the archaeological site of Matala

Matala - is a village located 75 km south-west of Heraklion.

The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala bay were created in the Neolithic Age.

Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period, following the destruction of Kommos, and the port of Gortys during the Roman period when Gortys was proclaimed capital of Crete by the Romans.

The Gortynians occupied Matala at 220 B.C.

Ruins of the ancient city are still visible on the sea bed as the ancient city was sunk in the sea.

The archaeological pick has unearthed some traces of the palaces built by the nobles from the ancient cities of Phaistos and Gortys.


There is also a cave known as "Brutospeliana" and legend has it that it was frequented by the Roman general Brutus.

According to mythology, when Zeus abducted the princess Europa in the form of a white bull, he crossed the sea and brought her to the beach of Matala.

There he changed into an eagle and flew her to Gortys where he mated with her.

Roman Ancient Tombs

Matala was then a fishing village and owing to its exceptional natural beauty, it became the meeting place of the "Flower Children" in 1968. Although their conference failed to realize, yet they were compensated by the incomparable beauty of the area, which so much contrasts with the concept of destruction and war. Nowadays Matala is a small village living mainly from tourism.

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From Heraklion take the road to Tympaki

Archaeological Site of Matala

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 15:00

Admission: 4 € (Reduced: 2 €)