South Crete - Matala

Location:  Matala, Matala
matala overview


Matala beach on Crete

A charming beach side town and a very nice place to stay. In fact, if we were to do it again, Matala would serve as our central Crete home base rather than Iraklion.

In Matala we saw the famous tiers of caves by the beach. It was interesting to look at these ancient hand dug caves that were used by the Romans as tombs and were perhaps inhabited as far back as the stone age. We also checked out the nice beach in town and it was fairly empty on the day that we were there. Additionally, we had read about Red Beach which is an even more secluded beach that is nearby. According to our book it said that Red Beach was "20 minutes down the path behind the church." Well, that made it sound much simpler than it actually was! First, there was no church that we could ever find. The path actually heads over a steep, tall hill that is on the opposite side of town from the hill with the caves. You can ask anyone in town who can help you find it. The "path" is barely a path in places. In fact, parts of it are literally goat paths and you will actually see goats climbing around on them. Be forewarned that this is steep, rocky terrain that will require good tennis shoes at least if not hiking boots. There are points that are potentially dangerous--namely sprained ankles and knees. At other points you walk along the edge of a cliff and a more serious accidents would be possible if you were to trip over a rock. This is not to scare you but a fair warning that it is a strenuous hike and that you will need to be careful. The hike is actually closer to 30 minutes to get to the beach and you do get a tremendous view on the way. The beach is very nice and with fewer people than the main beach of Matala thanks to the difficult hike. Be aware that there aren't any amenities or concessions that we saw. However, you can rent an umbrella. We are glad we went!!



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Crete Overview from crete holidays on February 1, 2010 2:15 PM

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