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.

Top experiences in Matala

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Matala activities

$457.61 Cultural & Theme Tours

Explore South Crete - Matala Caves - Festos Palace- Private Tour .

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Matala beach, Matala, CreteAll the main Cretan cities are located on the north side so if you want to get away from the big cities and away from the tourist destinations then exploring South Crete should be your first choice. It combines everything starting from Festos Palace, the biggest in south Crete and the second biggest in Crete, the wineyards , wineries and the valleys with olive groves everywhere. We then go to the Matala Caves used as Roman tombs 2000 years ago and a home for the hippies in the 70s . You will see old traditional villages and churches and stop for lunch with local food and home made wine .Duration: 1 hour

$2854.33 Cultural & Theme Tours


ItineraryDay 1: Athens - Port of Piraeus (15 km)Pass By: Peace and Friendship Stadium, Piraeus, Piraeus Region, AtticaThe Peace and Friendship Stadium, commonly known by its acronym SEF, is a multi-purpose indoor arena that is located in Piraeus, on the coastal zone of Attica, Greece. The arena is mostly known for being the home to EuroLeague team Olympiacos, and is the central venue of the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex.Meals included: • DinnerAccommodation included: overnight at seaDay 2: Venizelos Graves – Seitan Limani Beach – Chania Venetian Harbour – Maleme – Balos – Falasarna – Elafonisi (175 km)Stop At: Balos Lagoon, Kissamos, Chania Prefecture, CreteBalos beach is one of the many beautiful beaches to visit in Crete. The views are spectacular.The water is crystal clear and warm3 hours, Admission is freeDuration: 2 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight stay at selected hotel in the vicinity of Elafonisi Day 3: Elafonisi – Palaiohora – Epanohori – Omalos – Askifou - Sfakia (217 km)Stop At: Samaria Gorge National Park, Sfakia, Chania Prefecture, CreteWe will stop in Omalos the entry point of the famous Samaria GorgeDuration: 40 minutesMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight stay at selected hotel in the vicinity of the village of SfakiaDay 4: Sfakia – Frangokastelo – Plakias – Preveli Monastery – Dunes of Saint Paul – Agia Galini - Matala (153 km)Stop At: The Holy Monastery of Preveli, Rethymnon, Rethymnon Prefecture, Cretethe Monastery of Preveli located in a beautiful location at the west side of Megalos Potamos. The monastery is inextricably connected to the battles for liberation in Crete, the most important being the 1821 Revolution. The monastery is a museum with exhibits of holy relics and icons from the Rear and Lower Monastery as well as from the chapels of the monastery.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Matala beach, Matala, CreteMatala is located where the plain Messara meets Asteroussia Mountains. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Crete. It is famous for the carved caves in the rocks and the hippies of the ‘70s. It is located close to Phaestus, the second largest palace of the Minoan civilization. Duration: 4 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight stay at selected hotel in the vicinity of the village of MatalaDay 5: Matala – Agiofarango – Lentas - Ierapetra (165 km)Stop At: Agiofarago beach, Kaloi Limenes, CreteAgiofarago Gorge (meaning Gorge of Saints) is located in south of Odigitria Monastery and has been shaped near the beds of two streams. The gorge is bounded by rising huge vertical rocks at its right and left sides, where there are many caves. Agiofarago is very scenic and picturesque, accessed. The place is isolated, wild and rugged.Duration: 1 hourMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight stay at selected hotel in the vicinity of the city of IerapetraDay 6: Ierapetra – Xirokampos – Vai – Spinalonga – Milatos Beach (225 km)Stop At: Vai Beach, Vai, Lasithi Prefecture, CreteVai is the most famous beach in east Crete, as its main feature is the large palm grove with the Cretan Date Palm (Phoenix theophrasti). The palm grove is the largest in Europe with approximately 5000 trees.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Iera Moni Toplou, Sitia, Lasithi Prefecture, CreteWe visit the 15th-century Toplou Monastery, is built like a fortress, and hosts a great collection of Byzantine icons.Duration: 1 hourMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight stay at selected hotel in the vicinity of the village of Milatos beach areaDay 7: Milatos Beach - Creta Aquarium – Knosos - Herakleio (70 km)Stop At: The Palace of Knossos, Knosos, CreteWe visit Knossos was the most important city on Crete before the Roman Era and the center of the first brilliant European civilization, the Minoan. The palace of the city is the most visited archaeological site in Crete and located south of Heraklion, atop hill Kefala next to the banks of Knosano Gorge. The palace was the seat of the legendary King Minos and has been associated with famous Greek myths, like that of Daedalus and Icarus, the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Aqua Creta Limnoupolis, Varipetro, Chania Prefecture, CreteCretaquarium - Thalassocosmos is one of the most important aquariums in Europe and located in the former American Base of Gournes and is maintained by the Greek Centre for Marine Research located next to it.Visitors can wander through the long corridors of the aquarium, observe with microscopes and readinformational texts accompanying the sixty tanks with 2500 species of marine life.Duration: 2 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: overnight at seaDay 8: Piraeus Port - Athens (15 km)Pass By: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, Kallithea, AtticaThe Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a complex in the bay of Faliro in Athens which includes new facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO), as well as the 210,000 m² Stavros Niarchos Park.Meals included: • BreakfastNo accommodation included on this day.

$47.95 Cultural & Theme Tours

South Crete Day Tour from Heraklion region

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Gortyna, Agioi Deka, CreteAfter pick-up from your hotel in Heraklion region, the first stop on your way will be the inspection of the preserved part of the ancient Roman capital of Crete - Gortis. During the Minoan civilization, it was the richest and fastest growing city of Greece and is also famous for being the place where, in the 5th century BC. and, for the first time, a code of laws regulating life and relations between citizens was created and carved on a stone.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Moni Palianis, Venerato, CreteAccording to some evidence, Paliani, is the most ancient monastery of Crete. The Monastery of Paliani, is visited by people from all around the world to see the holy Myrtle tree that flourishes there many centuries. It is advocated that in its branches is hidden the icon of the Mother of God that can be seen only by those who have fate and believe in His divine power. Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Monastery Panagia Kaliviani, Mires, CreteThe ancient monastery of Kalyviani is dated back to 14th century and was demolished by the Turks with the monks being tortured because of their strong belief in God. One of the monks that suffered was St. Haralambos and his relics are saved in the monastery. Despite all the disaster that Turks brought, near the monastery was found the icon of Evangelism of the Mother of God, bringing many people to pray in this holy place.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Matala beach, Matala, CreteThe port of Matala is situated in Mesaras Bay. This place is famous for its caves that are built in the rocks and resemble small residences that were used by the ancients back in time. In the 1960-1970s Matala started to be a very popular destination where Hippies used to meet altogether and spend their time dancing and singing. Matala has beautiful beach with turquoise water, and you can enjoy swimming there.Duration: 2 hours

$57.09 Cultural & Theme Tours

(Gortys) (Festos) (Matala) Minivan Excursion

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Ancient Gortys, Elliniko, Arkadia Region, PeloponneseGortys (or Gortyna) is one of the most significant ancient cities of Crete, with a long history dating back thousands of years. You will be fascinated by St. Titus’ Church, the Chamber of the Law Code, the Odeon and, of course, the natural beauty and the serenity of the landscape: the square with the everlasting gnarled olive trees and the evergreen plane tree, in the shade of which Zeus and Europe had their wedding ceremony.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Palace of Faistos, Sivas, CreteFestos (or Phaistos), or more precisely, the Minoan Palace of Festos, is one of the most important archaeological sites on Crete. The Minoan Palace of Festos was a robust and thriving city that, not randomly, developed in Messara Plain during prehistoric times, that is, from 6000 BC. up to the 1st century BC., as attested by numerous archaeological findings.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Matala beach, Matala, CreteMatala has been inhabited since antiquity, but it became world famous when this small fishing village became a mecca for hippies in the 1960s and 1970s. Here we have the opportunity to enjoy the dew of the crystal waters, the warmth of the sun and our lunch in one of the many small taverns by the sea, while later, as modern hippies, we can explore the prehistoric caves that are carved on the steep rocks of the area. Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes

$377.92 Cultural & Theme Tours

Dinosaur Park-Aquarium from Chania

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: KTEL Heraklio - Lasithi S.A, Heraklion, CreteThe opportunity for a unique journey into the world of dinosaurs. A magical experience awaits.The Dinosauria welcomes you to a world with dozens of dinosaurs that gives the opportunity for children and adults to learn about the fascinating history of dinosaurs in the years passing by the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex!Copies of scenes of the era of the dinosaurs and human-Neanderthal turn the time backwards. In Dinosauria our friends will be able to browse through a large number of exhibits, including dinosaurs and amphibians, which even include their physical size. Finally, the unique and unprecedented experience of the first 5D cinema in Greece is waiting for all the young and old friends! Get ready to go back to the world of dinosaurs!! Take part in an incredible journey that combines imagination with reality. Are you ready to go back in time to the world of dinosaurs!!Duration: 3 hoursStop At: HeraklionCab, Heraklion, CreteAfter this wonderful visit, we will go to the real beings who live in the sea to Cretaquarium.As one of the biggest aquarium in Europe, Cretaquarium offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the magical world of the Mediterranean Sea.Sharks, tiny seahorses and spectacular jellyfish, the variety of marine life have been featured in underwater landscapes, like rocks in Matala (south Crete) and the bottom of Vai (South Crete). A full tour seeing all the exhibits and species will take about 2 hours.Duration: 2 hours