Places near Matala
At Kommos, above the famous beach in the south of the prefecture of Heraklion, there is the archaeological site of the Minoan city of Komos. Kommos in Minoan Crete was one of the two ports of the Minoan palace of Phaistos. Matala was the other one.
Excavations of the archaeological site began for the first time in 1976 by a group of Canadian archaeologists, but the existence of Kommos and its connection to the palace of Phaistos was known by Sir Arthur Evans. The finds include the harbor settlement, and public buildings such as shipyards, warehouses, prytaneion, temple and an amphitheater building. One of the most important finds are the ancient olive oil presses, which reveal how developed was the cultivation of olive trees in Minoan Crete.
The archaeological site is not accessible but you can admire the building findings outside the fenced area which is accessible from the road leading to Kommos beach.
The apartments "Acropol" are located in Pitsidia, one of the most beautiful villages of south Crete.
Pitsidia finds itself a couple of kilometres from Matala and Phaistos archaeological site, and about 75 kilometres from Heraklion town.
Matala beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, renowned all over the world due to its uniqueness and beauty. Matala (and Kommos beach) used to be the port of Gortys and Phaistos. It was a tiny fishing town near Pitsidia, that developed to be one of the most modern and scenic holiday resorts in the island.
Matala became known to the entire world during the 60s when hippies from every corner of the world were gathering there enjoying the lovely sea and the freedom offered grandly by this gorgeous inlet.
Artificial caves carved in the north part of the shores, sapphire blue waters and endless sandy beach is what you can expect when visiting Matala. The towering rocks, formed by the caves, are overlooking the waters and attract numerous tourists who choose to dive in the sea or simply lay and enjoy the sun.
Joni Mitchell wrote a song for her experience in Matala Beach along with the Hippie commune; the name of the song is Carey. The Flower Children, as they were called, didn’t manage to realise their conference as intended, however they managed to enjoy the beauty of the area and the breathtaking views to the Bay.
Today Matala Beach is a lovely tourist destination featuring resorts, hotels and numerous restaurants featuring the infamous Cretan and Greek Cuisine. It is situated approximately 70km from the city of Heraklion at the Messara Bay.
The islands Paksimadia and Gavdos can be seen in the horizon. The uninhabited Paksimadia (or Paximadia) is around 10 kilometres away from the shore and owe their name to the dryness that dominates on the island.
The inhabited island of Gavdos is the southernmost point of Europe, and is about 17 kilometres away from the shore and is visible when the weather is clear.
For those who love to walk, the neighbouring beach of Kommo offers the perfect setting with the waves ending right at your feet. The ancient port of the Minoan era brings the visitor closer to the history and culture of the Cretan civilisation.During the summer months, the area bursts with life due to its constantly growing tourist population, which it has been enjoyng over the last years. This is no surprise considering its crystal clear beach and breathtaking sunset. There is an abundance of taverns and bars in which you can enjoy a drink and delicious traditional dishes with fresh seadfood.The village of Kalamaki is 60 km far from Heraklion City and 72 from Rethimno. Close to Kalamaki are located the traditional villages Sivas, Kamilari, Pitsidia, Petrokefali and many more.12 kilometres further inland is Mires, a town with many shops, services, such as a post office, banks, a hospital, pharmacies, large supermarkets for economic purchases including LIDL and Marinopoulos-Carrefour. Mires is also known for its well-known Pazari (flee market) every Saturday. It is the largest one in Southern Crete, where you can find anything from women’s and men’s undergarments and children’s games to vegetables, fruit, kitchenware, carpets and delicatessen’s such as feta cheese and honey. Something similar but on a smaller scale is held every Friday in Timbaki, a nearby village, west of Mires.
The village of Pitsidia is located 65 km southwest of Iraklion at an altitude of 80 m a.s.l, just before the magnificent bay of Messara and 2km far from the famous Kommo beach. The village with aproximately 700 inhabitants is the seat of the Pitsidia-Matala community. Pitsidia is the oldest village of the area and is refered (by S. Spanakis) that it was the place where the s oldiers of Nikiforos Fokas, commander of the Byzantine army, settled. The army, famous for its bravery, came from Pisidia of the south Asia Minor, and this is probably the origin of the name Pitsidia. The road from Iraklion is fairly good and passes through the Messara valley. Regular public transportation is available for visiting Pitsidia-Matala. The climate is temperate and it promotes longevity and well-being, as the inhabitants of the village are famous for their longevity.Pitsidia is a quiet village, with a long tradition of hospitality. The spotlessly clean accommodation units, the taverns with their traditional cuisine, the cafes with their aroma of Greek coffee, as well as the cosmopolitan ambiance of the area during the summer months, warranty a memorable stay to all visitors. Visitors are always welcomed at Pitsidia.For more information about Pitsidia, you are invited to visit , or call, the offices of the Community Enterprise of Pitsidia (tel:+30-2892-45340/45720). Pitsidia Pitsidia: Kommo Beach Pitsidia The surrounding landscape is of exceptional natural beauty with archaeological and historical sites which attract a large number of tourists each year. Within the Pitsidia community, 4 km to the southwest, lies the renowned resort of Matala. At a distance of 1500 m. lies the long sandy beach of Kommos and the antiquities of Kommos. Pitsidia Pitsidia Also, the village of Pitsidia can be the starting point for outing and excursions to the archaeological sites in the broader area. Some of the most interesting sites are the ancient mansion of Pitsidia, the archaeological sites of Laggou, Phaistos, Agia Triada and Gortys, the monastery of Odigitria, the gorge of "Agiofarago".
Kamilari, a typical Cretan village, away from mass tourism, has managed to preserve its traditional character. The village is located on a hill offering panoramic views of the Psiloritis mountain range, the fertile Messara plain and last not least the Mediterranean Sea.
The warm and peaceful atmosphere and the hospitality of the village people make you feel welcome and home right away. Plenty of places in and around the village are worth a visit, either on foot or by rented car or bike. Important Minoan sights like the Palace of Phaistos and Agia Triada are in a distance of 3-4 km. Matala, a little fishing village, with its famous caves and history as domicile of the hippies is only 6 km away. You can take long walks in the countryside or visit some of the monasteries and gorges of the area.Extensive sandy beaches invite you for a swim, Kommos beach (2,5 km) with its Minoan excavations or Kalamaki beach (3 km). The village has several taverns and little supermarkets as well as traditional kafeneia where the locals are enjoying their Greek coffee chatting away.