Travelguide > Places > Heraklion Prefecture > Matala

Matala, located at the south coast and 70 km from Heraklion, is well known because of the caves.

The first Christians buryed their dead people there. The legend says that Zeus arrived here with Europa.

 The Minoan and later the Roman used the bay as a harbor. In the 9th century the Arabs landed here and conquered the island.

In the 60' the Hippies discovered the caves for live there. Later it was forbidden. Now they are closed at night.

Meanwhile the small fisher-village has been developed to a centre of tourism. A big parking place, directly to the beach, and many hotels have destroid the original place. In high season are many tourists here.

2 km outside of Matala is another sandy beach (Kommos beach), where are not so many people until now. There is also a camping and a tavern.