Meet your private driver and guide at your Heraklion hotel or the cruise port at the time that works best for you, and travel by minivan to the area's most famous landmark — the ruins of Knossos Palace (entrance fee not included). Discovered by Sir Arthur Evans, the vast archaeological site is believed to have been the heart of the ancient Minoan civilization that flourished on the island of Crete as far back as 4000 BC. Its myths and legends are famous throughout Europe, including tales of the Minotaur and Labyrinth, Icarus, and Daedalus.
With your guide, explore remnants of courtyards, shrines, great halls, and royal apartments adorned with frescoes. Learn about the impressive architectural elements of Knossos like irrigation and drainage systems, aqueducts, paved roads, bathrooms, and the first known multi-story construction.
You can continue this tour through ancient history back in Heraklion at the town’s renowned Archaeological Museum, which houses the world’s most important collection of Minoan artifacts (own expense). You'll have additional free time to explore Heraklion’s distinctive mix of historic and modern culture. See the old Venetian walls and town cathedral, browse vendor stalls at the open-air street market, or take in the local scene among decorative fountains. Reconnect with your guide for the return trip to your hotel or cruise ship, where the tour concludes.