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Things to do in

Matala

Our most recommended things to do in Matala

From Rethymno: Spili, Agia Galini, and Matala Tour

1. From Rethymno: Spili, Agia Galini, and Matala Tour

Embark on a group tour from Rethymno to visit the charming ancient villages of Crete. Visit the quaint village of Spoli and discover the caves of Agia Galini, and the sandy beach of Matala, with plenty of time to explore on your own. Start with pickup from your hotel by air-conditioned bus, then make your first stop at the village of Spili for 1 hour of free time. Walk the cobbled streets of a village with its well-known lion-head fountains. Browse the many stores and shopfronts selling traditional Cretan products. The next stop is at the amphitheatrically built village of Agia Galini. Here will have 2 hours to explore the village. Admire the views of small, traditional houses and the harbor, the perfect place to take a break for a coffee break. Continue next to Matala where you will have 3 hours of free time to enjoy the golden sandy beach. After some time sunbathing on the shore, the bus will then take you back to your hotel.

From Heraklion:Half Day Trip to Matala Hippie Beach & Caves

2. From Heraklion:Half Day Trip to Matala Hippie Beach & Caves

We reach the famous beach of Matala. This is the place where Zeus, having taken the form a bull, swam ashore with Europa on his back before dragging her off to Gortys. Both the Minoans and the Romans used the place as their harbor. Nevertheless, for most people, Matala means only one thing: hippies. Back in the late 1960s - 1970s, this little town was a colony of the “flower children”, who lived in the caves that used to be former Roman tombs. Here we will enjoy the crystal waters, the warm sun and lunch by the sea, while later we can explore the prehistoric caves, carved on the steep rocks of the area. 11:00 Arrival at Matala – free time 15:00 Departure from Matala 16:15 Arrival in Heraklion Route: 90 km Duration: app. 8 hours Extras: Entrance Caves Matala (optional): 2,00 € Pick up Malia: 08:30 Stalis: 08:35 Hersonisos: 08:45 Anissaras: 08:55 Analipsi: 09:10 Gouves: 09:20 Gournes: 09:30 Kokkini Hani: 09:30 Karteros: 09:35 Heraklion: 09:45 Ammoudara: 09:55

From Heraklion: South Crete Festos and Matala with Lunch

3. From Heraklion: South Crete Festos and Matala with Lunch

Explore the highlights of southern Crete on a guided full-day trip from Heraklion. Enjoy a small-group tour of some of the region's most popular sights.  Meet your guide at your hotel and hop on the bus that will take you to your first stop, Phaistos. Along the way, take in scenic views of the Messara winegrowing region's mountains and vineyards. At Phaistos, explore the ruins of a medieval city and the second-largest palace in Crete. Learn more about the history of the complex from your guide and enjoy panoramic views of the Ida Mountains and the Lassithi Massif. Afterward, swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Libyan Sea in the former fishing village of Matala and take a walk to the world-famous cliffside caves. Then, tuck into a delicious lunch with views over the bay. On the way back to Heraklion, stop at the monastery of Odigitria. Here, witness 2 tholos tombs and let yourself be enchanted by the monastery's charm before heading back to your hotel.

Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

4. Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

Journey into the wild and untamed side of Crete by Land Rover. Visit quiet, spiritual Agiofarago with its wild beauty, then experience the contrast of noisy Matala with its hippie style. After being picked up from your hotel, drive south through the plain of Messara, to Agiofarago: the gorge of the Saints. Enjoy a drink in the traditional village of Siva, then stop at the 14th century Odigitria Monastery. From there the rugged dirt tracks will lead you to Agiofarago. Stretch your legs along a 30 minute path crossing the gorge, scattered with oleander and olive trees. Discover a beautiful beach stretching to the Libyan Sea, where you can swim and snorkel. Enjoy a delicious picnic with local Cretan products. Continue to Matala, a small but crowded village, with a long sandy beach and crystal clear deep waters. Explore carved Roman tombs, have a swim at the beach, and eat lunch in a traditional local tavern.

From Chania: Spili, Matala Beach, & Kournas Lake Day Trip

5. From Chania: Spili, Matala Beach, & Kournas Lake Day Trip

Travel from Chania to the villages of Spili and Matala on this day trip. Stop to take in the views at Kournas Lake. Keep cool with refreshing soft drinks, beer, wine, and bottled water. Keep your energy up on the trip with sandwiches and local kalitsounia (sweet cheese pastry).   Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your accommodation in Chania. Sit back and relax on the drive to the picturesque village of Spili. Watch an audiovisual presentation on Cretan customs on the bus ride. Once you arrive in Spili, have an hour-long break to explore the fountains, springs, chapels, and murals in the village. Make your way to the village of Matala which is known for its alternative housing community that sprung up in the 60s. Take some time to enjoy the azure waters at the sandy Matala beach and admire the colorful homes, cafes, and street art. Head to lake Kournas where you can see the White Mountains reflected in the deep blue waters of the lake. Return to your accommodation in Chania at the end of your tour. 

From Chania: Private Limo Tour to a Winery and Matala Beach

6. From Chania: Private Limo Tour to a Winery and Matala Beach

Hop down to the heart of Central Crete, the beloved land of our ancestors, and let the wonders of the Minoan world collide on this luxurious passage of time. From the comfort of a premium chauffeured vehicle & escorted by our top local insider revel in the endless luxuries of the ancient Messara plain where wine-red fertile soils treasure lavish vineyards & the oldest olive groves stretch perennially toward the horizon. Visit a family award-winning winery set on the peak of allure panoramas & let our passionate winemakers immerse you into their intoxicating world. Luxuriate in ages unearthing the Bronze Age palaces of Phaistos & Gortyna along with storied villages & monasteries. In the afternoon, tuck in the bohemian vibe of Matala that captivated Bob Dylan & Janis Joplin. Bask in the turquoise waters of the Libyan Sea & unwind in the charming village irresistible for its freshly caught grilled fish & finest ouzo. To us, travel means putting fire in your soul with the best stories.

Other Sightseeing Options in Matala

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What people are saying about Matala

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 87 reviews

The places were beautiful and you could stroll and stroll through the villages. The city of Matala with its beach was very special. During the trip you will learn a lot of history about the places and Crete in general. Our guide Andreas accompanied the tour perfectly and was super friendly.

The trip was very nice and beautiful! Elisabeta from Sparrow Travel and the bus driver grigorios are the best!! Very friendly and very funny. You are always welcome! We liked a lot both and had a very nice day!! Elisabeta you are the best really!

Although it was very, very windy and the beach stays were not so nice, the villages were an absolute highlight! For the price, I recommend it to everyone!

It was a very great trip with different and great places. I recommend it to people who are interested in history.

Very well organized the guide is really very nice.