Our area is full of beautiful places and spots worth to see. Best thing is to come here, enjoy holidays and make your very own experiences. But to give you some impressions ahead, we listed some of the most interesting spots for you.
Please note: the list is not complete at all!
Visitors will find in Matala everything they need in order to relax and just feel good. The golden sandy beach with view to the famous caves is not only perfect for swimming and sunbathing, but also to snorkel, play beach volley ball or kayak. The numerous small tavernas and cafés invite the guests to discover the local cuisine while enjoying a glass of wine and admiring the wonderful sunset. Local products and gift can be bought in the old market street as well as in the shops around it.
Pitsidia is located just a few kilometers before Matala and is one of the oldest villages in the Mesara Valley. Despite the growing number of visitors, Pitsidia has retained its traditional village charm. Picturesque village streets, cozy stone houses and a typical Cretan village square surrounded by kafenions and little taverns make the village atmosphere perfect. In the small shops, visitors find whatever they might need during their stay, from fresh eggs and bread until vegetables and delicious wine. To the beautiful beach of Komos it is about 2 Kilometers to go.
The about 4km long sand beach offers plenty of space for every visitor and is suited only a few driving minutes from Matala and Pitsidia away. On the south end are two small taverns as well as sun loungers and umbrellas. A little bit more north, in front of the archaeological excavation of the minoic harbour, the beach becomes wider and offers plenty of space for everyone. The third section is "reserved" for the naturists and is more then 500m long.
But the beach is not only known for its golden sand and antiquities, but also as the home of the ocean turtle Caretta-Caretta, which uses the beach every year to lay their eggs. The greek association for the protection of the sea turtle, ARCHELON, observes the beach and takes care about the nests. Yellow baskets mark the nests, which are in no case to be touched!
Do not miss to visit the "Red beach" - according to Travel Channel the third best nudist beach of the world! The 300m long beach got its name from the red-brown sand, which covers the whole beach. This pictorial bay can only be reached on food or by boat and is about half an hour walking distance from Matala away. But even the way is an excursion worth. Passing from ancient ruins, you will soon discover some of Matala's "natural" apartments (caves), which partly are again inhabited. Once you reach then the hilltop, you will be reward by a breathtaking view over Matala and the Lybian sea.
Important: Take food, drinks and sun covers with you as well as sturdy shoes!
The archaeological excavation of Phaistos is placed approximately 25km away from Matala. On the hill of Kastri was once one of the most important minoic settlements, which was founded by king Minos himself. The palace of Phaistos constitutes together with the palace of Agia Triada and the harbour of Komos the "big minoic triangle". The excavation can be visited during the whole year.
The Phaistos Disc is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (second millennium BC). The disk is about 15 cm (5.9 in) in diameter and covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols. Its purpose and its original place of manufacture remain disputed. It is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion.
Only 2km away from Phaistos is situated the archaeological side of Agia Triada with the remains of a minoic palace. The settlement is after Phaistos the second biggest minoic settlement in the western Messara plain.
A must for every Matala visitor is the archaeological excavation of Gortys. Once the biggest city on Crete, Gortys has quite some sightseeings. For example the cathedral of Saint Titus, which was the biggest and most important christian cathedrale of Crete, or the roman theater with the two entrances and the circular orchestra as well as the "queen of inscriptions", which established the modern greek legislation.
Agio Farago beach is a river mouth open to the sea, only accessible on foot. This area is also a nature reserve for wild goats and birds. To get there you have to pass a small gorge, about 1.8 km, which is all over full with oleanders. On the way to the beach you will pass the small church of Saint Anthony and the Goumenospilios cave. As tha path to go to the entrance of the gorge is not asphalted and very bumpy, you actually should not go there by your own. But it is possible to book a jeep tour to get to this beach.