Matala Caves

Travel tips you can trust


Why the
Matala Caves on
the Greek Island of
Crete are special

The Matala Caves have a long history of occupation. And their seaside setting is picturesque.

Matala Caves
tips and insights


The Matala Caves in southern Greece are not natural - they were chiseled out of the soft sandstone cliff by humans. Likely, prehistoric man began the process, but the Romans did most of the work. They used the caves for tombs.


The Matala Caves became world famous in the 1960s when hippies arrived in the Greek Islands. Some moved into the Matala Caves and created an international flower-child commune blessed with a beautiful crescent bay with turquoise waters. In the 1970s, local authorities detested the hippie lifestyle and cleared out the caves. They illegalized sleeping in the Matala Caves, though you can explore them during the day.


In the ensuing decades, the adjacent Matala fishing village evolved into an unpretentious Greek Island beach resort. There's a beach for sunning and relaxing. Unfortunately, it's a bit pebbly, as are many beaches in Greece.

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