Matala Beach Festival 2023
Matala is a Greek village, situated in the south of Crete, 75km approximately from Heraklion the capital of the island. The climate is very good; hot summers and wet winters with mild temperatures.
Since ancient times, Matala offered a unique experience to the visitors with many different caves, located directly on the cliff of the bay. Created during the Neolithic age by the inhabitants of the island that sculpted the rocks, the caves were used as tombs during the Roman occupation. However, considering the volume of each cave, there was enough space for people to live in it. This is why some caves have sheltered people for some times.
Through the years, Matala became a fishing village with its remaining empty caves. During the 1960s, the caves became occupied again. The hippies that were part of a movement for their independence came to Matala and lived in the caves as primitives. During the summer, people were living half naked because of the high temperatures, while during the winter, they were wearing lamb’s wool to protect themselves from the low temperatures. Years after their arrival, the hippies were driven out of the caves by the church and the military junta. Since then, the caves are uninhabited.
Matala is still a very touristic destination. Known for their history with the caves but also for their beautiful beaches, the village welcomes many tourists during the high season. From May to November, the city is quite alive and friendly. The previous atmosphere with the hippies people, is still there, creating a unique feeling, with a joyful vibe mixed with the bohemian style of Crete. The village offers many restaurants, bars and shops for the great pleasure of the visitors.
In the memory of the people living in the caves during the 1960s, a festival takes place in Matala every year. Since 2011, the village is welcoming the Matala Beach Festival in June. During 3 days, the village is animated by activities for children and adults, but also by concerts and live performances. Artists from all over Greece and other countries are coming to entertain the visitors. The festival and the concerts are taking place at the beach, next to the Matala’s caves in the centre of the village.
The festival is linked with the Matala Street Painting event. The streets and some walls are painted, with beautiful and unique colours, while people from all ages can participate to this event, which takes place the weekend before the festival starts. Everyone is able to leave a trace of its passage in the famous village.
This year the 10th edition of Matala Beach Festival will take place after 3 years of interruption because of the Covid-19 pandemic. People are more than ready to come back after this Covid parenthesis, to enjoy and share moments with their friends and finally, to discover Matala again. The dates to remember are the 18th of June for the Matala Street Painting event and the 23, 24, 25th of June for the Matala Beach Festival.