Duration 4 hours
Pick up points : Hotels, Resorts, Airport , Port.
If traveling by cruise ship, at the port of Heraklion you will meet your licensed tour guide, will drive to the renowned archaeological site of Knossos. Your privately guided tour will take you through the fantastic ruins of the ancient palace complex, which served as the administrative and religious centers for the whole region. It has been restored by Sir Arthur Evans and these restorations, though criticized by some for their modernity, help the tourist to both visualize the palace as it was and understand its labyrinthine complexity. The living quarters of the king, queen and members of the royal court, rooms for state occasions, theatre area, store rooms and potters workshops are all within the palace complex.
For centuries the history of the Minoan culture had passed into the realm of legend and remained a distant memory in Greek tradition and mythology. It was not until the beginning of the last century that the history of Minoan Crete was actually pieced together to reveal that the civilization was not one of myth, rather it was one of the most advanced and important in prehistoric times. The amazing archaeological site of Knossos, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Minos, provides the basis of our knowledge about this civilization named after the king of Crete.
The frescoes unearthed show the refinement of their art and use of color and embody the soul of the peace loving, light-hearted, but also powerful Minoans. The original palace of Knossos was raised around 1900 BC. About two-hundred years later it was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt on a grander scale. The final catastrophe occurred around 1450 BC with the eruption of the volcano in Santorini. Despite this blow, people continued to live here until a fire swept through the city around 1400 BC.
After your visit of the Palace you will drive to nearby Heraklion for a visit of Heraklion Town. A plesant walking tour in the old town you will visit the Basilic church of St. Mark, , the Loggia, the Lions Square , here we suggest you a short spot , sitting in one of the traditional pastry shops to taste delicious traditional sweet pies, (bougatsa) the taste will be unforgettable
Then we visit the traditional market of Heraklion town, hundreds of superior quality agricultural products, Crete is famous for its agricultural products of the fertile soil.
Return to the port or to your accommodation by bus.
1- Depart pier and drive to Knossos- 15 Minutes
2- Visit Archaeological site of Knossos – 1 Hour and 45 Minutes
3- Drive to Heraklion – 15 Minutes
4- Free time in Heraklion- 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
5- Return to port- 15 Minutes
More For Knossos Palace:
Knossos is the site of the most important and better known palace of Minoan civilization. According to tradition, it was the seat of the legendary king Minos. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Icaros. The site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) until Roman times.
The Linear B tablets (Mycenaean script) of the 14th century B.C. mention the city as ko-no-so.
The palace of Knossos is the largest of the preserved Minoan palatial centres. Four wings are arranged around a central courtyard, containing the royal quarters, workshops, shrines, storerooms, repositories, the throne room and banquet halls. Dated to 2000-1350 B.C.
The Little Palace. It lies to the west of the main palace and has all the features of palatial architecture: scraped wall masonry, reception rooms, a pristyle hall, a double megaron with polythyra (pi er-and-door partitions) and a lustral basin-shrine. Dated to the 17th-15th centuries B.C.
The Royal Villa. It lies to the NE of the palace and its architectural form is distinguished by the polythyra, the pillar crypt and the double staircase, with two flights of stairs. It is strongly religious in character and might have been the residence of an aristocrat or a high priest. Dated to the 14th century B.C.
House of the Frescoes. It is located to the NW of the palace and is a small urban mansion with rich decoration on the walls. Dated to the 15th, 14th-12th centuries B.C.
Caravanserai. It lies to the south of the palace and was interpreted as a reception hall and hospice. Some of the rooms are equipped with baths and decorated with wall paintings.
The “Unexplored Mansion”. Private building, probably of private-industrial function, to the NW of the palace. It is rectangular, with a central, four-pillared hall, corridors, storerooms and remains of a staircase. Dated to the 14th-12th centuries B.C.
Temple Tomb. It is located almost 600 m. to the south of the palace and was connected with the “House of the High Priest” by means of a paved street. It seems that one of the last kings of Knossos (17th-14th centuries B.C.) was buried here. Typical features of its architecture are the hypostyle, two-pillar crypt, the entrance with the courtyard, the portico and a small anteroom.
House of the High Priest. It lies 300 m. to the south of Caravanserai and contains a stone altar with two columns, framed by the bases of double axes.
The South Mansion. Private civic house, located to the south of the palace. It is a three-storeyed building with a lustral basin and a hypostyle crypt, dating from the 17th-15th centuries B.C.
Villa of Dionysos. Private, peristyle house of the Roman period. It is decorated with splendid mosaics by Apollinarius, depicting Dionysos. The house contains special rooms employed for the Dionysiac cult. Dated to the 2nd century A.D.
Heraklion is a busy and prosperous modern town, the capital of Crete, with a thriving population over 150,000. It sits on the north coast in the centre of the island.
Travelers will find plenty to see and enjoy in Heraklion, Archaeological and historical monuments, good and delicious food, beautiful beaches and the friendly hospitality of the Cretans remains vibrant over the years
Little words of Heraklion history
“Iraklion town shares the turbulent history of Kriti, with occupation dating back to Minoan times. It was inhabited by Saracens, pirates and Arabs in the early days. In AD961 a Byzantine era began, until 1204 when Crete was sold to the Venetians. The Turks took over the flourishing city after a lengthy siege in 1669 and dominated until liberation in 1898. Crete unified with Greece in 1913, Iraklio suffered bombings in the world wars and played her part in the Battle of Crete in 1941. Becoming the capital in 1971, Iraklion town is now one of the most expensive capitals in Greece, and was a proud Olympic city in 2004.
The beautiful harbour is notable for its fishing boats and fresh fish, surrounded by Venetian walls, fortress and Venetian Arsenal.
The Castello del Molo ( Koule ) was built in 16th century, with reliefs of the Venetian lions (Lions of St Mark) still visible, and is now used as an open air theatre in summer.”
The Venetian Loggia, from 1628, which is an impressive building now housing the Town Hall.
The Morosini Fountain, named after its Venetian designer, is more commonly known as the Liondaria, after the many lions in its design, and its little square forms one of the hubs of the town, a handy place for meeting up with friends,
Kornarou square , named after the writer of the exquisite Cretan poem Eritokritos. In this little square are the disfigured Bembo Fountain from 1588 and a Turkish fountain from 1776 now used as a coffee house. Around this square are excellent shops and side streets with good shopping, for the locals.
Private Vehicle, fuels, tolls (wherever exist), parking fee, English-speaking driver, Professional English or French-speaking guide, insurance covery of the passengers up to 500,000 euro in total, VAT and all taxes.
*Entrance fees in archaeological and historical sites, hotel accommodation wherever needed, beverages and meals.
Palace of Knossos – per Adult 6 euro
Palace of Knossos – per Child (under 17 with passport) Free
Sundays or Holidays: * Supplement per vehicle 140 euro
* Charge for driver and tour guide based on labor legislation in Greece.
* NOTE: !!! Our Guides are LICENSED and Members of the Union official Guides in Crete.
** NOTE: !!! Our Drivers are Professionals and English speaking.
Please note that not allowed Taxi drivers, Minivan drivers and Bus drivers to do the job of the tour guides, this is prohibited by Greek law.
The tour guide profession is protected by the Greek legislation
Our Company from its establishment until now, works only with official, professional, licensed tour guides.
Please note that in case you may wish to book a private tour through our website, in no way means that you are obliged to follow the exact route of showing the proposed tour.
You have the ability to change the order of the sites, to remove or add attractions, provided it does not exceed the time duration and distances that you have already booked.
We are flexible to any changes that you may wish during your private tour, our aim is your complete satisfaction.
Our drivers and our licensed tour guides are at your disposal in order to provide you with the best service.
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