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Crete Full-Day Tour: Knossos Palace and Heraklion

Your comprehensive archaeological discovery of Crete
From US$1,691 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
6 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Knossos Palace
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum
  • Heraklion
Photos & Highlights
  • An in-depth view into Crete's archaeological sites for first-time or returning visitors
  • Led by a local expert guide
Select a date
Tour Description
Intrigued by the archaeological splendor of Crete? We’ve drafted a special itinerary for those looking for a deep dive into the must-see archaeological destination in Crete: Knossos Palace. In the company of a local expert, we'll take our time exploring the majestic Bronze Age site of Knossos, the Archaeological Museum, and the charming city center of Heraklion. This tour is a wonderful introduction for those looking to explore Crete through an archaeological lens while getting a taste for the history and mythology of cultural Crete. 
  • Knossos Palace – Delve into ancient Minoan history at Knossos Palace, an archaeological marvel and the legendary center of the Minoan civilization.
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum – Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Crete at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, home to an impressive collection of Minoan artifacts and historical treasures.
  • Heraklion city center (St. Minas Cathedral, St. Titus Church, Lion Square) – Experience the heart of Heraklion with its iconic landmarks, including the grand St. Minas Cathedral, historic St. Titus Church, and the vibrant Lion Square.
  • Open-air market in Heraklion – Indulge your senses in the lively atmosphere of Heraklion's open-air market, where you can explore local flavors, vibrant colors, and the warm hospitality of the Cretan people.
  • Private expert guide 
  • Private vehicle and driver
  • Admission Tickets
In the morning, we'll join our expert guide in Heraklion and take a short drive to the Palace of Knossos, a site that spans two ancient cultures: Minoan and Mycenaean. Centuries before Plato and Sophocles roamed Athens, an earlier culture thrived on Bronze Age Crete, Greece’s largest island. As we explore and discuss this unique site, we will learn about its foundations, the society that supported it, the world of the Bronze Age Mediterranean in which it flourished, and the story behind the original throne of "Minos". Leaving Knossos behind, we will drive back to Heraklion to spend some time in one of the most important museums in Greece, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. It houses representative artifacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The singularly important Minoan collection contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces.

After a morning well-spent in and around Knossos, we’ll take a break for lunch and a treat such as a Greek coffee and the renowned bougatsa pastry from Heraklion. Fueled by tasty Greek food, we’ll spend the last part of our tour exploring the charming capital of Crete, Heraklion, and its numerous historical monuments. From the cathedral of St. Minas to the impressive church of St. Titus to Lion Square and the local open-air market, our expert guide will add color and context to this historical center and architecture dating from the Venetian period (14th-17th century).

At the end of our full-day Knossos and Heraklion itinerary, we will have stitched together an Ancient Minoan, and Greek historical narrative. After having ventured together across a number of sites relevant to the archaeological identity of Crete, our full-day tour will leave us with a deeper sense of the importance of this small Greek island.

NOTE: This tour includes a car service that will pick you up at your accommodation. We are able to accommodate tours starting from Heraklion, Chania or Elounda. Please tell us your hotel or apartment address in the 'Additional Details' box while adding the tour to your shopping cart and select the correct car service at check out.
Is lunch included in this full-day tour?
Your expert guide will select a typical local restaurant for lunch but the cost of the meal is not included in the tour price.  
 
What happens if it's raining?
Our tours happen rain or shine. Our guides are great at adapting their route during changes in weather. 
 
Is this walk suitable for families?
Although it might be a long day for younger learners, we can adapt this day to be more geared towards families. 
 
Where do we meet? Where does the tour end?
The tour starts and ends at your accommodation in Heraklion. Due to the geography of the island, please let us know where you are staying so we can arrange a transfer for you. 
 
Our hotel is in Crete, but not in Heraklion, can we take this tour?
We are able to accommodate transportation from Heraklion, and Chania or Elounda for an extra cost. You can select the correct car service at check out and leave us a note about your hotel address.

If we are staying in Heraklion are we able to start this tour earlier?
Yes, from Heraklion we can start the tour at 9 am if you'd like to begin earlier. If you'd like to do the 9 am start time you can write it in your order details and we'll make that change noting you are staying in Heraklion.
 
Is this tour walking intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible?
This tour is accessible for wheelchairs and people with mobility issues with some adjustments. A part of the Knossos Palace Archeological Site is not accessible to wheelchairs, but the Archaeological Museum is completely accessible. If you have mobility concerns, please feel free to contact us after booking so we can coordinate with our guides to accommodate your needs. 
 
What other tours do you offer in Crete? 
Where You'll Start
10 Reviews (5.0)

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Dimitra was an engaging, enthusiastic and expert guide. She is extremely knowledgeable about Minoan heritage and shared that in an accessible and entertaining way. The tour is split into two key parts; first at the Temple of Knossos where she was able to bring to life the history of the Temple and how it would have looked and operated during its heyday. She was clear and honest about the work that has been done to the Temple since it has been rediscovered and how successive owners have changed what we see today. The second part was in Heraklion's Museum of Archeology and here her passion for and knowledge of the collection was obvious. She highlighted for us beautiful items which showed particular skill or ability in their creation; but also quirky, more offbeat items which told a story or highlighted an aspect of Minoan life. She also responded enthusiastically to questions, which often took us to specific items to illustrate her answers to our questions. Overall this tour did exactly what we wanted and more - a thorough introduction to Crete and Minoan culture from a knowledgeable and entertaining guide. And in between the main points of the tour, Dimitra showed us other parts of Heraklion, and advised us on where to eat, and where to visit for the rest of our holiday.
Dimitra brought the Minoan civilization to life during my one day your of Knossos Palace and the Heraklion Archeological Museum. I highly recommend this tour and requedting Dimitra as your guide.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Crete full-day Knossos Palace and Heraklion. Dimitra was our guide - she is a tour de force. Incredibly knowledgeable about the Minoan civilization and able to explain the ruins and artifacts in an understandable and highly way. Plus, she has an engaging and warm personality - she made us feel like we were old friends with whom she was sharing something special. Six (not five) stars!! The only disappointment with Context Travel is that they do not offer more tours on Crete - there is so much more to see, including many more Minoan sites.