Immerse Yourself in a Coastal Paradise Where Nature and History Converge

If you’re looking for a destination that perfectly combines natural beauty, historical charm, and a unique cultural vibe, then Matala Crete, is the place for you. Tucked away on the southern coast of this enchanting Greek island, Matala is a village that promises an unforgettable travel experience. Let’s explore why Matala should be a top priority on your travel bucket list!


The Magical Allure of Matala

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Steeped in History

Matala’s rich tapestry of history dates back to the Neolithic era, with its significance blossoming during the Roman times. The village is renowned for its intriguing network of caves, carved into the sandstone cliffs by the sea. Once Roman burial chambers, these caves became a refuge for hippies during the 1960s, infusing Matala with an indomitable free spirit that endures to this day. A tour of these caves is akin to stepping back in time, a journey that sparks the imagination and stirs the soul.

The Beach – A Paradise Found

The crown jewel of Matala is undoubtedly its stunning beach. Golden sands meet the crystal-clear azure waters of the Libyan Sea, creating a picture-perfect setting for relaxation and adventure alike. The beach is well equipped with facilities like sunbeds, umbrellas, and a variety of water sports for the more adventurous. As the day wanes, there’s nothing quite like watching the sunset paint the sky in hues of orange and pink, with the caves of Matala forming a striking silhouette against the skyline.


The Gastronomic Delights of Matala

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A Taste of Crete

No visit to Matala would be complete without savoring the delectable flavors of Cretan cuisine. Indulge in traditional dishes bursting with freshness and authenticity. From succulent grilled meats to freshly caught seafood, Cretan gastronomy promises a feast for the taste buds. Don’t forget to sample the island’s world-famous olive oil, locally-produced wines, and delightful desserts that will leave you craving for more.


Matala by Night – A Celebration of Life

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Music, Dance, and Revelry

Matala’s vibrancy doesn’t end with the setting sun. On the contrary, the village comes alive with music, dance, and merriment. The beachside bars and tavernas pulsate with energy, offering a blend of music that ranges from traditional Greek tunes to contemporary hits. One of the highlights of the year is the Matala Beach Festival in June, a homage to the village’s hippie past that attracts visitors from around the globe.

The Matala Beach Festival is a vibrant celebration that pays homage to the village’s bohemian roots. It originally began as a reunion for the hippies who lived in the Matala caves during the 1960s and 70s and has since transformed into an annual music and arts festival attracting visitors from all over the world. Over the course of three days, the festival features an array of live music performances across different genres, art installations, and workshops. It’s not just a festival, but a celebration of life, love, and freedom, with the stunning Matala beach serving as the backdrop. The Matala Beach Festival encapsulates the spirit of Matala, making it a must-experience event for any visitor.


Comfort in Matala

Accommodations for Every Traveler

Matala boasts a wide range of accommodations to cater to all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort with top-notch amenities or a budget-friendly guesthouse that offers comfort and hospitality, Matala has you covered. Many of these establishments are located just a stone’s throw away from the beach, allowing you to wake up to the soothing sound of waves and enjoy breathtaking sea views. Moreover, staying in Matala gives you the advantage of being within easy reach of the village’s attractions and the surrounding historical sites.


Beyond Matala – Exploring the Vicinity

Agiofaraggo Beach

Agiofaraggo Beach

Exploring the Surrounding Attractions

While Matala itself is a haven of beauty and adventure, its strategic location allows for easy exploration of the surrounding attractions. Rent a car or join organized tours to discover the wonders of Crete beyond Matala. Head west to explore the picturesque coastal town of Agia Galini or venture east to visit the renowned archaeological site of Knossos and the vibrant city of Heraklion. With its central location, Matala serves as an ideal base from which to embark on exciting day trips and uncover the diverse treasures of Crete.

Gortyna and Phaistos – Echoes of the Past

Gortys Archaeological site

Gortys Archaeological site

Beyond its natural beauty, Matala holds a significant historical and cultural legacy. In ancient times, the area served as an important port city during the Minoan civilization, leaving behind remnants of a glorious past. Explore the archaeological site of Phaistos, located just a short distance from Matala, and immerse yourself in the wonders of an ancient civilization that thrived thousands of years ago. Wander through the ruins of the palace and envision the grandeur of a bygone era. Gortys, on the other hand, is an ancient Roman city that dates back to the 1st century AD. Visitors can see the remains of the Roman theater, the agora, and the famous Law Code of Gortys, which is inscribed on stone tablets.

Outdoor Adventures and Exploration

Komos Beach

Komos Beach

For those seeking adventure, Matala has plenty to offer. Embark on a hiking expedition along the rugged coastline or venture inland to discover hidden treasures, such as the awe-inspiring Agiofarago Gorge. This magnificent gorge presents an opportunity for exhilarating hikes through stunning landscapes, leading to a secluded beach where you can bask in the beauty of nature undisturbed. Another nearby beach is Komos, which is known for its soft white sand and turquoise waters. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the Libyan Sea. Alternatively, take to the sea and explore the underwater world through snorkeling or scuba diving, revealing a vibrant marine ecosystem teeming with life.


The Unmistakable Charm of Matala

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A Blend of Serenity and Vibrancy

What sets Matala apart is its remarkable blend of tranquility and liveliness. The village exudes a laid-back atmosphere that allows you to unwind and escape the hustle of everyday life. At the same time, the vibrant cultural scene, lively nightlife, and the prospect of adventure keep the spirit of excitement alive. Whether you’re a solo traveler seeking peace, a history buff eager to explore, or an adventure enthusiast looking for thrill, Matala has something to offer everyone.

Friendly Locals and Warm Hospitality

Another compelling reason to visit Matala is its people. Known for their friendliness and their genuine hospitality, the locals in Matala will make you feel like a cherished guest rather than a tourist. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted with smiles and open arms, as the Cretans take pride in sharing their culture and traditions with visitors. Whether you need recommendations for the best local tavernas or directions to hidden gems, the locals are always eager to help, ensuring that your stay in Matala is nothing short of exceptional. Their stories and insights add an extra layer of richness to your Matala experience.

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Preserving the Magic of Matala

Matala’s unique allure lies in its untouched charm and natural beauty. Efforts have been made to preserve the authenticity and integrity of this hidden gem, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its enchantment. As a visitor, it is crucial to respect the environment, follow sustainable tourism practices, and contribute to the preservation of Matala’s pristine beaches and delicate ecosystems. By doing so, you become a guardian of this remarkable destination, allowing its magic to endure for years to come.


The Essential Matala Experience

To truly appreciate Matala, take the time to wander through its narrow alleys, browse through the local shops selling artisanal crafts, and watch the world go by at a beachside café. Don’t miss the chance to take a dip in the Libyan Sea and marvel at the beautiful marine life beneath the surface.


Conclusion: Matala Awaits You!

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Matala, with its magical blend of natural beauty, rich history, delectable cuisine, and warm people, is more than just a destination—it’s an experience that stays with you long after your visit. It’s a place that invites you to discover, explore, relax, and celebrate life. So why wait? Add Matala, Crete, to your bucket list, and embark on an unforgettable journey. Matala is not just a place to visit; it’s a place to love.

Make the most of your Matala visit by booking excursions through Our team at VisitCrete ensures a memorable experience, catering to your interests and preferences. Discover the best of Matala with our expertly curated tours and make your trip truly unforgettable. Start planning with VisitCrete excursions today!


Useful Information for Travelers to Matala

Getting to Matala

The nearest airport to Matala is Heraklion International Airport, approximately 65km (40 miles) away. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to reach Matala. Alternatively, you can use the public bus services that connect Heraklion to Matala, though it’s worth noting that these may not run very frequently.

Best Time to Visit

While Matala can be visited throughout the year, the best time to visit is from April to October when the weather is warm and perfect for beach activities. The Matala Beach Festival, usually held in June, is a great time to experience the village’s vibrant cultural scene.

Local Currency

The official currency of Greece is the Euro (€). It’s recommended to have some cash on hand, although credit cards are widely accepted in most places. ATMs are available in Matala and other major towns for cash withdrawals.


The official language is Greek. However, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants, so communication shouldn’t be a problem for English-speaking visitors.

Health and Safety

Greece is generally a safe country to visit. However, as with any travel, it’s advised to take standard precautions with your belongings. Tap water is safe to drink in most parts of Crete, but you can also opt for bottled water.

In case of a medical emergency, the nearest hospital to Matala is in Mires, which is about 15 km away. It’s recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses.

Customs and Etiquette

Greek people are known for their hospitality and friendliness. When entering churches or monasteries, dress modestly and avoid wearing sleeveless tops or shorts. Tipping is customary in Greece; a tip of 5-10% of the bill is appreciated in restaurants and cafes.


Wi-Fi is readily available in most hotels, restaurants, and cafes. For better connectivity and local calls, consider getting a local SIM card.

Remember, travel experiences are enriched when you respect local customs and traditions, take care of your surroundings, and travel responsibly. Enjoy your visit to the mesmerizing Matala!