Many hundreds of years after the destruction of Phaistos, Matala became the Roman harbour for the town of Gortys.
Today, a beautiful 300 metre half-crescent-shaped sandy beach is protected on both sides with great cliffs forming a pretty little bay. You'll find a number of caves carved into the limestone; archaeological digs have determined that the area was occupied during the Stone Age and the caves were used as tombs by Romans and Christians.
In the 60's and the 70's Matala gained international fame as hippies came from around the world to live in these caves. Important celebrities visited such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez and Cat Stevens.
Nowadays the area has developed due to tourism, many coming to relax on its tamarisk-shaded beach
About 2 km from Matala, lies the long, sandy beach of Komos with its clear wates, where visitors will find only smaller hotels, pensions, tavernas and shops.
There is much to explore in the surrounding area. Apart from the second largest Minoan Palace of Phaistos, there is the Minoan Palace of Agia Triada, the famous ancient Roman capital of Gortys, the tiny village of Vori with its ethnological Museum, the mountain villages of Kamares and Zaros with their countless natural springs, and much more.
Where to stay