Knossos Palace

Crete’s most famous historical attraction is the Palace of Knossos (k-nos-os), the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located 5km south of Iraklio. The setting is evocative and the ruins and re-creations impressive, incorporating an immense palace, courtyards, private apartments, baths, lively frescoes and more. Excavation of the site started in 1878 with Cretan archaeologist Minos Kalokerinos, and continued from 1900 to 1930 with British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans who controversially restored parts of the site.

Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site in Crete and is considered Europe’s oldest city. Follow our guide through the Palace of Knossos and travel back in a time to when the Minoan Civilization ruled supreme throughout the Aegean. Legend has it that in a labyrinth on the grounds of Knossos Palace roamed a creature that was half bull and half man. As you explore the stone corridors, you will quickly understand why the ancient people believed that this was where the legendary Minotaur lived.


A visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, where you will be able to learn about priceless artifacts and genuine masterpieces, will provide you with additional insight into the fascinating history of Crete which spans from the Neolithic period to Roman times.
Reopened in 2014 after a long renovation, the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is Crete’s outstanding jewel.
The two floors of the restored 1930s Bauhaus building make a gleaming showcase for the exhibits that span 5500 years, from neolithic to Roman times, and an extensive Minoan collection. The rooms are colour coded and artefacts are displayed both chronologically and thematically and are beautifully presented with descriptions in English. A visit here enhances any understanding of Crete’s rich history.
The museum’s treasure trove includes pottery, jewellery, sarcophagi, plus famous frescoes from the sites of Knossos, Tylissos, Amnissos and Agia Triada. The pieces are grouped into comprehensive themes such as settlements, trade, death, religion and administration. Along with clear descriptions, these bring to life both the day-to-day functioning and long-term progression of societies.