Crete - Messara Bay


The bay of Messara is located in southern Crete, 65 km from the city of Heraklion. The nesting beach has a total length of 8 km, and great natural beauty. Building and tourist pressure is observed in a few places, thus the area offers moments of peace to its guests.

The beaches of Messara host an average of 100 nests each year and in recent years the protection measures ARCHELON proposed to the competent authorities and businesses, are being applied. The ARCHELON project in Messara includes the following activities:

  • Recording of reproductive activity with morning observation
  • Protection of nests
  • Collection of data on threats and compliance with protection measures
  • Seasonal Information Station in Matala
  • Information in tourist units and awareness-raising actions on beaches

ARCHELON volunteers live in an organized campsite in the village of Matala. The beach at Matala is famous for the painted caves in the rocks and hippies of the '70s. The Minoan palace of Phaistos and the archaeological site of Komos are very close to the nesting beaches.

The Messara Bay is included with 2 areas in the European Union Natura 2000 network: GR4310004 "DYTIKA ASTEROUSIA (APO AGIOFARANGO EOS KOKKINO PYRGO)" and GR4310012 "EKVOLI GEROPOTAMOU MESARAS".

More than 4,000 visitors were informed by ARCHELON during the summer of 2017 in Messara.





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