Ruins of the Palaces in Heraklion
Ruins of the Palaces in Heraklion

Visit the Palace of Knossos and Archaological Museum, Heraklion

Explore the palace of Minoas and the house of the mythological monster Minotaur accompanied by an expert guide.

Overview

Enjoy a private tour of Knossos Palace, Cretes' most extensive and important archeological site. A licensed guide will cater the tour to your personal interests and lead you through the most important monuments of the site, such as the Palace of Knossos, the Little Palace, the Royal Villa, and the House of the Frescoes. As you stroll through the captivating archaeological site, your guide will provide insights into the palace's ceremonial and political significance and share their extensive knowledge about the Minoan Civilization that built it. Additionally, your trip will offer you the opportunity to delve into the rich history of this ancient civilization at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and explore the lively hub of Heraklion city with the guidance of your knowledgeable guide.

Highlights

  • Explore the palace of Knossos with a local licensed guide
  • Visit the Heraklion Archeological Museum
  • Learn everything about the Minoans
  • Discover the secrets of the most ancient civilization in Europe

Know before you go

Duration
4 hours
Recommended for
All ages
Group
Private

What you'll do

Your trip will start from Heraklion—or any other region of Crete upon request—with a convenient pick-up from your accommodation. 

Your first stop is Knossos Palace, which offers a glimpse into the lives of the Minoans and is incredibly well-preserved. Knossos wasn't only a residence for the royal family but also a center of government, commerce, and culture. The palace housed numerous workshops where skilled craftsmen created goods for trade. All these features collectively make Knossos one of Europe's most important archaeological sites. Although it is thought that the palace was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1450 BCE, a substantial portion of its art and architecture have been preserved and are still visible today.

With a licensed guide leading the way, you'll discover the remains of the royal palace. Some important sites of the Knossos Palace include the House of the Frescoes, with incredibly vibrant wall paintings, and the Villa of Dionysos, a private home with magnificent mosaic decorations. You will also see the famous Dolphins Fresco adorning the Queen's Megaron (Queens Apartment). The palace is also associated with two of the most renowned stories from Greek mythology. Among the famous tales it is associated with is the story of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. Your guide will tell you the legend of the Minotaur, a creature that was said to have been kept in the labyrinth, and the palace's link to this ancient legend.

After the palace, you'll reach the center of Heraklion and visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. It is one of the oldest museums in Greece and houses a vast collection of artifacts from the Minoan civilization, which flourished on the island of Crete from about 2600 BCE to 1100 BCE. The museum boasts an impressive collection of Minoan art and also a diverse range of artifacts such as pottery, jewelry, tools, sculptures, and much more. Your guide will provide a comprehensive tour, offering valuable insights into the significance and historical context of the various artifacts on display.

After you visit the museum, you can explore the center of Heraklion, which offers a variety of shops and restaurants. Traditional Cretan cuisine is a must-try, and you can find dishes such as dakos (a type of Cretan bruschetta), boureki (vegetable pie), and kalitsounia (a type of cheese pastry). Additionally, you may want to consider shopping for local products such as olive oil, honey, and traditional Cretan textiles.

What's included

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • English speaking guide

Itineraries with Visit the Palace of Knossos and Archaological Museum

Discover Athens, Mykonos, Santorini & Crete - 16 Days

Experience some of the greatest aspects of Greece and its islands on this 16-day tour. You'll start in Athens, traveling back in time with visits to the Acropolis and the Archaeological Site of Delphi. Explore the pristine islands next with a tour of Mykonos and its neighboring mythological island of Delos. Then it's off to Santorini for sunsets and a caldera cruise, followed by the historic sites and traditional villages of Crete before you return to Athens.

Greek Panorama: Athens, Mainland Greece, Cyclades, and Crete - 21 Days

Three weeks gives you enough time to take in Greece from all angles. Survey the city of Athens from atop the Acropolis before you move to Mykonos and Santorini for farm dinners and caldera cruises. Crete awaits next, full of stone villages to explore, before you return to the mainland to travel back in time to famous spots like Delphi, Meteora, and Mycenae.

Discover Rhodes and Crete - 9 Days

Immerse yourself in two of Greece's largest islands with this nine-day itinerary. After a quick jaunt through Athens, you'll start with Rhodes, once home to the Colossus and now hosting a meandering medieval town along with beaches, castles, and petite villages to explore. Then head to Crete to see the labyrinth where the Minotaur once roamed and sample two keystone Greek products with wine and olive oil trips.