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Matala

Matala is the most ancient village in the whole of Crete. It is located 66 kilometers from Herakleion, on the southern coast of the island.  Once a small fishing village, today it has developed into a tourist resort. It has by far the best-known beach in the Herakleion province mainly because of the famous caves cut into the cliffs above its beautiful sands.  During the 1st and 2nd century CE the caves were used as tombs by the Romans.  Some caves may even have been used as prehistoric dwellings.

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MatalaThe clear waters and famous caves of Matala. Volleyball court in MatalaBeing the psycho volleyball players that we are, we just had to photograph this volleyball court, which ended up being the only volleyball court we saw in Greece. Grisel at MatalaGrisel at Matala.
Messaras BayWest of Matala, in the open waters of the Messaras Bay, are two uninhabited islands known as Paximadia. North HillThe caves are carved out of limestone cliffs on the sheer side of the north hill of Matala. Caves at MatalaThe hollowed-out rock caves of Matala.
Caves at MatalaCaves at Matala. Jeff at MatalaJeff at the caves at Matala. Caves at MatalaJeff at the caves at Matala.
The Libyan SeaThe beach of Matala opens like an embracing arm into the Libyan Sea. The Libyan SeaThe Libyan Sea and Matala. Matala cave formationInteresting formation in one of the caves at Matala.

Matala cave "window"Matala cave "window".

Tombs at MatalaTombs at Matala.

Tombs at MatalaTombs at Matala.

 
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All pictures are Copyright 2000 Grisel Gonzalez and Jeff Prosise