Matala is a safe natural harbor in the south of Crete, at the edge of the Messara plain. It is blessed with a gently sweeping sand and pebble beach. The beach is 250m long and 45m wide. Matala has something for everyone. Although it has become a popular tourist destination it still retains the charm and character of the quiet fishing village it started as at the beginning of the 20th-century, and the laid-back lifestyle of the hippies of the 60’s and 70's lives on. Half the beach is fringed by tamarisk trees, leading the eye on to impressive formations of sandstone rock cliffs with their famous caves sliding into the sea at an odd angle, creating one of the most unusual beachscapes on the island.
In the Greek mythology is said that Matala is the place where Zeus swam ashore in the guise of a bull with Europa on his back. There have been many pages of history here. Nobody knows quite who started caves but it seems likely that they were first hollowed out as Roman or early Christian tombs. There are other ruins at the eastern end of the village and if you go snorkeling in the clear waters of Messara Bay there are ancient ruins to be seen in the depths.
Matala is known as a touristic resort with bars and restaurants. You do can expect livelinss and music here. One of the reasons to visit Matala ! Dont miss out on the famous Matala music festival !