Car hire - Matala Beach: A Glimpse into the Rich History of Crete's Iconic Coastal Gem

Nestled on the southern coast of the enchanting island of Crete, Matala Beach boasts a unique blend of natural beauty, intriguing history, and a touch of counterculture mystique. From its beginnings as a prehistoric settlement to its role as a haven for free-spirited travelers in the 20th century, Matala Beach has been a site of fascination for thousands of years. 


The Early History of Matala Beach

Matala's earliest known inhabitants date back to the Neolithic period, around 6000 BCE. The area's natural caves, which were formed by the erosive force of the sea on the soft sandstone cliffs, provided these early settlers with shelter and security.
As the Minoan civilization flourished on the island, Matala gained prominence as a port for the nearby palace of Phaistos, one of the most significant archaeological sites in Crete. The Minoans used Matala as a harbor, facilitating trade and communication with other parts of the island and beyond.

The Hippie Era and the Rise of Matala's Counterculture

Matala's distinctive modern history began in the 1960s when it became a popular destination for hippies seeking an alternative lifestyle. Word spread about the idyllic beach and its ancient caves, and soon, Matala became a haven for free-spirited travelers from around the world.
During this period, Matala's caves were transformed into makeshift homes, adorned with psychedelic art and symbols of peace and love. The beach's laid-back atmosphere attracted notable artists and musicians of the era, including Joni Mitchell, who immortalized her experiences in Matala in her song "Carey."

Matala Today

While Matala's hippie heyday has long since passed, the legacy of its countercultural history remains. The beach is now a popular tourist destination, known for its crystal-clear waters, golden sands, and intriguing caves. Visitors to Matala can explore the caves and learn about their rich history, as well as enjoy the area's natural beauty, local cuisine, and cultural events, such as the annual Matala Beach Festival.
Matala Beach's captivating history spans thousands of years and encompasses a tapestry of cultures, civilizations, and stories. From its origins as a prehistoric settlement to its rise as a countercultural icon, Matala Beach remains a fascinating testament to Crete's ever-evolving history and enduring allure.

Celebrating Music, Love, and Hippie Culture at the Matala Beach Festival

Matala-Beach-FestivalMatala Beach Festival is a renowned event celebrated annually on the iconic sands of Matala beach, Crete. This vibrant festival brings together a diverse mix of music lovers, artists, and free-spirited individuals from around the globe, who gather to relive the bohemian vibe of the 1960s and 70s, when Matala was a popular destination for the hippie community.

Over the course of three days, festival-goers are treated to an array of live music performances spanning various genres, art installations, and communal activities. The Matala Beach Festival is a celebration of love, peace, and music, and is an unmissable event for anyone visiting Crete during the summer.

Matala Beach Festival is not just a music event but a full-on celebration of life, love, and freedom, harking back to the hippie era. The activities during the festival are designed to immerse participants in the spirit of the event.

One of the most popular activities during the festival is the live music performances. These concerts feature a mix of local and international bands and musicians covering a wide range of genres, making the festival a must-visit for music lovers.


For the art lovers, there are numerous art workshops where you can learn from local artists and even create your own masterpieces. Street art is also a major feature of the festival, with graffiti and live painting performances that transform the festival grounds into a vibrant canvas.

The festival also hosts yoga and meditation sessions by the beach, where attendees can relax, recharge, and connect with nature. These sessions are often accompanied by live acoustic music, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

In addition, there are a number of other activities like beach games, water sports, and even hiking tours around the surrounding hills and caves. Visitors can also explore the local food and culture through various culinary events and traditional Cretan dance performances.

Matala Beach Festival is truly a unique event that combines music, art, nature, and culture in a beautiful beach setting. Whether you're a die-hard music fan, an art lover, or just someone looking for a fun and unique experience, the Matala Beach Festival has something to offer.