“ One of the charms of Matala is the different atmosphere in winter. Taking a drive from the northern towns of Crete to the south coast means often we can get rid of the quilted jacket and just wear a sweater in Matala. It seems the sun shines longer down 'south'. „
It is a lengthy stretch - over 2km long and up to 40m wide - of deep golden sand backed by natural dunes and cliffs topped with tamarisk trees, which is also a paradise for naturists and most likely will become an official naturist beach. At the southern end is the Kommos taverna, a short walk away from the famous archaeological site. The lifeguard is to be found here, near the umbrellas and sunbeds, as well as toilets and a shower. Towards the northern end of the beach the sea bed is rock shelf, but at the taverna end it is sandy. The sand quality is good and the beach is very clean; if you enjoy snorkelling there are many fish to be seen.
The excavation of a major Bronze Age site has been ongoing at Kommos since 1976. Kommos first attracted the attention of archaeologists in 1924, when the famous excavator of Knossos, Arthur Evans, heard of large storage vessels being found there. Kommos was in fact a major port, with monumental Minoan palatial buildings, massive stone storage complexes, and a Minoan town (ca. 1800-1200 B.C.). Post-Minoan remains include a Greek Sanctuary that was active until the Early Roman period, when the site was abandoned (ca. A.D. 200). The artefacts discovered there come from as far away as Cyprus, Egypt, and Sardinia.
Kommos is also widely considered to be the best nudist beach on Crete; Captain Barefoot thought it was wonderful and gives it a rating of 96%. The naturist section of this beach starts just north of the archaeological ruins and is more than half a kilometre long. There is some shade under trees at the back of the beach. There is plenty of room for everyone, even at weekends, and for your further enjoyment, “The Cakeman” can bring you delicious homemade cakes and coffee while you sit in the sand and watch the waves.
One other point about Komo Beach.
Those visiting the beach should be aware that the beach is not only for them but it is also a nesting beach for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and is monitored each year by Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. Any nests should not be disturbed, and hatchling turtles should not be "assisted" to the sea (it is essential to their development that they find their own way), though it would help to provide them with shade as they walk to the sea if they accidentally emerge during the day. In particular, the beach should not be visited at night during the nesting season. And as with all beaches, litter should not be left - considerate tourists leave only footprints in the sand.
How to get there
From the main road in Pitsidia turn right at the supermarket with the sign "Rent Rooms 'Nikos'" and then immediately to the left on an asphalt track marked "Komos Beach". Follow this track to the crossroads with the sign "Horse and pony riding Pitsidia". At this point you can either follow the tarmac road to a large car park near the archaeological site. From here it is a short walk north along the beach to the naturist section. Alternatively turn right on a dirt road. After 500 m you come to a place where you can park in shade under trees very close to the centre of the beach; however parking space here may be limited.
An alternative access is when going from Matala (N34 59' 37.1" E24 45' 03.5") to Pitsidia (N35 00' 57.4" E24 46' 46.3"): take the dirt road to the left, opposite the white-washed wall of the Archontissa Taverna, which starts on the corner with a youth camping at N35 00' 33.2" E24 46' 10.0". At the first crossraod, turn right downhill, which brings you to the archaeological site as mentioned above. The (textile) beach near the car park and the archaeological site is at N35 00' 47.2" E24 45' 36.1", whereas the central, clothing optional part is at: N35 00' 51.2" E24 45' 37.0". Toilets and a shower are provided near the car park.
One of the few official camping sites in Crete is nearby, near Pitsidia on the road to Matala (it's just 10 minute walk from Kommos).