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History of Matala Crete

Matala is located 4 km south-west of the village of Pitsidia and 75 km from Iraklion. It is built on the coast line of the Messara bay inside a small and picturesque inlet.

The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala bay were created in the Neolithic Age and probably were used as prehistoric dwellings and places of worship.

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Matala was the port of the ancient cretan city of Phaistos during the Minoan period. In the year 220 BC. Matala was occupied by the Gortynians and during the Roman period Matala became the port of Gortys. Ruins of the ancient city are still visible on the sea bed as the ancient city was sunk in the sea. The archaeological pick has unearthed some traces of the palaces built by the nobles from the ancient cities of Phaistos and Gortys.

In the 1st and 2nd century the caves were used as tombs. One of the caves is called "Brutospeliana" because according to the legend it was frequented by the Roman general Brutus. The caves, cut by the Cretan people from the early Stone Age, with their passages, stone beds and fireplaces, are now put under monumental care.

Owing to its exceptional natural beauty, Matala became the meeting place of the "Flower Children" in 1968. Now Matala is modern holiday resort.

Mythology: When Zeus robbed the princess Europa in the form of a white bull, he crossed the sea and brought her to the beach of Matala.



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