Matala is one of the most popular destinations, not just in Heraklion, but on the whole island. It is located in the south part of the municipality, about 70km from the city centre. Matala is inextricably associated with the caves formed in the rocks surrounding the beach, which were a getaway for the hippies in the 1960s and 1970s.
At the bay overlooking the Paximadia islands there is a 300m long beach with sand, fine pebbles and crystal clear waters. There are beach umbrellas and chaise longues as well as beach bars, while beach volleyball courts, water sports and boats for short trips are also available.
The most adventurous of you can dive from the imposing, tall rock in the north part of the coast.
Combine your visit in Matala with a tour of Faistos, the second most important Minoan palace, after the one of Knossos.