About Matala

Matala was the ancient port of Phaistos and Gortys.

August 20th, 2011

It is located at 4 km from the village Pitsidia and 75 km from Heraklion. Matala is built on the coastline of Messara bay, in a small and picturesque cove.

Τhe blue color of the sea along with the red color of the horizon at sunset time create color combinations that provoke unique emotions.

In the ancient times, Matala served as town-port of Phaistos and later of Gortys, as well as during the roman years from the conquest of the Roman Empires in 67 B.C. up to the final destruction of all the seaside sites, populated by the Saracene pirates during the 8th - 9th century A.D..

The famous caves of Matala

The wonderful cove of Matala is considered as one of the best beaches of Crete. The artificial caves, carved on the slopes of the seaside mountain,

  • have been probably used as prehistoric dwellings and places of worship,
  • while during the 2nd century were used as tombs.
  • During the 60's the caves housed a community of hippies.
  • Today, the tombs / caves of Matala are protected by the archaeological service.

Further south of Matala, there is a huge rock formation, known as the rock of Theosyni, that offers a panoramic view of Messara bay. The rock protrudes from the sea and a natural, marine cave has been formed throughout the years, named 'Kouroupi'. This cave shelters wild pidgeons and the Mediterranean seal.

The beauty of the coastline continues south of the Kouroupi cave, where following a path along the rock, you reach the enchanting beach of 'Kokkini Ammos (Red Sand)', a location of special importance. The red sand beach is known as 'Ammoudia'. Follow the signs to get there.

The Red Sand beach is the only Greek beach characterised by the TV channel “Sky Travel” as one of the best nudist beaches worldwide

The beach is at 20 minutes walk from Matala. You will find more caves along the way; some of them are populated during summer. The beach is characterised by the dark, red-brown color of the sand and the wonderful, crystal waters.

Red Sand Beach

You'd better have enough food with you, both for your walk and the day at the beach.

Source: visitmatala.com

See the attractions of the area

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