This beach is famous for being the centre for the “Flower Children” who lived in the caves along side the beach during the late 60’s and early 70’s. The most striking feature is the series of caves in the sandstone rocks – created by nature and by man along the seashore. For thousands of years these caves were left empty until some “Hippies” discovered them. The natural beauty of the environment and the mild climate during the winter months was an open invitation for the Hippies to inhabit them. Many known artist of that time followed their lead: Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Cat Stevens just to mention a few. This movement of the 60’s changed the small peaceful fishing village into a world known meeting place for the “Flower Children”. Matala is now a tourist resort bursting full of life and with many low cost accommodations.
The caves in Matala had been used in prehistoric times for worship and residence and during the first and second century; they were used as burial chambers. Today the archaeological services preserve the caves. The area around Matala has been inhabited since ancient times. It was the seaport of the Minoan Phaistos and Gortys during Hellenistic and Roman times. The ancient ruins can still be seen on the seabed as the port and town sunk after a major earthquake long time ago. Archaeological excavations have brought to light many sea wreckages. Southeast of Matala there is a rock which offer a panoramic view of the bay of Messera. The rock jutted out to the sea and a natural cave formed which provides natural shelter to wild birds and the Mediterranean seal. For those who want to experience the Minoan Crete, the joy of archaeological sightseeing is here. The palaces of Phaistos, Agia Triada and Gortyna are very close to Vori.