Heraklion, Greece

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clock-o6 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English

Overview

Follow in the footsteps of long-ago Minoan kings on this 5-hour Knossos Crete tour. Travel by air-conditioned coach to the archaeological site of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, and tour the remains dating to the 2nd century BC. Explore what were the royal quarters, storerooms and central court of the palace, the power base of Europe’s first civilization; and hear about the mythical Minotaur that roamed a labyrinth here as your guide explains the site’s history. Finish with free time for lunch and a coach tour of Crete’s capital, Heraklion.
  • 5-hour Palace of Knossos trip and Heraklion city tour
  • Explore the Minoan Palace of Knossos with an expert local guide
  • Learn about Greek mythology and Minoan culture while walking through the Central Court
  • Discover sites like the Throne Room and Grand Staircase on the palace tour
  • See Koules Venetian Fortress and the Church of Agios Titos on a tour of Heraklion
Begin your experience with a pickup from your Crete hotel. Hop inside your air-conditioned coach and enjoy the scenic ride to Knossos, the world-famous site of a Minoan Palace believed to have been built in the 2nd century BC and later abandoned.

On arrival, hop out of your coach and pay the entrance fee to the archaeological site. Then, head inside to explore the buildings and ruins, many of them partially reconstructed by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans in the early 1900s.

Follow your guide around the excavations and learn how the palace served as the ceremonial and administrative hub of Crete’s Minoan culture, considered to be Europe’s oldest civilization.

Inspect the once-lavish royal quarters, treasuries and storerooms; and admire the restored frescoes that depict long-ago scenes of Minoan life.

See the Central Court, Grand Staircase and Throne Room, and as you stroll, hear about the mysterious Greek legends associated with the palace, including the strange myth of the Minotaur — the half-man, half-bull said to have been imprisoned by King Minos within a labyrinth at the palace.

After your tour, return to your coach and continue into Heraklion for a panoramic sightseeing tour and free time for lunch (own expense).

Pass top Heraklion attractions such as Koules Venetian Fortress, Lions Square and the Church of St Titos as your guide recounts historical anecdotes about the city and its time under Venetian rule between the 13th and 17th centuries.

With your sightseeing over, your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

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41 reviews
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, Jun 2018

Very nice, intersting place to visit, for sure if you like Greece history. The archeological museum interesting as wel. You have also about 2 free hours to visit Heraklion. The centre and the old port are beautiful. It was a hot day but worth it. Profesional quide.

G
, Oct 2017

This was a great tour. A long journey from Elounda but well worth it. The palace is really interesting and fills you with awe at what the Minoans achieved. Our guide, Katerina was superb, she had a great depth of knowledge and love for her subject combined with good humour. The visit to the museum was also spectacular and again quite humbling to see the skill of the Minoans and the beauty of their work. We had a couple of hours to see Heraklion which was a fascinating contrast to the area in which we were staying. Also recommend the cafe at back of the museum. All in all a fabulous day!

t
, Oct 2017

If you're heading to Greece and specifically Crete, this is a must-see. I did a similar tour 40 years ago yikes! and wanted to see Knossos again on a recent trip with my husband. The history of the Minoan civilization and their culture is fascinating and the art and artifacts are breath-taking. It is very important to have a tour guide while seeing the Palace of Knossos and the Museum in order to understand the history. The guide was so knowledgeable and gave us such insight into the lives and culture of this incredible civilization.

J
, Sep 2017

Great. Super guide in both Russian and English. 2 plus hours on site and another 2 plus hours at the museum. Well worth it. Highly recommended.

F
, Jul 2017

We had a nice time on July 1st. I'm 80 years old and in pretty good health, but my 82 year old husband wouldn't have been able to get around at all. People with bad knees or a walker aren't able to get around very well at all.
The tour guide was a little bit more friendly with the Russian tourists than the English speaking people, and seemed to especially not care for Americans. We took a tour of the city by ourselves and then went to the museum. I found it very interesting and glad I went.
I hope you enjoy this tour too. Don't forget to bring water!

F
, Jul 2017

It was a hot day when we went on July 1, 2017, but it was worth the heat and humidity. The tour guide was quite knowledgeable and explained everything in English and for the six others in Russian. To be there and see the ruins was incredible. You can bring water inside with you and I highly recommend that you do! There's little shade.
If you or anyone with you who has difficulty getting around, this is NOT for them! No wheelchair access whatsoever and the terrain is uneven with rocks.
The second part wasn't so much a tour of Heraklion as the bus parked and the guide just let everyone roam around on their own. I was expecting SOME information about the city's history but didn't get any.
We took the option at Knossos to pay for the Palace and the museum for one euro more for 16 total per person. We found that to be a deal. Our same tour guide met us at the entrance and showed us the highlights. Unfortunately, he gravitated to the Russian tourists and spent the majority of the time with four of them and less with the approximately 20 English speaking tourists. This didn't go unnoticed by just about everyone. This would be my biggest complaint. My husband was more upset by his obvious bias against Americans with snide remarks every now and then, trying to joke it off.
In the end, I do recommend this tour but hopefully you get a different tour guide. We dropped ours off at his home since he lives in Heraklion.

P
, Jun 2017

I felt we were short changed a little - the Russian's had a dedicated tour guide, we as English Speakers and the German speakers had to share a guide - difficult for the guide and less time with each group to talk about the Palace and the items at the Museum compared to the Russians. There was very little time for us to look at other parts of the site. In future I think I would prefer to have a more personalised tour than go in a big group.

R
, Jun 2017

I studied the history of Knossos in college, and it was amazing to finally visit the site. Very knowledgeable and fun guide. I wanted more time at Knossos, and so went back a couple days later. I also felt a bit rushed at the Archeaological Museum, but honestly, you could spend an entire day there, so I think this tour gives you a great starting point for futher exploration.

G
, Sep 2016

Fascinating

P
, Sep 2016

A thoroughly dispiriting experience, offhand and disinterested tour guides and an interminable wait for the tickets at Knossos - or should I say Disneyland - itself.


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