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Crete Architecture

Our most recommended Crete Architecture

Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

1. Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided tour of Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, once an astonishing palace built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, get the chance to see the original throne of ‘’Minos”, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, Crete’s treasures pantries, and the water-management systems. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was built immediately, the most monumental of all, and for over 300 years it represented the pre-eminent center of power in Bronze Age Crete. The new palace was an imposing complex with important architectural innovations, splendid frescoes adorning the walls, hundreds of rooms distributed in four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts. Learn how during the last decades of the 14th century BC, a series of earthquakes led to the final destruction of the palace. 

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

2. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

Settlements in Knossos date as far back as the Neolithic period. Neolithic remains from around 7000 BC are found throughout Crete. Explore the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization and enjoy a skip-the-line tour of the Knossos Palace. The Knossos Palace was built from 1700 to 1400 BC. Advanced architectural techniques were used in its construction, and sections of the palace stood up to 5 stories high. It featured 1,300 rooms connected by corridors, and a theater and extensive storerooms, which held large clay containers of oil, grains, dried fish, beans and olives – often with gold hidden beneath.

Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

3. Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

Experience Ancient Crete at your own pace with a combined e-ticket for the island's top two archaeological attractions, the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Experience two captivating self-guided audio tours on your smartphone. Receive your ticket in a separate email from our local partner, and download the app and audio tours onto your phone prior to your visit. Then travel back in time to experience the grandeur of Crete from the Minoan period to Roman times. Put on your headphones and discover the Palace of Knossos and the exquisite artifacts exhibited in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Through the power of storytelling, learn interesting facts and hear little-known stories from ancient times. The content of the tours is the result of in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories that will make your visit both engaging and informative. The audio tours can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. This is an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into ancient Crete and the Minoan civilization, and to engage with your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

4. Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

Discover Lasithi Plateau and its important landmarks on a guided day trip from Heraklion, with hotel transfers included. Visit Krasi village, the Kera Kardiotissa Monastery, and the Psychro Cave. Participate in a ceramics workshop and end your day exploring the traditional village of Knossos Palace. After a hotel pickup, head to the traditional mountain village of Krasi known for its quaint central square with stone fountains and an enormous plane tree thought to be 2,400 years old. See intimate tavernas and cafes scattered among the streets, small stone churches, and freshwater springs. Next, explore the Eastern Orthodox Keras Monastery, dedicated to Virgin Mary. Then, visit the Vidiani Monastery located at the foothills of Louloudaki Mountain. Learn how it was built in the 19th century by the monk Methodius Peraki, probably on the ruins of an older monastery. Continue to Psychro Cave, the mythical birth place of Zeus. Admire the ancient Minoan sacred cave and its stalactites and stalagmites. Next up is a ceramics workshop led by a local potter to see how traditional ceramics are made and try your hands at making one. Afterward, stop at a traditional tavern for lunch. Choose from a variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lassithi plateau, homemade wine, and products from the surrounding mountains. Leaving the beautiful region of Lasithi behind, end the tour at the Historical Site of Knossos, Europe's oldest city. Join a 1-hour guided tour and take photos of this Bronze Age archaeological site. Then, hop back on the bus to return to your hotel.

Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

5. Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

Depart from Chania at around 7 AM and head eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards inland Crete until you reach the Palace of Knossos. The palace is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. Follow your guide on a 2-hour tour through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and learn about the Minotaur and Ariadne. Afterward, rejoin the bus which will bring you to the heart of the capital city of Crete, Heraklion. Take the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally, enjoy 2 hours of free time to explore the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch, and drink Raki. At around 3:30 PM, the bus will depart on its return journey to Chania.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Archaeological Site Entrance Ticket

6. Crete: Palace of Knossos Archaeological Site Entrance Ticket

Benefit from skip-the-line access to the Palace of Knossos. Once inside, you are free to explore this Minoan archaeological site at your own pace, including the Grand Palace which dates back to the year 2000 B.C. As you wander through the site, discover what remains of living quarters, workspaces, and storerooms that have stood for centuries. Learn more about the city which is thought to have been the capital and political center of Minoan civilization and culture. Get a sense of what the building was like originally from the extensive restorations that have taken place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. See colorful restored murals, which were typical of the time, and the throne room of the legendary King Minos, which is still intact.

Full-Day Trip to Chania from Rethymno

7. Full-Day Trip to Chania from Rethymno

The bus departs around 09:00 from Rethymno for the drive to Crete’s capital city of Chania, the most beautiful town on the island. Settled more than 4,000 years ago, Chania is one of the oldest cities in Europe. On this full-day excursion you’ll have 5 hours to explore Chania, with plenty of free time for a romantic walk through the idyllic old town. Visit historic neighborhoods, churches and museums and take a walk to the beautiful Venetian Port for shopping, a cup Greek coffee and lunch (not included in the tour price). At around 16:00 the bus will depart for the return trip to Rethymno.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

8. Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

Enjoy an exciting visit to Knossos Palace, Crete’s most famous historical attraction, with a skip-the-line e-ticket, including a compelling audio tour downloadable on your phone and a detailed map of the site. Lose yourself in the audio tour's storytelling and immerse yourself in history as you walk around this iconic site. Visit the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located just south of Heraklion, and see the evocative setting, complete with impressive ruins and brightly-colored frescoes, come alive through an engaging narrative that sheds light on various elements of Minoan culture. The cupbearers and procession frescoes at the South Propylaeum, which depict scenes from everyday life and the ceremonial activities in Minoan Crete, provide a great insight into the aesthetic ideals of the time. Follow the evolution of Minoan fashion, learn about the popular hairstyles of the people, and discover the beauty products locals used to touch up their look. At the West Magazines, where the storage facilities of the palace are located, gain an understanding of the well-organized bureaucracy that supported the palace organization, the earliest forms of linear writing, as well as the Minoan economy and trade networks. Discover the copy of the “Prince of the Lilies” at the South Entrance Corridor and gaze out on Mount Juktas, perfectly framed by the eroded walls of the palace. Visit the Queen’s Megaron, embellished with famous blue dolphins fresco and equipped with a bathroom and a toilet room, where you can find out everything about the bath habits in the Minoan era.

Chania: Sightseeing & Tastings Tour

9. Chania: Sightseeing & Tastings Tour

Find what makes Crete’s cultural capital so marvelous. Explore some of the Old Town’s best sights, while discovering the lesser-known Ottoman and Jewish quarters. Get ready to experience Chania with all your senses! Begin at the Dimotiki Agora (Municipal Market), which denotes the old and new town boundary. Sample local delicacies while exploring the market and find out why Crete is home to one of the healthiest diets in the world. After fulfilling your taste buds, stroll around the old town district by passing through its maze of hidden back streets and narrow laneways, visiting Venetian and Ottoman monuments, and discovering doors to secret gardens. Hear stories, myths, and legends about kings, sailors, merchants, heroes, lovers, and artists. Figure out how this city has been a crossroad between the West and East for centuries. Next, you’ll have the unique chance to see local craftsmen producing their handmade products. Hear their stories, and possibly test your skills. Meander through the old Jewish and Ottoman neighborhoods and learn how multiculturalism has changed locals’ life through the centuries. Finally, after walking along the historic harbors' promenade, relax your muscles in a local-favorite spot where you’ll enjoy an enticing table with Cretan Mezedes (local tapas). End the tour here and continue your own exploration through the city or head back to the starting point. Before parting ways, don’t forget to ask your local guide for more hints and tips on how to get the best of your trip in Chania.

Chania: City Highlights Small Group Bike Tour

10. Chania: City Highlights Small Group Bike Tour

Cycle the Old Harbor of Chania on a 9km small group bike tour, and see the archaeological and architectural wonders of the city. Experience the beauty of the Venetian and Byzantine walls, the Venetian Neoria, and the impressive Firka fortress. Let your guide show you all the spots that only the locals know and glide through the bohemian neighborhood of Splantzia. Admire the Cathedral of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and step inside this Greek Orthodox church. Snap pictures on the most picturesque harbor of Greece and enjoy views of the lighthouse. Sip on ice tea at local hotspot and take in the panoramic views of old harbor while munching on an energy bar. Go for a refreshing dip at Nea Chora beach Ride at your own level, as the route is designed for the average cyclist. Follow your guide to avoid the busy city traffic and find the flattest paths.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 342 reviews

I am an archaeology student, and the guide was able to adapt to that, moving beyond all of the basic talking points and going deeper into the history and archaeological practice at the site. She was extremely knowledgeable!

Our guide was exceptional. Very knowledgeable about Knossos and the Minoan civilization. She was also an excellent listener and was attentive to our questions. She also suggested what we should look for in the museum.

The palace was beautiful and I enjoyed guided tour because we got some special informations that I am sure we couldn't get visiting on our own. I would highly recommend to visit this palace.

Enjoyed the tour very much. Thanks to our guide who was a great storyteller and kept us engaged throughout.

Alex and Maria was so kind and friendly, sightseeing was also good and food are fascinating