Matala located 71km southwest of Heraklion via the Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Agii Deka - Mires - Matala road is on the coast, south of the town of Timbaki. Matala is quite a large town with a good range of tourist facilities from which you can easily reach the archaeological sites of Festos, Agia Triada, and Gortyn. Various other beaches of southern Crete are also nearby. Matala has remains of Minoan, Greek, Roman and early Byzantine eras.
Matala was originally the harbour of Festos during the Minoan and Greek period, and when Gortyn defeated Festos in 220 B.C., it became the harbour of Gortyn. Traces of the ancient settlement are seen on the bottom of the sea.
Matala is famous for its man-made caves which were first inhabited during the prehistoric period. Tombs found in the caves date from Greek, Roman and Early Christian times.
Photos of Matala:
The cave chapel of the Panagia in Matala
The bazaar atmosphere of the market in Matala
The caves and beach in Matala
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