Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period, following the destruction of Kommos, and the port of Gortys during the Roman period when Gortys was proclaimed capital of Crete by the Romans. The Gortynians occupied Matala at 220 B.C.
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.
There is also a cave known as "Brutospeliana" and legend has it that it was frequented by the Roman general Brutus.
Owing to its exceptional natural beauty, Matala became the meeting place of the "Flower Children" in 1.968. Although their conference failed to realize, yet they were compensated by the incomparable beauty of the area, which so much contrasts with the concept of destruction and war.