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Matala Beach

Matala Beach: Our most recommended tours and activities

Heraklion: Matala Beach, Hippie Caves, and Gortyn Day Trip

1. Heraklion: Matala Beach, Hippie Caves, and Gortyn Day Trip

Take and airconditioned bus trip through South Crete on this day trip with pickup from Heraklion. Travel back in time as you explore Cretan history at the Gortys archeological site and have plenty of free time to soak up the vibes of at the colorful, seaside town of Matala. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in selected locations on Crete in the morning. Drive for 1.5 hours to the Gortys archeological site. Purchase a ticket to the site to uncover sights from 5000 years of Cretan history. Take a short drive to Matala and spend 4.5 hours of free time where you can go swimming, sunbathe at the beach, purchase a ticket to the local caves or have lunch at a charming seaside café. Return to your accommodation in Crete at the end of your free time in Matala.

From Heraklion: Day Trip to Matala Hippie Beach and Caves

2. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Matala Hippie Beach and Caves

We reach the famous beach of Matala. This is the place where Zeus, having taken the form a bull, swam ashore with Europa on his back before dragging her off to Gortys. Both the Minoans and the Romans used the place as their harbor. Nevertheless, for most people, Matala means only one thing: hippies. Back in the late 1960s - 1970s, this little town was a colony of the “flower children”, who lived in the caves that used to be former Roman tombs. Here we will enjoy the crystal waters, the warm sun and lunch by the sea, while later we can explore the prehistoric caves, carved on thesteep rocks of the area. 11:00 Arrival at Matala – free time 15:00 Departure from Matala 16:15 Arrival in Heraklion Route: 90 km Duration: app. 8 hours Extras: Entrance Caves Matala (optional): 2,00 € Pick up Malia: 08:30 Stalis: 08:35 Hersonisos: 08:45 Anissaras: 08:55 Analipsi: 09:10 Gouves: 09:20 Gournes: 09:30 Kokkini Hani: 09:30 Karteros: 09:35 Heraklion: 09:45 Ammoudara: 09:55

From Heraklion: Matala Beach and Hippie caves

3. From Heraklion: Matala Beach and Hippie caves

After a short drive through the Messara plain you reach Matala. Known for the colony of hippies in the Sixties, where they lived in large holes formed on the mountain. The rocks are holes with a Roman burial. In Matala you will have time for a refreshing dip in the water, eat something or just enjoy a drink on the beach. This is the place where Zeus, having taken the form a bull, swam ashore with Europa on his back before dragging her off to Gortys. Both, the Minoans and the Romans used the place as their harbor. Nevertheless, for most people, Matala means only one thing: hippies. Back in the late 1960s - 1970s, this little town was a colony of the “flower children”, who lived in the caves that used to be former Roman tombs

21-23 June 2024: Matala Beach Festival One World - One Love

4. 21-23 June 2024: Matala Beach Festival One World - One Love

Since 2011, the Matala Beach Festival takes place in Crete (except for the “Corona years” 2020-2022). The Matala Beach Festival takes place right on the beach – but eventually runs through the whole place. There are bands from the Greek and international music scene. The entrance to the area is free. The Matala Beach Festival includes events for children and adults. Worth seeing is the annual “Street Painting” – when the streets in the village become a huge painting (on the Sunday before the festival). The concerts on the beach and the beach parties are of course the highlight and suitable for all audiences. The story since 2011 In June 2011 South Crete Community in Greece threw a festival on the beach to celebrate the launch of the ‘Myth of Matala’ book featuring photos of the hippie cave residents during the 60s & 70s. It was a hippie reunion. 35,000 people heard about it and flocked to Matala beach. In June 2012 over 58,000 people visited the festival weekend and the word is quickly spreading. It was a huge success as free events which brought together music and arts fans from all generations together on the beach beneath the caves to celebrate peace, love and happiness. Matala Beach Festival 2013 introduced to 70.000 people the meaning of LIFE! Matala Beach Festival is today an amazing international event with more than 100.000 fans!!! Together it makes the Difference! Events & Details 2 Concert stages (Main Stage / Cave – Square Stage ) More than 30 concerts Matala Street Painting Projekt The Craftsman Projekt Bar fascilities Familiy areas Camping project All live acts as following: will be published asap

Minoan Luxuries: Ancient Palaces, Messara Wineries & Matala

5. Minoan Luxuries: Ancient Palaces, Messara Wineries & Matala

Hop down to the heart of Central Crete, the beloved land of our ancestors, and let the wonders of the Minoan world collide on this luxurious passage of time. From the comfort of a premium chauffeured vehicle & escorted by our top local insider revel in the endless luxuries of the ancient Messara plain where wine-red fertile soils treasure lavish vineyards & the oldest olive groves stretch perennially toward the horizon. Visit a family award-winning winery set on the peak of allure panoramas & let our passionate winemakers immerse you into their intoxicating world. Luxuriate in ages unearthing the Bronze Age palaces of Phaistos & Gortyna along with storied villages & monasteries. In the afternoon, tuck in the bohemian vibe of Matala that captivated Bob Dylan & Janis Joplin. Bask in the turquoise waters of the Libyan Sea & unwind in the charming village irresistible for its freshly caught grilled fish & finest ouzo. To us, travel means putting fire in your soul with the best stories.

Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

6. Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

Journey into the wild and untamed side of Crete by Land Rover. Visit quiet, spiritual Agiofarago with its wild beauty, then experience the contrast of noisy Matala with its hippie style. After being picked up from your hotel, drive south through the plain of Messara, to Agiofarago: the gorge of the Saints. Enjoy a drink in the traditional village of Siva, then stop at the 14th century Odigitria Monastery. From there the rugged dirt tracks will lead you to Agiofarago. Stretch your legs along a 30 minute path crossing the gorge, scattered with oleander and olive trees. Discover a beautiful beach stretching to the Libyan Sea, where you can swim and snorkel. Continue to Matala, a small but crowded village, with a long sandy beach and crystal clear deep waters. Explore carved Roman tombs, have a swim at the beach, and eat lunch in a traditional local tavern.

Minoan Luxuries: Ancient Palaces, Messara Wineries & Matala

7. Minoan Luxuries: Ancient Palaces, Messara Wineries & Matala

Hop down to the heart of Central Crete, the beloved land of our ancestors, and let the wonders of the Minoan world collide on this luxurious passage of time. From the comfort of a premium chauffeured vehicle & escorted by our top local insider revel in the endless luxuries of the ancient Messara plain where wine-red fertile soils treasure lavish vineyards & the oldest olive groves stretch perennially toward the horizon. Visit a family award-winning winery set on the peak of allure panoramas & let our passionate winemakers immerse you into their intoxicating world. Luxuriate in ages unearthing the Bronze Age palaces of Phaistos & Gortyna along with storied villages & monasteries. In the afternoon, tuck in the bohemian vibe of Matala that captivated Bob Dylan & Janis Joplin. Bask in the turquoise waters of the Libyan Sea & unwind in the charming village irresistible for its freshly caught grilled fish & finest ouzo. To us, travel means putting fire in your soul with the best stories.

Minoan Luxuries: Ancient Palaces, Messara Wineries & Matala

8. Minoan Luxuries: Ancient Palaces, Messara Wineries & Matala

Hop down to the heart of Central Crete, the beloved land of our ancestors, and let the wonders of the Minoan world collide on this luxurious passage of time. From the comfort of a premium chauffeured vehicle & escorted by our top local insider revel in the endless luxuries of the ancient Messara plain where wine-red fertile soils treasure lavish vineyards & the oldest olive groves stretch perennially toward the horizon. Visit a family award-winning winery set on the peak of allure panoramas & let our passionate winemakers immerse you into their intoxicating world. Luxuriate in ages unearthing the Bronze Age palaces of Phaistos & Gortyna along with storied villages & monasteries. In the afternoon, tuck in the bohemian vibe of Matala that captivated Bob Dylan & Janis Joplin. Bask in the turquoise waters of the Libyan Sea & unwind in the charming village irresistible for its freshly caught grilled fish & finest ouzo. To us, travel means putting fire in your soul with the best stories.

From Heraklion: Matala, Hippies Caves & Ancient Gortyn

9. From Heraklion: Matala, Hippies Caves & Ancient Gortyn

Set off on a memorable day trip to southern Crete, a journey that weaves together the island's historical richness with the stunning beauty of the Mediterranean. Visit to Gortys Site: Start with a 1.5-hour exploration of the ancient Gortys Site, delving into 5000 years of history. Wander among ruins that narrate the island's past, from Minoan civilization to Roman dominion, revealing ancient laws, temples, and the essence of life in antiquity. Matala's Scenic Charm: Then, take a scenic bus ride to the captivating town of Matala, once a haven for 60s and 70s hippies and still a magnet for those drawn to its relaxed atmosphere and scenic beauty. Spend over 4 hours enjoying Matala's clear waters, exploring its iconic cliffside caves, and savoring a seaside lunch that offers a taste of Crete's culinary delights. Peaceful Return Conclude your day with a peaceful bus ride back, reflecting on the day's adventures and the everlasting beauty of Crete's landscapes. This day trip promises a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, ensuring lasting memories.

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What people are saying about Matala Beach

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 41 reviews

Great trip and great guiding from Elizaveta. The Roman archeological site at Gortyna is doubled by the presence of temple of Apollo, just South of the parking lot, took 15min to see it_ fence is up, excavations continue. Matala is a nice beach but waay too crowded- bring or buy your own umbrella if you arrive at noon. All shade under the trees was 'taken'. Sand is super hot, wear water-shoes or flip-flops to the water.

What a brilliant sunshine day in every way. Prompt pick up, plenty of time to explore Gortyn and browse shop ( got some lovely gifts too, good price) Matala was just fantastic. The sea, like a mirror, and so warm, crystal clear( though slippy as you enter.. be careful) The caves awesome, though very hot up on/ in them, fun happy place, lot of colour and fun shops/ stalls .. guide great and driver too

Everything was GREAT! We particularly enjoyed our long stay in Matala. You could look at everything in peace, go out to eat and there was also enough time for swimming in the sea. Can only recommend this excursion.

A-1 transportation service and the guide was very good and friendly. I really liked how the day went. Superb beach but there were no more sun loungers/parasols when we arrived (11:30) a bit of a shame…. THANKS !

Everything went smoothly and we were picked up near our hotel on time. Guide spoke 4 languages, 4.5 hour stay in Matala was the perfect time, was a nice trip and can only be recommended