It was at Matala that Joni Mitchell met Cary. She wrote a song about him later (with the same name), calling him “a mean old daddy” and referenced the Matala Moon. She stayed in a cave on the beach for while but soon missed the comforts of home.
Visiting the Matala Caves
The freedom of the 70’s hippies has kind of back-lashed. The caves are now called Roman Burial Crypts and are no longer free to visit. Entry costs €2 per person and the caves are open to visit from about 10:00 – 17:00. The carved grotto’s are fun to explore though. You might find one or two with peeling paint remains from freer days.
The beach is quiet spacious with fine sand. And beach loungers if you want to escape the sandiness. Or you could just go for a dip. It was pretty windy on the day in September that we were there so I didn’t go for a dip. It does look like a good place to swim though in a calm day. It might not be possible to go too far out because of boat lanes but there might be some cool underwater caves to explore.
The beachfront still has a flower-power feel to it with murals of iconic VW vans, colourful painted tarmac and tourist shops selling tie-dye and crochet clothing. There are plenty of opportunities to sit down for a drink or a meal and shop for souvenirs or handmade craft products. If you’re a hungry carnivore, try a gyros plate but if you’re you’d like a healthier option, get yourself a fresh Greek salad.
If you fancy a picnic, there is a Carrefour on the parking-side of the beach. It has almost everything and anything you could need. Pick up some beers, Turkish Delight, fresh fruit, olives, souvenirs, beach gear… really anything.