The main beach of Malia is located in front of the town and is crowded by thousands of people. Thus, those who cannot stand the crowds and congestion prefer to go to one of the sandy beaches located east of the port of Malia, very close to the site of the palace of Malia. The easternmost beach is known as Potamos (i.e. River), because a small stream flows in its east part, next to the wetland of Malia.
Potamos is a long sandy beach, very well organized, but usually less crowded than the main beach of Malia. The region, particularly its east part, is not developed due to the archaeological site. However, in the west of the beach, there are several hotels with small sandy coves in front of them.
Malia Swamp is a wetland of foremost environmental significance that occupies a large area with reeds that hosts many species of birds. This region preserves several coastal vegetation species, extinct in other places of Crete. The whole area is covered by water emanating from the point where the water of Selena Mount exits. The water forms a stunning river in winter, just a few meters from the shore, with crystal clear water which is poured into Potamos beach. There are many springs of fresh water in the sea, such that locals can find drinkable water in the sea! It is not very rare to see goats descending from the slopes of the mountain, swimming in the sea and drinking water because of the strong sense of fresh water smell. Around Potamos there are small sand dunes, where you can see the amazing white sand lilies during the autumn.