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Heraklion Tours

Our most recommended Heraklion Tours

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. 

From Crete: Santorini Island Guided Tour

2. From Crete: Santorini Island Guided Tour

Enjoy a roundtrip tour to Santorini. Travel comfortably on a modern boat and in air-conditioned buses while learning about this island's history and mythology. Capture pictures of Santorini's famous Aegean architecture and narrow, winding streets.  Travel to Heraklion port where you will depart on a high-speed boat for Santorini. Enjoy ocean views on the 2.5-hour cruise to the island and pickup a snack from the bar onboard.  Arrive at Port Athinios and hop aboard the bus for the guided tour. Travel 40 minutes to Oia, where you will admire the blue and white houses built over the cliffs. Learn about the city before enjoying free time to admire the volcanic caldera at your own pace. Next, travel 30 minutes to Fira, the main town of Santorini, built on the edge of a 300-meter cliff. Check out its narrow streets, white vaulted houses, and bright blue domes. Have the option to take a cruise from Fira in a wooden boat to the volcano and hot springs (for an additional charge) or spend more time exploring the city. Return to Port Athinios where your guide will help you board the return ferry.  Take in the late-afternoon views on the boat before arriving at Heraklion port.

From Heraklion: Morning Sailing Trip to Dia Island

3. From Heraklion: Morning Sailing Trip to Dia Island

Enjoy a cruise, snorkeling and fishing in crystal clear waters on this relaxing and fun trip to Dia Island. Relax on the 1-hour trip to the island, taking in the scenery and enjoying the comfort of your boat, which will have a maximum of 8 passengers onboard. Next, visit the romantic gulf and ancient Minoan port of St. George. Spend 2.5 hours swimming in the turquoise water, walking on the beautiful trails, fishing or just relaxing on the beach. Relax and let the crew take care of you by providing you with any snorkeling and fishing equipment you need. Enjoy unlimited refreshments, seasonal fruits and a delicious Mediterranean lunch served by the crew.

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

4. 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.

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

5. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Embark on a full-day guided trip to northeastern Crete and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island. Visit Agios Nikolaos with its famous lake, and explore the picturesque village of Elounda. Begin the day with the visit to Agios Nikolaos, and see the shore of Mirabello Bay. Explore the town, famous for the lake at its center and its shopping and cafes. Take your time for a walk to enjoy the views, enjoy some shopping or have a drink in one of the numerous cafes around the lake. Explore an open-air market on Wednesdays. Move on to see Elounda village, a former fishing village on the northern coast of the island. Depart from Elounda for the cruise to Spinalonga Island. Learn about the island's vibrant history, from a home for the Venetians and Turks to a place of isolation for those suffering from leprosy. Experience the island, more popular after the 2005 historical novel “The Island” about how lepers lived in Spinalonga. Join the hundreds of people who come to the island every day to visit and learn its history.

Horse Riding with Lunch in the Mountains near Heraklion

6. Horse Riding with Lunch in the Mountains near Heraklion

Discover the wonderful mountain landscape around Heraklion and decide between riding comfortably in a coach or riding a horse yourself. After around 50 minutes, arrive at the top of the Finikia Mountains - a perfect place for a cozy picnic with soft drinks, raki and fruit. Enjoy the fantastic view of the sleepy mountains of Zeus, father of the gods, said to have been born in the Dikti Cave on the Lasithi Plateau. Continue your ride over the incredibly beautiful landscape and enjoy a hearty lunch in Cretan style with traditional house wine. Spend a little time on the lands, relax with a glass of wine and watch as your children take the reins.

Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

7. Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

Discover Lasithi Plateau and its important landmarks on a guided day trip from Heraklion, with hotel transfers included. Visit Krasi village, the Kera Kardiotissa Monastery, and the Psychro Cave. Participate in a ceramics workshop and end your day exploring the traditional village of Knossos Palace. After a hotel pickup, head to the traditional mountain village of Krasi known for its quaint central square with stone fountains and an enormous plane tree thought to be 2,400 years old. See intimate tavernas and cafes scattered among the streets, small stone churches, and freshwater springs. Next, explore the Eastern Orthodox Keras Monastery, dedicated to Virgin Mary. Then, visit the Vidiani Monastery located at the foothills of Louloudaki Mountain. Learn how it was built in the 19th century by the monk Methodius Peraki, probably on the ruins of an older monastery. Continue to Psychro Cave, the mythical birth place of Zeus. Admire the ancient Minoan sacred cave and its stalactites and stalagmites. Next up is a ceramics workshop led by a local potter to see how traditional ceramics are made and try your hands at making one. Afterward, stop at a traditional tavern for lunch. Choose from a variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lassithi plateau, homemade wine, and products from the surrounding mountains. Leaving the beautiful region of Lasithi behind, end the tour at the Historical Site of Knossos, Europe's oldest city. Join a 1-hour guided tour and take photos of this Bronze Age archaeological site. Then, hop back on the bus to return to your hotel.

Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

8. Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

Depart from Chania at around 7 AM and head eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards inland Crete until you reach the Palace of Knossos. The palace is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. Follow your guide on a 2-hour tour through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and learn about the Minotaur and Ariadne. Afterward, rejoin the bus which will bring you to the heart of the capital city of Crete, Heraklion. Take the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally, enjoy 2 hours of free time to explore the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch, and drink Raki. At around 3:30 PM, the bus will depart on its return journey to Chania.

Crete: Heraklion Bus Day Trip with Pateles Market Visit

9. Crete: Heraklion Bus Day Trip with Pateles Market Visit

Explore the sights in Heraklion with this bus tour from selected areas of Crete. Discover sights like Liberty Square and Koules fortress on a sightseeing tour. Spend some free time downtown and stop at the Pateles Farmers Market and the Cretaquarium Enjoy the convenience of pickup from locations outside of select hotels in Malia, Stalis, Hersonissos, Analipsi, Anissaras, Gouves, Gournes, Kokkini Chani, Heraklion, Ammoudara, and Heraklion. Sit back and relax on a spacious, comfortable, and air-conditioned bus.  Start with a sightseeing tour around the city with a first stop at Liberty Square to take in the statues and fountains. Explore the Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian influences on the city. Admire the imposing fortress of Koules at the harbor and the Venetian Walls that surround the old city. Have some free time to sit at one of the many restaurants or coffee shops in Lions Square or to see one of city museums, the Municipal Library, or the Art Gallery. Make your way to the Pateles Farmers Market where you can peruse dozens of stalls and haggle for excellent deals. Next, stop at the Cretaquarium where you can purchase a ticket to view various Mediterranean species, including sharks and tuna. Spend some time to get a coffee in a café before transferring back to your hotel.

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Frequently asked questions about Heraklion

What are the best day trips and excursions from Heraklion?

The best day trips and excursions from Heraklion are:

Chania

Other Sightseeing Options in Heraklion

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 288 reviews

I am an archaeology student, and the guide was able to adapt to that, moving beyond all of the basic talking points and going deeper into the history and archaeological practice at the site. She was extremely knowledgeable!

The palace was beautiful and I enjoyed guided tour because we got some special informations that I am sure we couldn't get visiting on our own. I would highly recommend to visit this palace.

Excellent fun, the captain and crew were lovely and the food was surprisingly good. Views were stunning, highly recommended.

Very nice trip. They picked me up in a van very close to my hotel because the streets were very narrow. Recommended!

Enjoyed the tour very much. Thanks to our guide who was a great storyteller and kept us engaged throughout.