We have compiled 3 reasons why Matala, Crete is one of the most unique beaches in the world and definitely in Greece. We visited Matala in Crete as we heard many a good thing about its famous beach and caves. We were in the area so why not? Without further ado, here are our 3 reasons why we believe Matala is one of the most unique beaches in the world and a must-see while in Greece or Crete.
Canadian singer Joni Mitchell, who wrote a song about Matala called Carey, is probably one of the most famous examples of the hippie wave taking. It’s hard to believe that people lived in those caves; they are small, dusty, uncomfortable, and very claustrophobic. But it’s not just the hippies that lived there (for a brief period of time), the Caves of Matala were also used by Christians in the 1st and 2nd Centuries as tombs.
2 – One will be hard-pressed to find a travel destination more unique. The reason for this is because the beach is itself is overtopped by the Matala Caves on one side and by a majestic restaurant lane on the other. The water is the clear Mediterranean blue you’d expect. But it’s not just about Matala itself, the surrounding area is awe-inspiring. Matala is found within the south-central municipality of Phaistos in Crete. You might have heard of Phaistos because there is also a city by the same name, or at least what remains of it. It’s a bronze age archeological site and a must-see in and of itself is in the region. It was, after all, the second largest city of Minoan Crete, just a little smaller than Knossos.
3 – The history of the Matala Caves has seen its share of heated moments throughout the years (or even centuries), the Greek army was actually called in to remove the hippies from the beach by force. But fear not, there’s no controversy, no military tanks, no religious prosecution; the beach is as peaceful as they come and a must-see while on the island of Crete. To summarize its long history in a few words, the caves were originally created during the Neolithic Age whereas Matala became a port of Phaistos during the Minoan era.
It was also a port of Gortys during the Roman period. The Matala beach is quite rocky but a nice beach overall. The views are great, you have the Matala Caves on one side and you have a restaurant lane on the other. While we were there we ate at Scala Matala. Still, I wouldn’t recommend just going for the beach alone; it’s about the entire experience. And that’s an experience that we will remember forever.
Let us know what you think, have you ever been on a beach with caves?