The town, with its beach of 300 m and the many caves cut out of the high cliffs which surround and form the enclosed and sheltered bay, is one of the most popular destinations in Crete.
These impressive caves may have served as dwellings and/or places of burial from prehistory into Hellenistic and Roman times. Later, in the late 1960s, the Flower Children (aka Hippies) settled and lived in them. Apart from the caves set above the beach, others exist that can only be reached by boat.
Matala, in the Minoan period, was another harbour for Festos, and later in the Roman era it played the same role for Gortyns. Today the ruins of the old city lie drowned on the sea bed.
The beach has sand, small pebbles and deep waters. It is well organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, showers, toilets and a lifeguard for the protection of the swimmers. The beach is well adapted for water-sports; and has beach-volley courts, where competitions are run.
If you chose to pass your time at Matala, you will find many hotels and rent-rooms, also tavernas, cafés and bars.
Continuing, the next beach to the east is that of Kokkini Ammos.
- Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)
- location Matala, Phaistos, Heraklio
- free camping No
- nudism Yes - in some areas
- beach type Sandy
- accommodation Yes - plenty of choices
- dinning Yes - plenty of choices
- other facilities
There are sun beds, umbrellas, showers, water sports and tennis beach volley. Also, a lifeguard
relevant routes & paths:
Distance: 68 km from Heraklion.
From the Northwest: Take the main road leading from Rethymnon to Spili and on to Tymbaki. After Tymbaki, follow the road to Matala.
From the Northeast: Take the main road leading from Heraklion to Tymbaki, passing through Moires. After passing through Moires, follow the road that leads to Pitsidia and Matala. Alternatively, after Moires continue on to Tympaki. A few kilometers later, after you pass the sign for Phaestos, you will reach Pitsidia and later Matala.
By bus: Services run from Heraklion to Matala.