Matala (Greek Ματαλα) is a village located 75km south-east of Heraklion, Crete. Matala is part of the municipality of Timbaki (or Tympaki).


The caves of Matala.The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala bay were created in the Neolithic Age. Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period. In the year 220 BC. Matala was occupied by the Gortynians and during the Roman period Matala became the port of Gortys. In the 1st and 2nd century the caves were used as tombs. One of the caves is called "Brutospeliana" because according to the legend it was frequented by the Roman general Brutus.

View from a Cave [Source]

Matala [Source]

Matala caves [Source]

Matala was then a fishing village. In the 1960s the caves were occupied by hippies which were later driven out. Now Matala is a small village living mainly from tourism.

Canadian folk singer Joni Mitchell's experiences with the Matala hippies were immortalised in her 1971 song Carey.

Komos Beach, (between Matala and Kalamaki) [Source]

Image from a cave in Matala [Source]

Red Beach


When Zeus robbed the princess Europa in the form of a white bull, he crossed the sea and brought her to the beach of Matala. There he changed into an eagle and flew her to Gortys where he raped her.


Crete Hotels on Matala

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