Matala (Μάταλα) is a small town on the south coast of Crete with maybe 100 inhabitants. The tourist resort was discovered in the 1960s by hippies who settled in caves that were originally carved into soft stone in the Neolithic period. Later the Roman occupiers used the caves as tombs.
The caves directly at the northern part of the beach are still the attraction of Matala and destination of countless tourists and excursionists. Meanwhile the caves are fenced and can be visited for a small fee.
The image of Matala is characterised by many souvenir shops, bars, cafés and restaurants. But when the crowds of tourists leave in the early evening, you can enjoy the sunset with a cool drink overlooking the beach and the caves.
Known for its reddish, fine sandy beach, Kokkini Ammos Beach, also known as “Red Beach”, is located south of Matala. This (30 minutes walk) can be reached via a rather impassable, steep path. This area is also an egg-laying area for turtles and is under the protection of the government and some citizens’ initiatives.
Matala on the map
More information and photos about Matala
Find more information about Matala at Wikipedia.