Insider's Guide to Heraklion

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Certified reviews by travelers like you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2014

had a great time on this tour, the guide was very knowledgeable, friendly and informative. I highly recommend this tour.

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing
October 2014

Pick ups pro-longed length of time. Would have preferred option to have lunch in Elounda instead of boat/barbecue. Would be good to have option. Spinalonga guide was very informative.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
October 2014

Pick up process too long (over 2 hours). When arrived at Knossos guide did not wait for people to go to toilet after being on coach for 2.5hrs. Also did not have time to purchase tickets or water. She disappeared into the site and we never found her. Went around on our own in the end. Would have preferred to skip wine tasting and have more time in Heraklion to go to musum etc.

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
October 2014

Our tour suppose to include Ag.Nikholas, but were picked up and drop at Elounda port without visiting the city. What a scam!

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

Perfect amount of time and very great your guides! Highly recommend and I'm not a big tour/history person;)

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

Super, a well organised day. The guide was extremely knowledgeable, the day well organised

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2014

Very well organised and knowledgeable tour guide. Would have preferred to independently explore museum but was fantastic at knossos.

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
September 2014

Went on this tour on the 26th, coach was prompt collected us on time, although almost immediately after we were moved onto another coach, we then picked up seemingly many other visitors from other hotels, this took up another hour and then it was finally onto the tour, the first thing you'll notice is you will get a english/german speaking guide, I was hoping to be in English, the actual tour of Knossos was informative, but being an English/German speaking guide it took double the amount of time to see and in the immense heat as well was not too good i thought. After this we went to Peza to try out the wine sampling this strangely isnt documented at all on Viator but it is in the local iternarys over there in Crete, I actually enjoyed this and we actually got a bottle back home, the guide mentions we were meant to be taken to a factory but this definitely didn't happen, instead we were shown a 10 minute DVD. The Heraklion tour was literally a coach ride into the city, and then from the fountain we were left to roam around on our own for a hour and a bit, I expected this to be guided but this didnt happen hence we only located the church and by the time we found the archelogical museum it was time to get back on the coach, all in all we felt the tour could have been better and because of the lack of guiding at Heraklion, we felt the tour was incomplete.

Improvements they got to streamline the amount of people they collect at hotel, if we specify an english guide, you expect an english guide, the speaker was ok but it just felt like a school lesson and i swear some people got frustrated by this, mention the tour goes to Peza on Viator for wine sampling, get an enthusiastic english only speaker and if you say you will get a guided tour of Heraklion from the air condition coach, then please make it happen!

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2014

I signed up very last minute and the local operator did a good job being in touch and helping me get on the tour. The Spinalonga guide also did a nice job with the tour, on a very hot day. Overall, the experience was a good one. I found Spinalonga very interesting. I also enjoyed the swimming area and the town of Agios Nicolaus. The BBQ lunch was good, though it was challenging eating it on a crowded boat. One negative was that I felt unprepared for the late hour of the lunch (3:30) and therefore needed to find an ATM and get food in Agios Nicolaus. Since I joined the tour late, it's possible that information would have come to me if I'd had more time.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2014

Travel by coach was too long - inevitable when so many people to be picked up but it could be made clearer in the advertising that this would happen. The bay where we stopped for swimming was really unsuitable - stony and not particularly clean. There must surely be better places to stop?

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
August 2014

A long hot day! Driver and your guide were courteous and helpful.

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

Our guide was knowledgeable and thorough, and she led us around the site expertly. I found some of what she said repetitious, but as a teacher, I realize it may have been intentional; some people just don't listen very well! Our travel schedule posed some difficulties for us (our flight was to leave only an hour after the proposed end of the afternoon segment at the Archaeological Museum), but our guide helpfully explained what highlights to see and let us skip lunch to visit the museum on our own ahead of the group. Despite this personal glitch, the tour was informative, enjoyable, and well conducted.

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2014

The visit to Spinalonga was good, I would have liked to spend more time on the island than was given. Other than that it was a nice tour.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2014

The tour started with an 7:30 pick-up at our hotel. After 2.5 hours later and countless other hotel pick-ups, we made it to Knossos. There must have been a couple thousand people at the site (cruise ship tours) and i estimate Knossos can comfortably accommodate 500 people. We had a bi-lingual tour guide that gave half the tour in English, and half in German which was very difficult to follow/understand. She took a couple cell phone calls in the middle of the tour - I got the impression she was in a rush to finish and get back to the air conditioned bus.
We then went to a small co-op winery that was more of a plug for local business and farmers - waste of time. Following the winery, we went back to Heraklion for some free time, shopping, or museum visit. I was in no mood for more crowds and German/English doublespeak, so I opted for a small cafe and several cold beers.
Traffic was worse in the afternoon, meaning it took us over three hours to make it back to our hotel after all of the stops at other hotels. All said, the tour was close to 12 hours long, 2 hours being at the Knossos site.
This tour needs to be streamlined to make the customer hotel pick-up more efficient. I was told tat we could have hired a local cab company to drive me around in a Mercedes to see Knossos in four hours, skipping the wine and Heraklion side trips.
I went on other Viator tours on this vacation that were fantastic with great tour guides and efficient operation. Unfortunately, this one was a complete dud.

Doing what: Ancient Palace of Knossos Tour

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2014

This was a great tour, you need 2 euro pp to pay for entry on spinalonga. The barbecue and swim at lunch were great , luckily we had good weather highly recommend

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Spinalonga Island with BBQ Lunch

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