Heraklion
Educational Activities

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Our most recommended Heraklion Educational Activities

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

1. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with 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. 

Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

2. 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.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

3. Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

Enjoy an exciting visit to Knossos, Crete’s most famous historical attraction with a skip-the-line e-ticket, which includes a compelling audio tour downloadable on your phone and a detailed map of the 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.

Heraklion: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

4. Heraklion: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

Venture into the ocean’s depth with a 1-day admission ticket to the CRETAquarium. One of Europe’s largest aquariums, over 2,000 sea creatures lice the CRETAquarium's 60 diverse habitats. Delve into the caves and crevices of the Mediterranean, where stingrays and rock-like scorpionfish slither about. Pop out into the open ocean, where menacing sharks circle, waiting to be fed. Get up close and personal with jellyfish and schools of vibrant tropical clownfish through shallow, open-topped tanks, which allow a new viewing perspective of well known species.  Above all, gain a new appreciation for the unending diversity of the world’s most mystifying environment. When you’ve had your fill of looking at the ocean’s residents, why not pop in for a dip? The CRETAquarium is, fittingly, right on the beach.

From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

5. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Lasithi Plateau on a day trip from Heraklion. Admire the remaining windmills and the drainage system that dates back to the Venetian Empire. Pass through traditional villages such as Psychro. Visit the Dikteon Cave, where Zeus is said to have been born. Continue to the village of Tzermiado and enjoy lunch in an authentic tavern before going to the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery, known for its remarkable murals. Next, visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos and learn the legend of the settlement at sites such as the Throne Room and Royal Chambers.

From Heraklion: Elounda and Spinalonga Full-Day Tour

6. From Heraklion: Elounda and Spinalonga Full-Day Tour

Journey back in time and explore the ancient civilizations of Crete on a private full-day tour to Spinalonga. Drive along the north coast of the island and get an amazing view of the Selinari gorge on the way to the small fishing village of Elounda, known for its gorgeous beach. Board a boat to the small island of Spinalonga, and learn the local history dating back to Ancient Greece. Take a guided tour of the island to explore how it served as a natural defense for the ancient city of Olous and was later used by the Saracens as a hide-out for their pirates. Discover the remains of the Venetian fortifications and learn more about the period of Ottoman rule. Proceed to the sandy Bay of Kolokitha where the boat will be anchored. Enjoy some free time to swim in the crystal clear waters and feast from a BBQ lunch. Return to Elounda to take the bus to the pretty town of Agios Nikolaos, where you can browse the shops and visit the bottomless lake.

From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

7. From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

Depart from Rethymnon at around 8:30 AM, heading eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards the inland of Crete until you reach the tour's highlight – your visit to the Palace of Knossos. This is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. You will be guided (for about 2 hours) through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and hear about both the Minotaur and Ariadne.  Afterwards the bus brings you to the heart of the capital city of Crete – Heraklion. There you have the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally you will have two hours of free time to enjoy the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch and drink raki. Time will pass before you know it, and at around 6:00 PM the bus will depart on its return journey to Rethymnon.

Herakleidon Museum of Ancient Greek Technology: Entry Ticket

8. Herakleidon Museum of Ancient Greek Technology: Entry Ticket

Visit the Museum Herakleidon which has evolved to become an interactive center of science. Discover a technological museum that focuses on antiquity, with emphasis on the achievements of the ancient Greeks. Learn all about the triptych of science, art, and mathematics through accessible displays and objects. See how they calculated and worked with sophisticated data and find out which objects and structures were created by the ancient Greeks. During the first decade of its operation, the museum focused on artistic activities and organized exhibitions with artworks of great artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Sol LeWitt. Today it has expanded upon its artistic roots to become a must for any curious minds visiting Thisseio.

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion: Guided Walking Tour

9. Archaeological Museum of Heraklion: Guided Walking Tour

Don't miss out on the Archeological Museum of Heraklion, one of the most important museums in Europe in its field. This museum provides a unique opportunity for the visitor to marvel at the remnants of the first of civilization in Europe, the Minoans. This tour will guide you through a period of time that extends over a 5000 years, from the Neolithic to the Roman era. Find out how Cretan people used to live, their occupation, religion, architecture, travel, arts and more. This singularly important Minoan collection contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces. The Heraklion Museum is rightly considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide. The museum, located in the town center, was built between 1937 and 1940 by architect Patroklos Karantinos on a site previously occupied by the Roman Catholic monastery of Saint Francis which was destroyed by earthquake in 1856. The museum’s antiseismic building is an important example of modernist architecture and was awarded a Bauhaus commendation. The colours and construction materials, such as the veined polychrome marbles, recall certain Minoan wall paintings which imitate marble revetment. The two-story building has 27 galleries, a gallery for audio-visual displays, extensive modern laboratories, a cloakroom, a cafeteria and a museum shop that sells museum copies, books, postcards and slides.

Heraklion: Kotsanas Ancient Greek Technology Museum Ticket

10. Heraklion: Kotsanas Ancient Greek Technology Museum Ticket

Visit the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology in Heraklion, a sister museum to the one in Athens. The museum studies, highlights, and presents the technology of ancient Greeks. Its vision is to promote the technological miracle of the Greek antiquity. Robotics and computers, steam-driven and gas propulsion, automotive and automatic navigation, automation and automation programming, telecommunications and encryption, geodesy and mapping, utilization of hydraulic and wind energy, the application of belt conveyance, gear pair and chain drive and many other sciences and techniques all emerged in Ancient Greece. Learn about different mechanisms through informative and interactive exhibition displays. Discover how similar the technology of the ancient Greeks was to our early modern technology. The exhibits are accompanied by rich audio-visual materials. Check out the projecting stations with video and animation as well as documentaries in which the exhibitor explains the function and the use of the mechanisms.

Frequently asked questions about Heraklion Educational Activities

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 421 reviews

This is a must-do! The line was incredibly long when we got to the site in the morning, but we were able to skip it as our guide, Akrivi, had our tickets. She laid out a ton of history that really allowed us to appreciate the site even more than if we were by ourselves. She engaged with my young son which was highly appreciated as well. We were able to skip another line once inside, as well. Overall, the site is amazing, and it was really fantastic to have such a knowledgeable and kind tour guide leading us.

Very interesting and fun tour. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. Skipping the line and having a private guide was definitely a good call

Knossos is really impressive and Akrivi is a fantastic guide, she let us immerse ourselves in history in a very entertaining way.

The guide was very knowledgeable in giving us the history of this place.

It was one trip that everyone should do while on Crete!