Matala, Prefecture of Heraklion
The caves at Mátala were carved out in the 2nd century bc and would have been tombs. Some have carved niches were the body’s would have been lain. In The 1960’s and 70’s Mátala was swamped by Hippy’s who lived in the caves. You can still see the damage done by them in the form of Ban the bomb and peace signs carved into the caves and the remains of brightly coloured paint. The caves have now been fenced off and there is a small hut of the type used to take admission fees but when we went there was nobody in it and the gate was left open for people to just walk in.
In the 1960’s and 70’s many Hippies came to Mátala (including Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens) living in the Caves carved into the rock. There are still some hippy’s there camped out on the top of the beach near the gate to the caves. The surrounding hotels have mostly Germans staying in them, one even has pieces of the Berlin wall in the reception.
The beach is lovely and worth walking down even if like me you are not a beach lover.
The small Bazzar type shops sell Materials, herbs spices etc and are certainly worth walking around even if the prices are slightly higher than in some other places.