Crete Culture & history

Our most recommended Crete Culture & history

Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

1. Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided tour of Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, once an astonishing palace built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, get the chance to see the original throne of ‘’Minos”, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, Crete’s treasures pantries, and the water-management systems. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was built immediately, the most monumental of all, and for over 300 years it represented the pre-eminent center of power in Bronze Age Crete. The new palace was an imposing complex with important architectural innovations, splendid frescoes adorning the walls, hundreds of rooms distributed in four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts. Learn how during the last decades of the 14th century BC, a series of earthquakes led to the final destruction of the palace. 

Crete: Palace of Knossos Archaeological Site Entrance Ticket

2. Crete: Palace of Knossos Archaeological Site Entrance Ticket

Benefit from skip-the-line access to the Palace of Knossos. Once inside, you are free to explore this Minoan archaeological site at your own pace, including the Grand Palace which dates back to the year 2000 B.C. As you wander through the site, discover what remains of living quarters, workspaces, and storerooms that have stood for centuries. Learn more about the city which is thought to have been the capital and political center of Minoan civilization and culture. Get a sense of what the building was like originally from the extensive restorations that have taken place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. See colorful restored murals, which were typical of the time, and the throne room of the legendary King Minos, which is still intact.

Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

3. Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

Experience Ancient Crete at your own pace with a combined e-ticket for the island's top two archaeological attractions, the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Experience two captivating self-guided audio tours on your smartphone. Receive your ticket in a separate email from our local partner, and download the app and audio tours onto your phone prior to your visit. Then travel back in time to experience the grandeur of Crete from the Minoan period to Roman times. Put on your headphones and discover the Palace of Knossos and the exquisite artifacts exhibited in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Through the power of storytelling, learn interesting facts and hear little-known stories from ancient times. The content of the tours is the result of in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories that will make your visit both engaging and informative. The audio tours can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. This is an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into ancient Crete and the Minoan civilization, and to engage with your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

4. Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

Enjoy an exciting visit to Knossos Palace, Crete’s most famous historical attraction, with a skip-the-line e-ticket, including a compelling audio tour downloadable on your phone and a detailed map of the site. Lose yourself in the audio tour's storytelling and immerse yourself in history as you walk around this iconic site. Visit the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located just south of Heraklion, and see the evocative setting, complete with impressive ruins and brightly-colored frescoes, come alive through an engaging narrative that sheds light on various elements of Minoan culture. The cupbearers and procession frescoes at the South Propylaeum, which depict scenes from everyday life and the ceremonial activities in Minoan Crete, provide a great insight into the aesthetic ideals of the time. Follow the evolution of Minoan fashion, learn about the popular hairstyles of the people, and discover the beauty products locals used to touch up their look. At the West Magazines, where the storage facilities of the palace are located, gain an understanding of the well-organized bureaucracy that supported the palace organization, the earliest forms of linear writing, as well as the Minoan economy and trade networks. Discover the copy of the “Prince of the Lilies” at the South Entrance Corridor and gaze out on Mount Juktas, perfectly framed by the eroded walls of the palace. Visit the Queen’s Megaron, embellished with famous blue dolphins fresco and equipped with a bathroom and a toilet room, where you can find out everything about the bath habits in the Minoan era.

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

5. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

Settlements in Knossos date as far back as the Neolithic period. Neolithic remains from around 7000 BC are found throughout Crete. Explore the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization and enjoy a skip-the-line tour of the Knossos Palace. The Knossos Palace was built from 1700 to 1400 BC. Advanced architectural techniques were used in its construction, and sections of the palace stood up to 5 stories high. It featured 1,300 rooms connected by corridors, and a theater and extensive storerooms, which held large clay containers of oil, grains, dried fish, beans and olives – often with gold hidden beneath.

Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos

6. Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos

Receive a short 30-minute tour on your arrival at the museum of rural history and folk craft in the Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village. Traditional Cretan cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. Here you can learn from the masters while they create famous Cretan dishes which you can participate in before making your very own. You can create stuffed vine leaves, stuffed vegetables, pork with wine sauce, lamb with green beans, traditional Cretan ntakos, tzatziki and sarikopites, and coiled cheese pies. Afterwards, you can sit down to enjoy the dishes you have prepared with local wine and mineral water. Participants will also receive a cooking certification document, which has been authorized by the Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village.

From Chania: Private Local Highlights & Knossos Palace Tour

7. From Chania: Private Local Highlights & Knossos Palace Tour

We have designed this unforgettable trip to submerge you into an authentic way of life in one of the island's most beautiful regions while gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between history, stunning escapes, gastronomy, and the authentic Cretan local lifestyle. You will also visit the world-famous Palace of Knossos, where your expert guide will ensure skip-the-line access to all archaeological areas, key pieces of information, and extra-personalized attention. Then, from the history and cultural experience, you will be immersed in another time wandering the unspoiled Cretan landscape along with authentic layers of flavors, wines, and village life of the island of Crete. Enjoy personal pick-up and drop-off with a premium vehicle at your full-day disposal, like a true VIP

From Chania: Full-Day Heraklion Highlights Tour

8. From Chania: Full-Day Heraklion Highlights Tour

Explore the oldest civilization in Europe on a full-day tour from Chania. Enjoy a guided tour of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, and wander through Heraklion Town. Begin your tour from your accommodation in Chania, and as your drive, learn about the myths of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur or the story of Daidalos and Ikaros. In Heraklion, head to the Palace of Knossos and explore the ruins. Next, visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and admire over 15,000 ancient Greek artifacts. Afterward, enjoy a walking tour of the town of Heraklion. Discover a Venetian fortress at the entrance of the harbor, gorgeous Neoclassical buildings and Byzantine churches.

Crete: Heraklion Archaeological Museum Ticket & Audio Guide

9. Crete: Heraklion Archaeological Museum Ticket & Audio Guide

Experience the Heraklion Archaeological Museum at your own pace with a skip-the-line e-ticket and a fascinating self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Receive your ticket by email, download the app, and the audio tour on your phone, prior to your visit, and travel back in time to experience the masterpieces of Minoan art. Put on your headphones and explore representative artifacts from all periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times through the power of storytelling and learn historical information and uncommon stories and anecdotes from the ancient times. Get an engaging and informative visit with in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories. The audio tour can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. Gain valuable insights into one of the oldest and most important museums in Greece that is rightly considered as the Museum of Minoan Culture par excellence.

From Heraklion: Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace Private Tour

10. From Heraklion: Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace Private Tour

Embark on a private day trip and leave Heraklion to explore the archeological site of the Palace of Knossos. Learn more about Cretan history at the site, take in the art and architecture, and relax while absorbing the local atmosphere and admiring the local villages. Journey through East Crete and admire the sights of the Lassithi Plateau and its forests and fertile land. Discover quaint villages, learn more about the local lifestyle, and see Cretan art and the remnants of the Byzantine Empire. Tuck in to delicious local food at an eatery recommended by your guide, and enjoy authentic Cretan food while on the tour. Amble in the footsteps of gods to the Cave of Zeus. Plunge into the mythical birthplace of the god Zeus sense the sanctity of this ancient site. Luxuriate in the eternal magnificence of the Minoan ruins and frescoes while in Knossos Palace. Succumb to the personalized service of a top history-archaeology guide and be stimulated by eclectic information and a stress-free pace in all archaeological areas.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Day trips
  • Adventures
72 activities found
Sort by:
Page 1 of 5

Frequently asked questions about Crete

What top attractions are a must-see in Crete?

Other Sightseeing Options in Crete

Want to discover all there is to do in Crete? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,662 reviews

Absolutely brilliant tour around Knossos Palace. Would absolutely recommend this. Katerina the guide was incredibly knowledgeable and funny. Really brought the history to life. The group size was a total of 5 so we could always here and move about without getting separated. The instructions for meeting were spot on and informative with contact info if you ever needed help.

Chatzigeogiou was our excellent English speaking guide at Knossos. She was knowledgeable and she answered all of our group’s questions clearly. The group size was small, but she took care ensure everyone in the group was keeping up and learning together. She was lovely with our children too. Highly recommended. And thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

My wife and I had a wonderful afternoon with Evie. We toured the rustic village, prepared some food and dined outdoors in the courtyard overlooking the valley and could see Heraklion off in the distance. There were just the two of us and it was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The audio guide was great and so helpful compared to just walking around on our own. There were a few closed viewpoints in the audio which made some of the directions confusing, but overall we had a great experience and it was super interesting and informative.

Altough you don't have to much time, the tour was enough to see the important stuff in Heraklion. The guide was constantly giving us information and the bus driver also was very friendly