A favorable climate, unusual caves, a spacious beach surrounded by mountains, make Matala a popular resort on the island. The village and the beach of the same name are located 66 km. from the capital Heraklion. On a rental car it takes about an hour.

In the 70s the beach was a favorite destination of the hippies, who even shot a film and visited the Rolling Stones. Today the coast is full of locals and tourists from all over the world. The clearest water, sandy cove with sun loungers and umbrellas, showers, ball fields and water activities are all to be found in Matala. The resort offers excellent hotels and guest houses for vacationers. But if you're here for a day trip, plan your trip carefully so you have time to see all the interesting things.

Things to do in Matala

Since Matala is a coastal village, the main activities take place on the beach and in the sea. Volleyball tournaments are often held here. Many water activities: surfing, snorkeling, diving, boating and excursions to the amazing Preveli beach. It is located in a cozy cove, surrounded by palm forest. There are large stairs that can be climbed to the observation deck on the cliff. The view from here is spectacular.

Walk through the village of Matala, which rises slightly above the beach. It still has a hippie spirit with drawings on the pavement, brightly colored minivans and unusual café names. Also, you can buy souvenirs in the stores that you can't find in other parts of the island.

Along the coastline bars and cafes, which will please you with their dishes and views of the sea. It's a nice place to watch the sunset, with pleasant music for a romantic atmosphere.

On the outskirts of Matala there is Arhelon, where you can get acquainted with the activities of the protection of turtles.

Caves of Matala

The main natural attraction are the caves, located on the northwest side of the beach. They were hollowed out artificially. For a while they were used as tombs, then the hippies settled here, and today the caves are a pleasure to explore the tourists.

Inside there are still rooms with windows, stairs and beds. Apparently they were once used as living quarters. On the walls you can see the inscriptions and drawings.

The openings in the caves make great photos against the sea. But be careful on steep slopes and slippery rocks.

Warning: the place is protected by the state and fenced, there is a sign at the entrance. Entrance is chargeable (charged for the improvement of the settlement).


  • Wear comfortable, non-slip shoes when visiting the cave; 
  • There are underwater caves in Matala in addition to the land cave, so don't miss the opportunity to swim in them;
  • If you have time left, take a drive around the area. There are many interesting and scenic places near Matala.