Taxi / Minivan tour to the ancient city of Gortys, Festos Minoan palace and the seaside village of Matala, in southern Heraklion on Crete (private Tours by Taxi / MiniVAN all over Crete Island)

Exploring the historical sites of Gortys and Festos (Phaistos), followed by a visit to the picturesque village of Matala, is a great way to immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of southern Crete. Here’s a suggested taxi tour itinerary for your day:

Panorama of Matala beach (Crete, Greece)
Panorama of Matala beach (Crete, Greece)
Mercedes Benz E-Class taxi transfers on Crete
Mercedes Benz E-Class taxi tours on Crete
Crete taxi transfers - Mercedes Vito car taxi minivan
Mercedes Vito minivan tours on Crete

Duration: Full Day

1. Gortys: Start your day by heading to Gortys, an ancient city with a fascinating history. Gortys was one of the most powerful cities in ancient Crete and is known for its Roman-era ruins and legal code inscribed on a stone slab. Explore the archaeological site, including the Odeon (ancient theater), the Temple of Pythian Apollo, and the Law Code of Gortys. Gortys offers a glimpse into the ancient Cretan way of life and governance. Gortys is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece and the most ancient city of Crete, in Gortyne (gortys), the Great Code of Laws was discovered, immortalized on a stone wall in the 5th century BC. e. During the Minoan civilization, it was the richest and most dynamically developing city, regulating the way of life and relations between citizens.

Gortys ancient city in south Crete
Gortys ancient city in south Crete

2. Festos (Phaistos) Palace: After Gortys, make your way to the nearby ancient palace of Festos (Phaistos), which is one of the most important archaeological sites on Crete. The palace dates back to the Minoan period and offers well-preserved ruins that provide insights into the Minoan civilization. Explore the palace complex, the courtyard, and the surrounding area. The panoramic views from Festos over the Messara Plain are breathtaking.

Festos (Phaistos) -ancient Minoan city on Crete
Festos (Phaistos) -ancient Minoan city on Crete

3. Matala: From Festos, drive to the coastal village of Matala, which is known for its stunning sandy beach and the unique rock-cut caves that were used as dwellings during the Roman and Minoan periods. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Matala, take a leisurely walk along the beach, and explore the iconic caves. You’ll also find waterfront cafes and tavernas where you can relax and enjoy the views. The popular Matala Beach in the 1960s was favored by hippie groups, including young Americans who refused to fight in the Vietnam War, and has since been a destination for tourists and the annual worldwide hippie festival.

Panorama of Matala beach with the caves on the rocks that were used as a roman cemetery and at the decade of 70’s were living hippies from all over the world, Crete, Greece

Additional Tips:

  • Arrange for a taxi or private driver to take you to each location and discuss the itinerary in advance.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes for exploring the archaeological sites.
  • Carry sunscreen, a hat, and bottled water for your comfort.
  • Entrance fees may apply for Gortys and Festos, so be prepared for that.
  • Matala is a lovely place to have a relaxing lunch at a seaside taverna.

Remember that this itinerary is a suggestion, and you can adjust it based on your interests and the time you have available. Exploring Gortys, Festos, and Matala will give you a unique perspective on the historical and natural aspects of southern Crete, providing you with a memorable and enriching experience.

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