Matala is a seaside village in south Crete, near Phaistos, the second-largest Minoan Palace in Crete. Matala became famous in the Sixties, when hippies came here from all over the world to live in the celebrated caves of Matala, next to the beach. This is how the Matala sky is described in Joni Mitchell’s song “Carey”. That was the time when a large group of artists, including Janice Joplin, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, spent their days and nights under the Cretan sky, in the pretty fishing village of Matala.

When the slogan was “Peace, Man”, accompanied by the peace sign. Today Matala is no longer what was in the Sixties and early Seventies. It’s nothing like the little village that attracted hippies who had been partying at Woodstock before coming here. Today the Flower Children live in Matala no more, having given their place to thousands of tourists from all over the world, who come here to see a legendary place and get a taste of past glamour.

Matala is ideal for those who want to spend their holidays near lovely beaches, large archaeological sites and many villages which retain their traditional atmosphere. Matala itself has lost most of its traditional colour, but traditional villages such as Sivas and Kamilari are nearby, with many more waiting to be discovered within a 20-kilometre radius. Matala is not the place for wild nightlife and fun, but there are several bars where you can have a drink and listen to music by the sea.

For those who are interested in Cretan history, Phaistos (Minoan Palace), Agia Triada (Minoan Villa) and the ancient city of Gortys are very close to Matala.