Matala - Red Beach - Vathy


Trail Matala - Vathy
(8 votes)

One of the most beautiful trails in Crete that one may attempt in the area of Western Asterousia Range is the path from Matala to Vathy beach. The route is mostly along the coast, but requires good physical condition due to long distance (11 km), lack of a marked trail and it definitely required good sun protection

The route starts from Matala and passes over the adjacent nudist Red Beach, along a marked trail. It then goes off the path, at the side of high vertical cliffs with captivating views of the Gulf of Messara. Through some ups and downs along the cliffs, we arrive at a lower area with soft limestone where the land forms five consecutive bays at the outputs of small canyons. The area looks like a moonscape. Along bare rocks, we meet many fossils and some small ponds ideal for swimming. Moving from cove to cove is a challenge as you need to climb in some places. The quickest way to get to one of these points is to stay as close as possible to the shoreline because the gorges in the innerland become wilder.

The course concludes at Vathi sheltered beach, one of the nicest in south Crete. To access the beach through the trail one has to be very careful while descending. Because of the difficulty of the route, it is advisable to have arranged a means to return from Vathy (car or boat).

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Length (km): 11
  • Difficulty (0-10): 2
  • Hiking Hours: 3:30

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