Stalis is 30 kilometres east of Heraklion, 3 kilometres after Hersonissos and 3 kilometres before Malia.
The intensive tourist development of the area has resulted in the three towns (Hersonissos, Stalis and Malia) merging into a single coastal resort about 10 km long, full of hotels and apartments. Especially if you take the coastal road from Stalis to Malia, it is impossible to see where one resort ends and the other begins.
Cretan tourism grew dramatically in the 1980s. This was when Stalis, too, became a popular holiday resort in east Crete. Until then it was simply the beach where the inhabitants of Mohos, the village on the mountain rising south of Stalis, spent their summer holidays.
The fact that Stalis did not exist as an autonomous village until then is obvious from its disjointed layout. There is no central square, just the coast road lined on both sides with shops, tavernas and hotels.
Stalis differs from neighbouring Hersonissos and Malia in that it does not share their wild nightlife. Stalis is more suitable for family holidays, but if you want to dance the night away, Hersonissos and Malia are close by.
This does not mean that Stalis has no bars and cafes. There are lots of cafeterias and beach bars along the beach, so you can still have fun, just at a quieter pace than that of the neighbouring resorts. Many people consider this an advantage rather than a disadvantage.