Matala: The wonderful bay of Matala is known as one of the best beaches on Crete. The prehistoric caves, carved into the north face of the coast, were probably used in the first and second century as dwellings, place of worship and as graves. These caves with the fine sand beach, formed like a half moon, are a magnet for many people.
In the 60s the caves housed a hippie community. Today the caves of Matala are protected by the archaeological service. Matala offers very a beautiful bay, which invites you for a swim. A twenty minutes hike over the cliffs on the right takes you to another beautiful place: "Red Beach".
History of Matala
The most striking feature of the area is the many caves, carved in the soft white limestone thousands of years ago in the northwest walls of the bay. There are several underwater caves, as well. It is believed that the caves of Matala were used as graves in the Roman and the Christian Era. However, many of them have rooms, stairs, beds or windows, suggesting that prehistorically they were used as residences.
The famous hippies of the 60s and 70s found their paradise in these caves when she visited Matala and stayed there. The hippies would describe themselves as free represent and enjoyed the love and creation. At this time, there was absolutely nothing in the area, only a small fishing village for the inhabitants of the village Pitsidia, so the feeling of freedom was unlimited. Matala became popular with hippies and even attracted some celebrities. For example Joni Mitchell (Called a song for Matala "Carey") Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Joan Baez. The "children of flowers" attracted later on also other regions of Crete (Preveli, Plakias, Lendas, Vai).
In recent decades, the region has changed and nothing is more reminiscent of the atmosphere of the past. Or maybe ... ??? The caves are open to visitors.