Welcome to Matala
In more recent times, Matala became legendary thanks to the scores of hippies flocking here in the late 1960s to take up rent-free residence in cliffside caves once used as tombs by the Romans. Joni Mitchell immortalised the era in her 1971 song ‘Carey’.
On summer days the village feels anything but peaceful, thanks to coachloads of day trippers. Stay overnight or visit in the low season, though, and it’s still possible to discern the Matala magic: the setting along a crescent-shaped bay flanked by headlands is simply spectacular, especially at sunset.