Heraklion Shore Excursion
This half day Heraklion shore trip includes a private tour at the Palace of Knossos, followed by a visit to the Crete Archaeological Museum, given you a full understanding of the Minoan Culture. A short amount of free time is included.
After meeting your guide at the port of Heraklion you will drive to the renowned archaeological site of Knossos. Upon arrival you enjoy a private guided tour through the fantastic ruins of the ancient palace complex, which served as the administrative and religious centers for the whole region. It has been restored by Sir Arthur Evans and these restorations, though criticized by some for their modernity, help the tourist to both visualize the palace as it was and understand its labyrinthine complexity. The living quarters of the king, queen and members of the royal court, rooms for state occasions, theater area, store rooms and potters' workshops are all within the palace complex.
For centuries the history of the Minoan culture had passed into the realm of legend and remained a distant memory in Greek tradition and mythology. It was not until the beginning of the last century that the history of Minoan Crete was actually pieced together to reveal that the civilization was not one of myth, rather it was one of the most advanced and important in prehistoric times. The amazing archaeological site of Knossos, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Minos, provides the basis of our knowledge about this civilization named after the king of Crete.
The frescoes unearthed show the refinement of their art and use of color and embody the soul of the peace loving, lighthearted, but also powerful Minoans. The original palace of Knossos was raised around 1900 BC. About two-hundred years later it was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt on a grander scale. The final catastrophe occurred around 1450 BC with the eruption of the volcano in Santorini. Despite this blow, people continued to live here until a fire swept through the city around 1400 BC.
After your visit of the Palace you will drive to nearby Heraklion for a visit of the outstanding Archaeological Museum. Unique in its record of the Minoan civilization, the museum houses the findings and treasures from all archaeological sites of Crete. The displays of idols made of terracotta, marble and alabaster, collections of gold, jewelry, ivory, figurines, sarcophagi and frescoes will give you an insight into this artistic-minded civilization and complement your visit to Knossos.
Following your museum visit there will be a short amount of free time to explore the town of Heraklion before returning to the pier.
Customized Heraklion Tours
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Heraklion tours and Heraklion shore excursions can also be customized to fit your needs. If you have a larger group, we can offer you a private Heraklion shore trip using a mid-size bus or full size coach. Please contact us with any questions or to receive a customized quote.