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Matala (Greek Μάταλα) is a village located 75 km south-west of Heraklion on the island of Crete. The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala bay were created in the Neolithic Age. Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period. In the year 220 BC. Later during the Roman period Matala became the port of Gortys. In the 1st and 2nd centuries the caves were used as tombs. Matala was then a fishing village.
In the 1960s the caves were occupied by hippies who were later driven out by the church and the military junta. Matala attracted international attention in the early 70s when Joni Mitchell released her critically acclaimed album ‘Blue’ which detailed her experiences whilst living in the caves with the young hippie travellers enjoying the tranquillity of Matala Beach.
Nowadays Matala is a small village living mainly from tourism. In The Matala Beach Festival (now in it’s 3rd year) almost 100,000 fans have enjoyed sweet music and art, on the sands beneath the caves, that were legendary during the hippie era. Matala’s culturally unique heritage continues to attract visitors of all ages.
Matala beach, Island of Crete, Greece, Europe
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-85 mm at 24 mm, 1/500 sec at f/ 10, ISO 200
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.
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