The archaeological site is in the bay of Matala, in the northwest of Asterousia.

It includes the cove with the submerged parts of the ancient settlement and port, as well as the rock-cut tombs of the Roman period at the northern slope of the cove.

Strabo mentions that Matala was the seaport of Gortys, the capital of the island during Roman times. This has been confirmed by the findings of the area. On the northern slopes, in addition to the emblematic tombs, there are also remains of buildings, temples and baths from the Archaic to the Roman period.

Centuries later, these rock-cuts and small caves were used by the Christian hermits of the first Christian period.

The project is implemented through the Regional Development Fund of Crete
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