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Things to do in Matala, Greece

Our most recommended things to do in Matala, Greece

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 Spili, discover the caves of Agia Galini, and enjoy 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, you will have 1.5 hours to explore the village. Admire the views of small, traditional houses and the harbor, the perfect place for a coffee break. Continue next to Matala where you will have 2.5 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.

From Chania: Minoan Palaces with Winery & Matala Beach Tour

4. From Chania: Minoan Palaces with Winery & Matala Beach Tour

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.

From Elounda: Crete Christian Landmarks Private Tour

5. From Elounda: Crete Christian Landmarks Private Tour

Discover the remnants of centuries-old Christian monuments in central Crete. Take a private day trip from Agios Nikolaos or Elounda to dive into the rich religious history of the island. Follow the path walked by Apostle Paul thousands of years ago and admire imposing monasteries. Get picked up from your Agios Nikolaos/Elounda hotel or villa and take a journey to central Crete from north to south. Explore the land where Apostle Paul found fertile soils with lavish vineyards and olive groves stretching toward the horizon. Allow your guide to take you on a journey through history. Explore the village of Agios Myron and its holy cave, as well as the Pailani and Odigitria Monasteries. Meander through the Minoan wonders of the vast Messara Plain to take in magnificent views of Phaistos Palace. Finally, visit the village of Matala to unwind at the typical fish tavernas on the waterfront.

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

6. 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 Elounda: Minoan Palaces with Winery & Matala Beach Tour

7. From Elounda: Minoan Palaces with Winery & Matala Beach Tour

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.

Ancient Palaces with Minoan Wine Route & Matala Beach Tour

8. Ancient Palaces with Minoan Wine Route & Matala Beach Tour

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.

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What people are saying about Matala, Greece

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 183 reviews

We were picked up punctually from our hotel and welcomed in a very friendly manner by our tour guide and bus driver. The tour guide told us a lot of interesting facts about the island during the trip. Little by little we then approached the individual destinations of the tour, where we had enough time to look at everything. All places were super beautiful and well worth seeing. The bus ride was very pleasant for us, there was great music on the island and the places. Thanks to the perfect driving skills of our bus driver, we were able to fully enjoy the trip and the island. The tour guide made the day perfect with his super great manner, even though the weather was a bit mixed.

AWESOME!! the stops on our way to matala were beautiful and even the bus ride was nice itself. thanks to andreas we've heard interessting facts about crete and our destinations. the red beach and the hike to it is a definitive recommondation.

The tour was led by tour guide Anastasia and bus driver Costas, both did an excellent job. A lot has been said about Crete. Costas played the lyre for us, . All stops had a lot of charm, Matala caves and beach is a must see destination.

Well guided tour. Guide and driver were great. Hippie Beach is a great destination. Relaxing and interesting at the same time.

Great trip through the mountains to the south coast. The guide and driver were really lovely and friendly