Matala with its homonymous sandy beach of 300 meters long and the countless carved caves on the tall rocks that surround it, forming a closed secluded bay, is one of the most popular destinations in Crete. The beach has sand, fine pebbles and deep water. It is well organized with umbrellas, deck chairs, showers, toilets, while there is a lifeguard for the bathers’ safety. The beach is ideal for water sports, and there are beach volleyball courts, where games are also organized.
These impressive caves, from prehistory to the Hellenistic and Roman times was used as a place of residence or burial place of the dead, and much later, in the late 60s the “flower children”, the hippies, settled and lived to them. In addition to the caves above the sandy beach, there are caves, which can be reached by boat only.
Matala, during the Minoan period, was a port of Phaistos, and later, during the Roman period, it became a port of Gortyna. Today, the ruins of the ancient city are sunk into the bottom of the sea.