Main attractions of the area are:


Matala is a small seaside village which was a port of Phaistos during the Minoan period and Gortyna’s port during the Roman period. On the steep coast of the village there are artificial caves (and underwater caves), carved into the rock. It is said that they were tombs. But some have rooms, stairs, windows, so it seems that they were once used as homes. The beds look like Etruscan tombs.

The caves remained empty for thousands of years until the 1960s when wandering hippies discovered them and inhabited them for some time. Among those who passed by, were the Canadian creator Johnny Mitchell, who immortalized her experience in the song “Carey“.


Phaistos was the second most important city of Crete during the second millennium BC, after Knossos, and today is an important archaeological site.

The first reference to Phaistos is made by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey, where he mentions Phaistos in the list of cities that participated in the Trojan War and describes it as a well-inhabited city. The ancient historian Diodorus of Sicily attributes the founding of Phaistos, as well as Knossos and Kydonia, to the king of Crete Minos.


Agiofarago (Gorge of the Saints) is a “hidden” beach which is on the top of the list of the best beaches of Crete. In order to access it you have first to follow an unpaved road which starts from the Monastery of Odigitria. Then you have to hike through an impressive gorge for about 20 minutes.

On the way inside the “Gorge of the Saints” you will find large caves once inhabited by ascetics and the church of Agios Antonios with a small well with fresh water. A little further you will see the so-called “Goumenospilio”, where the hermits once gathered.

The imposing rocks that rise around the windless beach, create a beautiful setting that will surely magnetize you.