Knossos Palace and the Archaeological Museum
The island of Crete may be best known for being one
of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations but
look a little deeper and you will find something a little
fascinating. The ancient city of Knossos, near the
capital Heraklion, was the place that ‘gave birth’ to the
very first civilisation of Europe, the Minoans. So we
can probably say it’s Europe oldest city.
Our excursion will open up the world of the Minoans
as we visit one of the continent’s most important
The first excavations were undertaken in the 1870s by
Minos Kalokairinos, a Cretan himself. A few decades
later in the early 1900s, more work by Sir Arthur
Evans from Britain brought to the world’s attention the
Palace of Knossos, according to legend the residence
of wise King Minos in its entirety.
We will be able to explore the large Central Court,
the wonderful Throne Room, the imposing Grand
Staircase and see the fresco of the ‘Prince of the
As you stroll through the palace apartments and view
the archaeological finds, we think you will be just a
little impressed by the rich cultural heritage of the
You will undoubtedly hear the Cretan legend of the
Minotaur, half man, half bull who lived in the Labyrinth and was slain by Theseus. But that’s a whole other story.
We call in at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
to find out more of the background to the history and culture of Crete.
Our tours ends in Heraklion and the home to many
important historical figures, including Nobel Prize
winning poet Odysseas Elytis, the painter El Greco and the writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
The city is also blessed with some beautiful buildings
and edifices including the ‘Koules’ fortress, Venetian
Loggia, Morosini Fountain, Basilica of St Mark, Church
of Agios Titus, medieval monastery of St Catherine
and the Cathedral of Agios Minas.