Matala – a small natural harbour at the end of the Messara plateau, whose sand and shingle beach was once a place of refuge for Zeus, when he kidnaped Europa in shape of a bull. Many visitors choose Matala as their holiday resort, as it is centrally placed in the south of Crete and therefore the perfect starting point for daily excursions, as well as it is far away from the touristic centers of the North.
Matala has to offer something for everyone. Although the village is a very popular holiday resort meanwhile, it did not lose any of its original charm and character as a quiet fishing village. Half of the beach is fenced around by tamarisk trees, which lead the attention of the visitors towards the impressive sandstone formations with the famous caves of Matala. The spit of land full of hidden caves ends a few meters outside of the sea and forms thus one of the most extraordinary landscapes of the island.