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.
Red Beach – one of the world's best nudist beaches
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 and drinks with you as well as sturdy shoes!
Komo beach - Crete's most important minoic harbour
The about 4km long sand beach offers plenty of place for every visitor and is placed only a few driving minutes from Matala 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!
Phaistos – one of the most important minoic harbour
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 Kommos the "big minoic triangle". The excavation can be visited during the whole year.
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.
Gortys – once the biggest city on Crete
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.