Roughly 65km south of Crete Island’s capital city Heraklion, on the road of absolutely stunning scenery, almost hidden from the rest of the island and the world you’ll find this beautiful little town called Matala, famous by being one of European hippie hotspots back in the 60s and the 70s.
Hippies literally lived inside of man-made Neolithic caves in Matala and among them famous Joni Mitchell whose popular songs like “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock” helped define an era and a generation. Today, this place is held as a tourist attraction, and you can climb up to check hippie “homes” yourself and the spectacular view on this tiny place and its attractive bay of the Libyan Sea.
And don’t worry. The hippie spirit didn’t die. The place and I’d say whole island of Crete still attracts hippies from around Europe, and this is really obvious in Matala as… Flowers, peace signs are on literally every corner.
Once a year, this tiny town organizes the Matala Beach Festival (similar to the Burning Man Festival in the US), and I’d say that is the best time to visit this unique destination, as then you really get the best of the atmosphere and a feeling of unique spirit that Matala has.
Although being small, the town offers various accommodation offers to choose from, and if you’d like to make a visit to Matala an adventurous experience, you can sleep on the main beach and no one, trust me, will bother you.
Remember: with just a few shops and café bars, and if you’re not visiting this place during the festival, Matala is perfect for relaxation and meditation, and it’s definitely not a great choice for people who are into crazy summer parties.
This is a peaceful, beautiful, hippie European getaway. Literally.