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Matala beach

About Matala beach

Matala beach is located 68km southwest of Heraklion, where the plain Messara meets Asteroussia Mountains. This is one of Crete’s most popular tourist destinations and certainly the most famous beach in the south Heraklion prefecture. It is famous for the carved caves in the rocks and the hippies of the ‘70s. It is located close to Phaestus, the second-largest palace of the Minoan civilization. Matala served as a port of Phaestus, and in the Roman Times, it became a port of Gortyn.

Matala is located at the exit of a small valley, which forms an enclosed bay with a nice view of the islands of Paximadia. There is a beautiful sandy beach, 300m long, with fine gravel and crystal clear deep water. Moreover, the seabed is quite rocky in some places (especially in the central part of the beach) and waves are common, due to frequent west winds. Furthermore, there is a huge cave on the north part of the beach, from the top of which some people dive.

The beach is very well organized with umbrellas, toilets, showers, lifeguards, first aid, beach volley courts, snack bars, water sports, excursion boats, a camping site, etc. Around Matala you will find many options for accommodation, entertainment and eating. Also, a large part of the beach is covered by tamarisk trees, where you can find shade. In the evenings, the bars on the beach are full of many people, both locals and foreigners. Especially in June, the internationally renowned Matala Festival takes place.




What is the history of Matala beach?

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 beach.

Are there any cultural attractions near Matala beach?

Yes, there are several cultural attractions near Matala beach, including the ancient city of Phaistos and the Minoan palace of Knossos.

What is the nightlife like in Matala beach?

Matala beach has a vibrant nightlife scene, with several bars and clubs that stay open late into the night.

Is Matala beach suitable for families with children?

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.

What is the best time of year to visit Matala beach?

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.

What is the water colour of the beach?

The water colour of the beach is blue and green.

What type of sand can be found on the beach?

The beach has sand and fine pebbles.

How deep is the water at the beach?

The water at the beach is deep.

What is the surface of the sea like at the beach?

The sea surface at the beach is usually wavy.

Is the beach usually crowded?

Yes, the beach is a crowded place.

What facilities are available at the beach?

The beach has accommodation options, food/water nearby, umbrellas/beds, sports, lifeguard, and showers.

How can the beach be accessed?

The beach can be accessed through bus services, paved road, and is handicap friendly.

Is there any tree shade available at the beach?

Yes, there is tree shade available at the beach.

Beach facilities

  • Accommodation options
  • Food / water nearby
  • Umbrellas / beds
  • Sports
  • Lifeguard
  • Showers


  • Crowded place

Water depths

  • Deep

Beach sand type

  • Sand
  • Fine Pebbles

Sea surface

  • Usually wavy

Water colour

  • Blue
  • Green


  • Bus services

Other information

  • Tree Shade

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