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An update from Evaneos

Mátala (Greece)

Practical information about Mátala

  • Family
  • Relaxation
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Viewpoint
  • Caves
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
45 miles southwest of Heraklion by car
When to go
During Spring or Fall
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Mátala

Latéfa Faïz Travel writer
114 travel articles

A pretty coastal village lying on the opposite side of Crete to Heraklion.

My suggestion:
Avoid visiting in summer when Matala gets inundated with tourists. Opt for spring or autumn instead if possible.

Out of season, Matala is just a peaceful little hamlet with a small population. But it's a whole different matter in summer: Matala attracts tourists from all over the world at that time of year. In was even a favourite holiday haunt for hippies in the 1960s.

Matala's success stems from the natural beauty to be found all around it. With a gorgeous bay, pink and ochre coloured cliffs and deep, long caves, everything here is in harmonious balance. I found the wild beauty of this place captivating: a veritable ode to quiet contemplation. Keen bathers will be delighted with the succession of beaches along the coast at Matala: Kokkini Ammos (nicknamed the "Red Beach" due to the colour of its cliffs), a charming wild, unspoiled beach with not a trace of concrete in sight; Kommos Beach, with its long band of sand; and the pleasant resort beach of Kalamaki.

The numerous caves at the various beaches at Matala are fascinating: they were dug out in the northern cliffs by the Romans, who originally used them as tombs. Largely due to the fact that Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan at one time came and camped at them, they have become a famous place to visit.

Beach at Matala