The magnificent inlet of Matala features one of the best beaches in Crete. The artificial caves, carved into the north face of the coast, have been probably used as prehistoric dwellings and places of worship, while during the 1st-2nd century were used as tombs.
These caves, in combination with the sandy beach, form a semicircle on both sides of which jut up towering rocks; they act as a magnet for many people. During the 60's the caves were hosting a hippie commune. Today, the tomb-caves of Matala are protected by the Archaeological Service.