Matala beach is a large, wide, sandy beach.
The sea is clean and you can enjoy a swim almost every day in every season, except for the few days when the waves are too big to swim safely.
Matala Bay is relatively sheltered from northerlies, but it is affected by south and westerly winds.
Matala Beach is fully organised with sun loungers and umbrellas, showers and public toilets, while if you are thirsty the cafeterias and canteens will certainly offer you anything you feel like.
At the back of the beach are tamarisk trees, offering their shade to people who want a more natural feel.
Kokkini Ammos Beach
Kokkini Ammos Beach (“Red Sand”) is south of Matala. To get to Kokkini Ammos Beach, you can either follow the footpath from Matala or go by boat.
Sea cave at Kokkini Ammos
In the high rocks on the north side of the beach is a sea cave you can explore, if you’re not afraid of the dark waters and claustrophobic feeling inside.
There are no umbrellas on Kokkini Ammos Beach at the beginning of the summer, and you will need to take water with you. Later, though, when there are more tourists, someone sets up a small business offering umbrellas and soft drinks at very reasonable prices.
You should also know that Kokkini Ammos is a nudist beach, though not exclusively so - usually nudists are in the minority, but there will be some.
Komos beach is a spectacular beach many kilometres long, stretching from Matala to Kalamaki.
You can drive here from Matala via the village of Pitsidia.
On the first part of the beach, next to the archaeological site, you’ll find umbrellas and a taverna.
If you head north (to the Potamos area), things change and the umbrellas disappear, to be replaced by people who prefer to swim and sunbathe without extraneous clothing - i.e. nudists.
Other beaches near Matala
Good beaches near Matala are:
Kalamaki Beach. An organised beach in front of Kalamaki village, north of Matala.
The beach at Kokkinos Pyrgos, also an organised beach with tavernas and cafeterias.
Agia Galini beach is about 20 kilometres north of Matala. Agia Galini is a picturesque village set out in a horseshoe shape in the hills, well worth a visit.
The beach at Kali Limenes (“Fair Havens”) is south of Matala, and is the best choice for days when a strong north wind is blowing. There are tavernas near the middle of the beach, so you can go there for a pleasant daytrip from Matala.
The drawback of Kali Limenes is the ship refuelling depot on the islet opposite the beach.
The beach at Ayiofarango is for nature lovers. You will need to walk down the gorge to get to the beach, unless you come by boat.