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Matala Beach
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Our most recommended Matala Beach Family-friendly 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

From Heraklion: Matala, Hippies Caves & Ancient Gortyn

4. 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.

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.

Orthodox Crete: In the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul

6. Orthodox Crete: In the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul

Discover the remnants of centuries-old Christian monuments in central Crete. Take a private day trip from Agios Nikolaos or Elounda to dive into the rich religious history of the island. Follow the path walked by Apostle Paul thousands of years ago and admire imposing monasteries. Get picked up from your Agios Nikolaos/Elounda hotel or villa and take a journey to central Crete from north to south. Explore the land where Apostle Paul found fertile soils with lavish vineyards and olive groves stretching toward the horizon. Allow your guide to take you on a journey through history. Explore the village of Agios Myron and its holy cave, as well as the Pailani and Odigitria Monasteries. Meander through the Minoan wonders of the vast Messara Plain to take in magnificent views of Phaistos Palace. Finally, visit the village of Matala to unwind at the typical fish tavernas on the waterfront.

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.

Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

8. 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

9. 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.

Matala

Matala

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What people are saying about Matala Beach

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