Every Tuesday – Sunday
The Archaeological Tour of Knossos
A journey through the centuries… Discover the cradle of Minoan civilization!
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Large Group
- Discover the first civilization in Europe
- Explore the oldest city in Europe
- Unique museum exhibits
- Walk in Heraklion city centre
Follow us and explore the oldest city of Europe and the first organized human civilization. Discover the greatness of the ancient Minoans and walk around the old stone-paths of Knossos, the cradle of Minoan civilization.
The palace of Knossos, the centre of Minoan civilization, was constituted the main force of the island’s population during the Bronze Age. Their civilization as well as the palace was destroyed at the explosion of the Santorini Volcano. The excavation conducted by Arthur Evans 1900-1913 and 1922-1930 brought to light the grand palace of Knossos, along with other great findings of immense importance concerning the culture and the life of the Minoans, which are as of yet kept at the archaeological museum of Heraklion.
The most important monuments of the site are:
The Palace of Knossos. It is the largest of the preserved Minoan palatial centres. Four wings are arranged around a central courtyard, containing the royal quarters, workshops, shrines, storerooms, repositories, the throne room and banquet halls. Dated to 2000-1350 B.C.
The Little Palace. It lies to the west of the main palace and has all the features of palatial architecture: scraped wall masonry, reception rooms, a pristyle hall, a double megaron with polythyra (pi er-and-door partitions) and a lustral basin-shrine. Dated to the 17th-15th centuries B.C.
The Royal Villa. It lies to the NE of the palace and its architectural form is distinguished by the polythyra, the pillar crypt and the double staircase, with two flights of stairs. It is strongly religious in character and might have been the residence of an aristocrat or a high priest. Dated to the 14th century B.C.
House of the Frescoes. It is located to the NW of the palace and is a small urban mansion with rich decoration on the walls. Dated to the 15th, 14th-12th centuries B.C.
Caravanserai. It lies to the south of the palace and was interpreted as a reception hall and hospice. Some of the rooms are equipped with baths and decorated with wall paintings.
The “Unexplored Mansion”. Private building, probably of private-industrial function, to the NW of the palace. It is rectangular, with a central, four-pillared hall, corridors, storerooms and remains of a staircase. Dated to the 14th-12th centuries B.C.
Temple Tomb. It is located almost 600 m. to the south of the palace and was connected with the “House of the High Priest” by means of a paved street. It seems that one of the last kings of Knossos (17th-14th centuries B.C.) was buried here. Typical features of its architecture are the hypostyle, two-pillar crypt, the entrance with the courtyard, the portico and a small anteroom.
House of the High Priest. It lies 300 m. to the south of Caravanserai and contains a stone altar with two columns, framed by the bases of double axes.
The South Mansion. Private civic house, located to the south of the palace. It is a three-stored building with a lustral basin and a hypostyle crypt, dating from the 17th-15th centuries B.C.
Villa of Dionysos. Private, peristyle house of the Roman period. It is decorated with splendid mosaics by Apollinarius, depicting Dionysos. The house contains special rooms employed for the Dionysiac cult. Dated to the 2nd century A.D.
Our trip starts in Chania.
After we pick you up with our bus from your hotel or a location in its vicinity, we head to Heraklion, which we reach about three hours later. On the way to Heraklion we make a stop near Rethymnon for a few minutes.
Our first stop is the palace of Knossos, through whose premises you will be guided by our guide. The tour lasts one hour.
Subsequently we head to the centre of Heraklion, where you have plenty of time to eat and shop. While there, you also have the chance to visit the archaeological museum of Heraklion with our guide and to admire up close murals and objects from the palace you have just visited.
After a more or less three-hour stay in Heraklion we head back to Chania. Before we reach our destination, we make an one-hour stop at Rethymnon city.
Right after that we return to Chania and to your hotels.
- Hotel pick up and drop off
- English speaking guide
- Air-conditioned bus transportation
- Gratuities (optional)
- Entrances fees of the Museum and the Palace (16€)
April to October
Departures from Chania and Rethymnon
Terms & Conditions
- The company reserves the right to make minor changes in the program when this is considered necessary, for example in case of unfavorable weather conditions. This can be done without prior notice.
- Reservations must be made 24 hours before the tour. A cancellation must be done 5 days before the tour. In case of later cancellations, no refund will be made from the company.
- If a tour is cancelled due to few participants or bad weather conditions, the company will refund 100% of made payments.
Children 6-12 years old: 22€
Children up to 18 years old: free entrances for the Museum and the Palace
We keep our group sizes low so you have the freedom to move around and get involved with your surroundings, as well as more personal attention from our local guides. This intimate size ensures that your group will not crowd your experience. You can expect up to 50 travelers on a trip but the average is 30-35. Check individual trip pages for maximum group sizes.
It’s extremely difficult if not impossible to join a tour after it has begun. It is possible to leave a tour early however you will be responsible for your own arrangements from the moment you decide to leave the tour. You would also be responsible for all costs associated with joining a tour late or leaving one early. If you feel this may be necessary please consult a Fabulous Crete Specialist before you book your adventure.
50 seats buses
For privacy reasons we cannot provide you with advance details on your traveling companions. However, our tours appeal to a wide range of travellers, most of whom share an adventurous spirit and a desire to experience these destinations at a grass-roots level. Our tours are conducted in English and so they attract many travellers from North America, UK, Australia and Europe
The availability listed on our website is updated every minute however on some tours we must confirm arrangements with our people on the ground, a process which usually takes no more than 24 hours. When you book online you will receive a follow-up email confirming your arrangements or a timeframe for when they will be confirmed.
The security that comes from knowing your trip is locked-in is a feeling that can’t be topped. We like that feeling – so much, so that we figured everyone should have it.
Every departure is guaranteed to run. Yup, all of them. Once you’ve booked and paid, that’s it, you’re going. Guaranteed. Your trip won’t be cancelled by us for any reason (beyond harsh weather or safety issues). Promise.
All documentation is sent electronically by email. Shortly after we receive your payment we will send you your initial documents. Final documentation will be sent by email no later than two days prior to the departure.
Yes, all of our Tour Managers and Tour Drivers speak English, some speak additional languages as well, but your tour will be conducted in English
You will automatically receive an e-voucher to your email address. Please print your voucher/ticket or keep a picture to your mobile phone which contains your unique reference number. Please remember to bring this with you on the day. You will not be allowed entrance to an attraction without a valid ticket.
If there is any problem with your booking or payment details, we will contact you on the telephone number or email address stated in your booking. Sometimes tours may not operate due to insufficient numbers, and we may need to contact you to advise you of any such changes.
All entrance fees and costs are included in the tour price except unspecified fees.
If you book more than 2 tours with us, then please contact our friendly staff who will be happy to assist you with your inquiry and see what we can arrange for you at firstname.lastname@example.org
You could lose your seat to a walk-up passenger. We encourage you to arrive at the pickup point a minimum of 15 minutes before departure. Once on the tour, your guide or driver will give you a time that the coach will depart each location. You must be at the coach at least five minutes before this time. If you are late and miss the time given, the coach will depart without you in order to not keep the other passengers waiting. If you are in any doubt about a departure time whilst on your tour, you must ask the guide or driver.
5 days before the tour starts –> 50% refund, no refunds after that
35% Deposit on booking time and final payment 7 days before the tour date.