Matala - the resort with the two faces - is located 68 km southwest of Heraklion, on the border of the Messara plain and the Asterousia mountain range.
Highly frequented by day visitors during the day, whose bus trip to the south of the island stops here to visit the famous rock caves.
The real Matala experiences in the late afternoon and in the evening - a pure idyll, which makes it possible to feel the atmosphere of "live is today, tomorrow never comes", even in today's fast paced times.
Matala is located at the end of a small valley, whose end forms the closed bay with beautiful views to the islands of Paximadia. The crystal clear water invites you to swim and the beach is very well organized with umbrellas, toilets, showers, first aid facilities, snack bars etc.
In the vicinity of Matala you will find many possibilities for accommodation, entertainment and good food.
Caves and Hippies
The most striking feature of the area are the caves that were carved into the soft sandstone thousands of years ago. It is believed that the caves were used as burial chambers in Roman times. However, many of them have rooms, stairs, beds or windows, suggesting that they were prehistorically used as homes.
The Matala - Hippies of the 60s and 70s found their paradise in these caves. And some of them, the "celebrity hippies", such as Joni Mitchell (he sang a song for Matala called "Carey"), Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Joan Baez, helped Matala to get international notoriety.
It is believed that the cape south of Matala is the Cape Nysos, which means that place in the Greek history, where (according to Odyssos) the ships of Menelaus were destroyed.
Ruins and architectural remains around and below Matala allow for the idea of a sunken city in the sea. In fact, this was once the harbor of Festos Palace.