Knossos and Heraklion Museum
Knossos was the centre of the first brilliant European palatial civilisation, the Minoan civilisation. Located 5 km south of Heraklion, it is the most visited archaeological site in Crete with over 100,000 visitors per year. It was the seat of the legendary King Minos and has been associated with famous Greek myths, such as Daedalus and Icarus, Ariadne's thread, the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. All the finds from the excavations at the site are on display in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. (see "Knossos page""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 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. (bus line 2, KTEL)
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.