Bookended by two of the hottest resort areas in Crete, Chersonissos on the west (5 km) and Malia on the east (3 km), Stalis is more relaxed than the other two more lively destinations. It has a cosmopolitan, more sophisticated air about it. Until the 1980's the village got most of its livelihood from the sea and from the cultivation of olives and other crops.
In a sense Stalis is the middle link in a chain comprising the 3 resort area; they sort of blend into each other. Until the 1980's tourism boom Stalis was hardly a village at all- it was just a place villagers from inland Mohos, 3.5 kilometers south and 400 meters higher in elevation, came down to in order to spend their summer vacation. For that reason its streets are not organized around a central square as are those of all villages in Greece. There is a more random, ad hoc feel to the street system. The coastal road, running just inland from the sea, slices the settlement in two lengthwise, with shops, hotels, night clubs and other places of businesses lining both sides. As there is a lot of traffic on this road, with only one stop light, caution is advised when crossing the street. The good news is that the road closes in the evening and becomes a nice pedestrian walkway when the sun goes down and temperatures moderate.
Although there is a night life here, it's nothing compared to its neighbors to the east and west. What Stalis does have is a beautiful, wide, sandy beach divided into two by a little headland on which are packed some resorts, hotels and houses. The water is initially very shallow, which makes it ideal for small children. You can rent sun beds and umbrellas, as well as participate in various water sports. There is a lifeguard on duty, as well.
The village of Mohos celebrates "Cretan Night" once a week in the summer featuring live music and traditional Cretan dances. The trip up to the village is worth it anyway for the great views of the surrounding countryside and sea it gives you.
Stalis is nice for a quiet vacation, and if you want to live it up a little, there's always Chersonissos and Malia.