The beach of Matala is situated 68km southwest of Heraklion, where the Messara plain and Asteroussia Mountains intersect. It is one of the most frequented tourist spots in Crete and the most well-known beach in the southern region of the Heraklion prefecture. Matala is notable for its rock-carved caves and its association with the hippie culture of the 1970s. It lies in close proximity to Phaestus, the second largest palace of the Minoan civilization, having once served as its port. During the era of the Romans, Matala transformed into a port for Gortyn.
Nestled at the end of a small valley, Matala overlooks an enclosed bay with a picturesque view of the Paximadia islands. The beach spans 300m and features beautiful sandy shores, fine gravel, and crystal-clear deep waters. However, parts of the seabed, particularly the central area, are quite rocky and waves are common due to frequent westerly winds. A large cave can be found on the northern part of the beach, from which some thrill-seekers dive.
Matala beach is well-equipped with amenities such as umbrellas, restrooms, showers, lifeguards, first aid facilities, beach volleyball courts, snack bars, water sports, excursion boats, and a camping site. The surrounding area of Matala offers a range of accommodation, dining, and entertainment options. The beach is largely shaded by tamarisk trees, providing a respite from the sun. Come evening, the beach bars are brimming with people, both locals and tourists. The internationally acclaimed Matala Festival draws large crowds every June.
Matala beach has a rich history dating back to the Neolithic period. It was a popular spot for hippies in the 1960s and 1970s, who lived in the caves that line the cliffs above the Matala beach.
Yes, there are several cultural attractions near Matala beach, including the ancient city of Phaistos and the Minoan palace of Knossos.
Matala beach has a vibrant nightlife scene, with several bars and clubs that stay open late into the night.
Yes, Matala beach is suitable for families with children. The water is shallow and calm, and there are several activities for children to enjoy, such as building sandcastles and playing in the water.
The best time of year to visit Matala beach is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny.
The water colour of the Matala beach is blue and green.
The Matala beach has sand and fine pebbles.
The water at the Matala beach is deep.
The sea surface at the Matala beach is usually wavy.
Yes, the Matala beach is a crowded place.
The Matala beach has accommodation options, food/water nearby, umbrellas/beds, sports, lifeguard, and showers.
The Matala beach can be accessed through bus services, paved road, and is handicap friendly.
Yes, there is tree shade available at the Matala beach.
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