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Μάταλα (Matala)

Matala is a spot on the south part of Crete, which is known for its hippie era and some influence of this style can still be seen. The town itself isn’t very big, situated in between two sand rocks where the hippies made their habitat

There is just one big car park in Matala right between the beach and Carrefour. An all day ticket only costs 2 euros. Free parking is on the main road but you need to be lucky enough to find a spot. If you are not scared, you can also park for free on the hotel and company car parks. In winter it is not probable you will get caught, but in summer, they do have security checks there. You can get to one of these car parks if you go to the town and at the start of the walking zone turn left.

Matala doesn’t have its own port. Nevertheless, it has a long beach, frequently visited by tourists. It has its own sunbeds, changing cabins, toilets and a shower and during summer a summer bar. If you are a fan of jumping from rocks into the sea, this is the right place for you. You just need to swim about 200m away from shore you can climb onto the rocks without any problems.

In Matala you will find a lot of interesting sites - the centre od Matala with painted roads, shops with hippie thematics and chill out atmosphere, houses in rocks left after the hippies that lived here during festivals.

Matala Beach Festiival takes place every year at the end of July. It is some kind of season opening in Matala, but for Matala it is the biggest action of the year. The preparations last most of the year. The typical painted roads are painted about 2 weeks before the festival on a smaller Paiting Festival.

The main attraction on the beach are the the hippies habitats above the beach on the left side. You can have a look around these houses. Even though you will need to pass through a gate, the entrance is free. The gate is so that nobody sleep there overnight. It opens at ten and closes at around six in the evening.

Another interesting place is Red Beach which is behind the hill south from Matala. There are many pictures carved into sandy rocks. It is ideal for overnight stays around Matala.

Matala is a very appropriate place for hanging out in taverns. In the village you will find both taverns and cafes and fast food restaurants with gyros and other specialties. Whether you choose any of the tavern it doesn’t matter as we do not have a bad experience with any of them, so you can easily choose by price. As far as gyros, so here's a special tip. When you go to the beach after the chipboard walk, one moment you come to a sign, which has a staircase with a guy drawn on it who is going upstairs. If you follow the pattern of this guy, you will get to a fast food restaurant with seating, the gyros for 3 euros which we find one of the best in Crete.

Matala is a very lively town with many music actions. Therefore, you will hear traditional music playing from many taverns and bars. Of course, it is not as wild as in the hippie years, when the festival isn’t there, it is quite calm and quiet. During Matala Beach Festival, about 40 thousand people come here which definitely doesn’t make it very peaceful.

34.994261 N, 24.749574 E

If you want to sleep near Matala, we recommend Red Beach (34.987271 N, 24.749233 E) or the nearby beach Komos (35.012031 N, 24.760262 E). You will need to get across the Red Beachwith all of your things and belonging in a short walk, but you will experience the unique atmosphere of a secluded beach. On Komos you can park in the main parking lot at the beach and walk to the beach. You can make a bed directly between the sunbeds, but you have to get up in the morning before guests of the hotels arrive. Directly above Matala beach is a reserved camping area, which we did not use, so we have no information about it.