Mountains/Hiking at Matala

Psiloritis (Ida)

– The highest mountain on the island at 2456m. It was sacred to the greek Titaness Rhea, and on its slopes lies one of the caves, Idaion Andron, in which, according to legend, Zeus grew up. Its summit, Timios Stavros, has the highest topographic rominence in Greece. There’s a lot of hikes to do here, with the closest starting point to Matala being the mountain shelter of ‘Toumbotos Prinos’. The summit is a 3 hour hike from there, but if you want more, the shelter can be accessed by hiking 4 more hours from Fourfouras village in a part of the European E4 foot trail.
You can also climb Ida from the north side of the mountain, starting from the Migeros plateau, near the village ‘Livadia’. Reaching the summit is a 2.5 hour fairly steep hike from there. If you choose this way, Anogia village is definitely worth a visit for the food, culture and beautiful rough cretan scenery! Pay a visit to the Nida plateau and some of the mitata (shepherd’s huts) along the way.

Zaros – Rouvas gorge

– Zaros village is at the southern flank of Psiloritis (mt. Ida). Its main attractions are its artificial lake and the nearby gorge of Rouvas, an immensely beautiful gorge that offers a varied scenery. The trail starts at the lake of Zaros and the walk is along the river bed, which has a lot of water on spring and several waterfalls and ponds are formed. On the way you will pass a wooden bridge and continue in a lush green gorge until you reach the heart of the Rouvas forest and the church of Agios Ioannis. from there you will have to walk the same way back.
The forest of Rouvas is an important ecosystem with rich flora and fauna, canyons and interesting geological formations and cliffs of rare beauty. The forest area covers about 30,000 acres

Vathi beach

– Although Vathi beach can be accessed by car (see ‘beaches’ section above), you can also walk there from Matala. The hike there is around 3-4 hours and you’ll pas through the Read beach, Lili beach and the Gournia “fjords”. The scenery is amazing, but be sure to pack some snacks and water with you, as well as sun cream and hats, as the hike to Vathi and back is long and there are no cafes/restaurants on the way.

Kamares cave

– The village of Kamares is located at the southern foot of mount Ida. From there begins the path that leads to the cave of Kamares, a large cave at 1780m, just below the top of Mavri (1950m). The path ascends steeply and the journey to the cave takes 3-4 hours. There are signs along the path. A part of the hike is in a dense forest of prinos (subspecies of oak), and you will come across 3-4 springs on the way.
The view to the Messara plain and the Libyan sea is impressive, and if the weather is good and the atmosphere is clear you can see up to the island of Gavdos, the southernmost border of Europe. If you continue the climb to the top of Mavri you