Matala, a small seaside village on the southern coast of the Greek island of Crete, has become a popular destination for tourists seeking a more laid-back, authentic experience. Located approximately 70 kilometers south of Heraklion, the capital city of Crete, Matala has a long and interesting history that makes it a fascinating place to visit.
Matala first became famous in the 1960s and 70s, when it was a popular destination for hippies and other young people seeking a more bohemian lifestyle. The village’s most famous attraction is the Matala beach, which is surrounded by cliffs and caves that were once used as tombs by the ancient Minoan civilization. In the 1960s, these caves were inhabited by a group of hippies who came to Matala to live a simple life free from the constraints of modern society.
Today, Matala is a popular tourist destination, but it has managed to retain much of its charm and character. The beach is still the main attraction, with its clear blue waters and dramatic cliffs, but there is also plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. The village itself is small and picturesque, with narrow streets and whitewashed houses, and there are plenty of tavernas and cafes where visitors can sample local food and drink.
One of the best things to do in Matala is to explore the Matala Caves that surround the beach. These caves were used as tombs by the Minoans, who believed that they were the entrance to the underworld. Today, the caves are home to a colony of wild cats, who are known to be friendly and approachable.
Matala is also a great place to explore the surrounding countryside, with its rugged mountains and olive groves. There are plenty of hiking trails that lead through the hills and offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
In addition to the caves, the picturesque streets and the stunning beach, Matala also boasts another unique attraction – the Red Beach. Located just a short distance from Matala, the Red Beach is known for its dramatic red cliffs and crystal-clear waters. The red cliffs provide a striking contrast to the blue waters and make for some fantastic photo opportunities. The Red Beach is not as well-known as the main beach in Matala, which makes it a quieter and more peaceful spot.
Matala is a charming and fascinating place to visit, with a rich history and plenty of things to see and do. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient history, soaking up the sun on the beach, or just enjoying the laid-back atmosphere, Matala is well worth a visit.