Knossos and Heraklion Museum
Knossos was the centre of the first brilliant European palatial civilisation, the Minoan civilisation. A 5 km au sud d’Héraklion, il est le site archéologique le plus visité de Crète avec plus de 100 000 de visiteurs par an. Il était le siège du légendaire roi Minos et a été associé à de célèbres mythes grecs, tels que celui de Dédale et d’Icare, du fil d’Ariane, mais aussi du Labyrinthe et du Minotaure. Toutes les découvertes des fouilles du site sont exposées au musée archéologique d’Héraklion. (See more in our page « knossos » of our blog).
How to get there
Go as soon as it opens at 8am to anticipate the arrival of the tourist buses and avoid being exposed to the sun during the 2-hour visit. To fully enjoy the visit, join a group with a guide. Buy your ticket on the internet to avoid the queue on site. Combined with the archaeological museum of Heraklion it costs 20 €. Half price for over 65s, and free for under 25s and EU citizens. Knossos was so successful that in August 2022 the record of 8,000 visitors/day was broken!
To know, to visit, to do
The first archaeologist to discover the site was Minos Kalokerinos in 1878, but it was the Englishman Arthur Evans who completed the excavations. Evans' work began in 1900 and ended in 1930, with the completion of some restorations. Evans has been heavily criticised for carrying out large-scale restorations of the palace using cement. However, it can be admitted that the perception of the palace today would not be as visible, if there had been no restoration.
To visit in the surroundings
A visit to Knossos is ideally combined with a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.
At Heraklion: Ladokolla (5-30€), varied and quality cuisine. Peskessi, nice place and excellent cuisine. Avli, flowery setting and is well known for its Cretan cuisine.
Top 10 in Crete: Loutro – Elafonisi – Falasarna – Balos – Chania – Samaria gorge – Rethymnon – Knossos – Agios Nikolaos – Vai Beach