South Crete- Phaistos – Matala


South Crete is the less known, full of picturesque landscapes, side of Crete. Following the route to the south of Heraklion, visitors will discover the Minoan Palace of Phaistos, the archaeological site of Gortyna, and the famous, full of caves, beach of Matala.


Phaistos Palace was the second biggest city of Minoan Crete. In the archaeological site visitors have the opportunity to admire the palace buildings, the palace warehouses, the workshops and various impressive clay pots which Minoans used in daily life. Phaistos is well known for the famous enigmatic Phaistos disk, a clay disk covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols, the meaning of which is still unknown to us but very well known to the ancient Cretans.



 In the archeological site of Gortyna visitors will admire the Roman capital of the provinces of Crete and Cyrene, which flourished during the Archaic period (7th- 6th  c. BC)


Matala is a natural harbor, the place in legend where Zeus swam ashore in the guise of a bull with Europa on his back. Matala used to be a quiet fishing village before 60’s and 70’s when hippies started to arrive and make it a beloved destination. Half the beach is fringed by tamarisk trees, leading the eye onto impressive formations of sandstone rock cliffs (where hippies used to stay) with their famous caves sliding into the sea at an odd angle, creating one of the most unusual beachscapes on the island. In Matala, you can both swim while admiring the magnificent landscape and enjoy the beautiful cafes and restaurants.

  • WiFi, mineral water and phone chargers are waiting for you on our minibuses to make your private tour experience even  more comfortable. All child seats you may need are also provided at no extra charge.
  • Admission tickets for the archaeological site and your meal are not included in the price. You can book for you a professional tour guide for Faistos Palace, upon request.

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