clubbing on cheap holidays abroad to the forefront recently, but no amount of media coverage can convey the feeling of being on one.
With so many destinations now marketing themselves as the perfect location for your week of debauchery, the nation’s young adults are left spoilt for choice wondering where the right place for them is. This post will help you decide by comparing two of the heavyweights: Zante and Malia.
It may seem peculiar to compare Zante, an island, and Malia, a coastal town on the island of Crete, but with no specific destination in Zante standing out as ‘party-central’ – rather a congregation of resorts in the southern part of the island – it works to do so.
The main night-life resorts in Zante are Laganas, Argassi, Kalamaki, Tsilivi and Alykes. Each of these areas combine to offer everything you’d want from cheap Zante holidays where you want to let your hair down; sun, sand, sea and sipping… lots of sipping. Malia offers the same and despite being just one place, has a bigger layout. What is defined as Zante is spread out because of the resorts whereas Malia’s main strip is its be all and end all. Malia offers fractionally more bar and club alternatives than Zante, and its cramped, narrow streets are an endearing characteristic that help the party move effortlessly from one bar to the next. The never ending carousing in Malia could be exactly what you’re after or what you’re hoping to avoid. With everything spilling onto the streets you can’t help but be swept in and out of bars. That isn’t to say that Zante doesn’t give you a similar experience, it’s just that Malia’s bigger size makes it a more hectic place to be.
Both destinations offer drinks deals that get better the further from the ocean you are. Deals appear to be better (cheaper) in Zante, with numerous bars offering all you can drink for €5-10. Be mindful of Oceanside clubs in both destinations, they will water down your drinks and charge you more for the privilege. For this reason bottled drinks may be a preferential option.
During the day both Zante and Malia offer almost exactly the same for when you’re recuperating from the night before. Both locations have beautiful beaches complemented by a warm blue-green sea and if that doesn’t appeal to you every hotel has a pool, perfect if you fancied a day lounging close to your bed. Reserving a lounger shouldn’t be a problem either, you’ll be getting in late (or should that be early?) enough to put your towel down along with the German holidaymakers.
If lounging around doesn’t do it for you, daytime activities are available and, unlike everything else, differentiate. In Tsilivi the reasonably new Splash Fun Water Park is one of the most highly-rated in any holiday destination. What it lacks in space, it makes up for in slides. If the slides aren’t to your taste, then surely being drifted down a lazy river basking in the sunshine will satisfy your needs. Malia’s most popular option is rather more cultural but unlikely to be as fun. The Minoan palace at Malia doesn’t sound like the type of activity you’d associate with a party holiday but it shouldn’t be shirked when it’s right on your doorstep. After all, how often do you get to visit a palace built 4,000 years ago by the first people in Europe to do so?
The weather is almost identical in both destinations, with average temperatures exceeding 30°C over the months of July and August. Malia, like Crete on the whole, can get very windy at certain times of year but it shouldn’t affect you during the holiday season (May-September).
So, to the big question, Zante or Malia? Variety is the spice of life and with that in mind I’ll trump for Zante, for no other reason than its several amalgamated resorts. However with the facts at hand, both Zante and Malia really do have the perfect ingredients for your week of partying and for the most part can’t be separated. If you still haven’t come to a decision, then maybe you should choose which place’s name you prefer and go there.
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Cal is a scribe who’s comfortable writing about any one of his passions, but not himself. A player of several instruments, Cal’s fondness for music is equated with his love of football, writing, drawing and travel.