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Matala is a picturesque village located 4 km south-west of the village of Pitsidia and 75 km from the city of Heraklion.
It is built on the coast line of the Messara bay inside a small and picturesque inlet.
During the Minoan period Matala was the port of Phaistos, following the destruction of Kommos and the port of Gortys during the Roman period when the latter was proclaimed capital of Crete by the Romans. Ruins of the ancient city are still visible on the sea bed as it was sunk in the sea.
Nowadays Matala is a fishing village, living mainly from tourism, where you can find anything you like: tavernas, bars, clubs, supermarkets, a post-office, car and bike rentals, water sports, ceramics, jewellery shops, bookshops, tourist-offices and more.
The beach is famous for its artificial caves that are carved into rocks located to the north of the coast. These caves were created in the Neolithic Age and were first inhabited during the prehistoric period. During the 1st-2nd century the caves were used as tombs.

Matala became the meeting place of the “Flower Children” in 1968 and during that period the caves became home to the international hippie community.
Many famous artists such as Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens joined in. Joni Mitchell’s experiences with the Matala hippies were immortalised in her 1971 song “Carey”. During the early sixties, Matala became a very lively beach paradise with low holiday and living costs but eventually the hippies were later driven out by the church and the military junta.
Today, the tomb-caves of Matala are protected by the Archaeological Service.
You may enter the caves with a small fee that costs about two euros and although overnight stays are not allowed anymore, they are definitely worth visiting for their sheer beauty with the surrounding turquoise blue sea, the sand and the sun setting into the horizon.

 

 

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Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. With an exquisite 1,000 kilometer-long coastline, Crete boasts about 400 beaches most of which have earned a Blue Flag. The innumerable beaches combined with impressive mountains, steep gorges and fertile plains make Crete the island with the most diverse landscape in Greece.

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Since the island's touristic development, which dates back in the 60's, Crete nowadays demonstrates from luxurious resorts to really cheap accommodation. The visitor will find countless hotels, apartments, studios and villas to ensure a memorable holiday. Moreover, the abundance of fresh products and the renowned for its life-prolonging qualities Cretan cuisine served at the island's restaurants, make Crete a holiday destination which has it all!