Matala, Crete

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
View of town

Matala (Greek: Μάταλα) is a village located 75 km south-west of Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Matala is part of the community of Pitsidia within the municipal unit of Tympaki, Faistos municipality, Heraklion regional unit.

History[edit]

The caves of Matala.
Southern part of the beach

The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala bay were created in the Neolithic Age. Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period. In the year 220 BC, Matala was occupied by the Gortynians, and during the Roman period, Matala became the port of Gortys. It has been suggested that the caves were once used as tombs, but it is more likely that they were used as living spaces, given their volume (corpses do not need that much room to walk around). One of the caves is called "Brutospeliana" because according to the legend it was frequented by the Roman general Brutus.

Matala was then a fishing village. In the 1960s, the caves were occupied by hippies[1] who were later driven out by the church and the military junta. Matala is now a heavily overbuilt tourist destination relying on coach tours and summer visitors. There are many gift shops and bars. Matala's hippie history relives during the 3 days Matala Beach Festival, every June (since 2011).[2]

Mythology[edit]

When Zeus seduced the princess Europa in the form of a white bull, he crossed the sea and brought her to the beach of Matala. There he changed into an eagle and flew her to Gortys where he had sex with her.

Climate[edit]

Matala has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa). Matala experiences hot, very dry summers and very mild, wet winters.

Climate data for Matala (1971-2000 modelled normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 15.79
(60.42)
15.57
(60.03)
16.79
(62.22)
19.93
(67.87)
23.79
(74.82)
27.88
(82.18)
30.10
(86.18)
29.59
(85.26)
27.09
(80.76)
24.13
(75.43)
20.28
(68.50)
17.49
(63.48)
22.37
(72.27)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.57
(54.63)
12.40
(54.32)
13.80
(56.84)
16.76
(62.17)
20.52
(68.94)
24.64
(76.35)
27.14
(80.85)
26.58
(79.84)
24.41
(75.94)
20.84
(69.51)
17.47
(63.45)
14.83
(58.69)
19.19
(66.54)
Average low °C (°F) 10.41
(50.74)
10.14
(50.25)
10.84
(51.51)
13.08
(55.54)
16.32
(61.38)
19.85
(67.73)
22.78
(73.00)
22.91
(73.24)
20.36
(68.65)
17.80
(64.04)
14.44
(57.99)
11.87
(53.37)
15.88
(60.58)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 123.01
(4.84)
78.86
(3.10)
52.39
(2.06)
16.90
(0.67)
5.71
(0.22)
0.66
(0.03)
0.14
(0.01)
0.16
(0.01)
7.31
(0.29)
34.72
(1.37)
69.58
(2.74)
101.56
(4.00)
491.00
(19.33)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 128.27 143.70 206.30 260.49 320.81 371.45 396.34 368.10 287.69 231.73 172.93 130.33 2,955.2
Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[3]

In popular culture[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Unrelated to the real life USS Ronald Reagan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thompson, Thomas. "Crete: A Stop in the New Odyssey", Life, Chicago, 19 July 1968. Retrieved on 2010-05-25.
  2. ^ www.matala.nl. "
  3. ^ "Matala Climatic Data (1971-200 modelled normals)". Hellenic National Meteorological Service. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  4. ^ Chiasson, Dan. "Joni Mitchell's Openhearted Heroism". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-05-26.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Matala at Wikimedia Commons