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MatalaGreece

Enjoy a day or more in this peaceful fishing village, once the “paradise on earth” of the hippie generation of the 1960s.

Spend a blissful day in Matala relaxing on the sands of picture-perfect Red Beach and explore the spectacular rock formations and caves nearby. Eat delicious seafood in the local tavernas and browse the galleries and shops of the narrow village streets. Visit ancient Minoan remains and important archaeological sites nearby.

In the 1960s Matala was famous as a popular hippie hangout; the Canadian singer Joni Mitchell wrote about her experiences sleeping in the caves in the song Carey. Now the hippies are long gone, but the town retains a relaxed feel, picturesque streets and great beaches. Enjoy this popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

Don’t miss manmade caves carved into the spectacular sloping rocks. These date back to Neolithic times and also served as a base for the hippies when they populated this area. Walk down the cliffs to the beautiful Red Beach and spend a day sunbathing and swimming in the tranquil waters. Be aware that this beach is a clothing-optional site.

To explore the area, drive a short distance north to find the archaeological site of Kommos, which houses ancient Minoan ruins. Visit the nearby beach. Also within easy driving distance is the Monastery of Odigitria. This is next to a Minoan cemetery. Spend a pleasant morning or afternoon browsing the galleries and shops of the village center.

Head into the village in the evening and enjoy tasty Greek dishes and local wine in one of the many tavernas. Try dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and tsatziki (yogurt sauce) or very fresh seafood and local vegetables. As an accompaniment, sample retsina, the Greek specialty wine with a unique pine scent.

Matala is located 42 miles (67 kilometers) southwest of Heraklion. You can see all Matala’s sights in a single day, but to make the most of your time here you should consider staying at least a night. Plenty of accommodation options are available.

Top hotels in Matala

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Matala Bay Hotel
Matala Bay Hotel
3 out of 5
outside Heraklion, Matala, Faistos, Crete Island
£68
per night
1 May-2 May

This family-friendly Faistos hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Beach of Matala and Caves of Matala. Komos Beach is 1.7 ...

3.8/5Good! (46 reviews)

"Very good Great breakfast Nice pool with bar"…"

Reviewed on 4 Sep 2019

Matala Bay Hotel
Matala Dimitris Villa
Matala Dimitris Villa
2 out of 5
Matala, Faistos, Crete Island
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
£38
per night
3 May-4 May

This family-friendly Faistos hotel is located near the beach, within a 5-minute walk of Beach of Matala and Caves of Matala. Komos Beach is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) ...

3.6/5Good! (156 reviews)

"Your beautiful pool ,smiles also a perfect breakfast."…"

Reviewed on 29 Jun 2019

Matala Dimitris Villa
Paradise Matala Hotel
Paradise Matala Hotel
3 out of 5
Matala Road, Faistos

Situated near the beach, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Beach of Matala and within 3 miles (5 km) of Komos Beach and Caves of Matala. Phaistos and Palace ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (13 reviews)

"Nice family hotel in the beautiful place. Very professional staff. Fantastic view from top floor. Very good breakfast."…"

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2019

Paradise Matala Hotel

Popular things to do in Matala

Beach of Matala
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Beach of Matala

4.5/5(9 reviews)

Why not spend a care-free afternoon at Beach of Matala during your travels in Faistos? Discover the mountain views in this quaint area.

Caves of Matala
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Caves of Matala

5/5(1 review)

You can find out about the history of Matala with a trip to Caves of Matala. Wander the beaches and seaside in this relaxing area.

Preveli Beach
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Preveli Beach

4.5/5(23 reviews)

If a restful holiday is part of your travel plans, Preveli Beach might be the perfect place to visit during your trip to Agios Vasileios. Wander the sandy beaches or discover the countryside in this quaint area.

Top activities in Matala

Day Trip to Phaestos Palace & Matala from Heraklion
Image for Day Trip to Phaestos Palace & Matala from Heraklion

Day Trip to Phaestos Palace & Matala from Heraklion

£377
Per adult
Matala Beach & South Central Crete Escape Private Tour
Image for Matala Beach & South Central Crete Escape Private Tour

Matala Beach & South Central Crete Escape Private Tour

£484
Per adult
Vacation Photographer in Crete
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Vacation Photographer in Crete

£216
Per adult
Private Shore Excursion: Knossos Palace & Archaeological Museum
Image for Private Shore Excursion: Knossos Palace & Archaeological Museum

Private Shore Excursion: Knossos Palace & Archaeological Museum

£600
Per adult
Landrover Safari Explore Shephard's Hut and Cheese Making
Image for Landrover Safari Explore Shephard's Hut and Cheese Making

Landrover Safari Explore Shephard's Hut and Cheese Making

£69
Per adult
Made In Heraklion Handmade Souvenir Shopping Tour
Image for Made In Heraklion Handmade Souvenir Shopping Tour

Made In Heraklion Handmade Souvenir Shopping Tour

100% of travellers recommend
£78
Per adult

Reviews of Matala

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