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Heraklion Walking tours

Our most recommended Heraklion Walking 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. 

Heraklion: Food Tastings Walking Tour

2. Heraklion: Food Tastings Walking Tour

Get an introduction to the best food that Heraklion has to offer by treating your palate to traditional Cretan dishes and exceptional local wines! Go on an unforgettable tasty journey through Heraklion’s local neighbourhoods. After meeting your local guide, start off with a traditional Greek coffee also known as ellinikós kafés. Learn why Greeks love coffee and see it brewed the traditional way in sand and be taught “cup reading”, a centuries-old tradition that reads your future. Enjoy Heraklion’s well-known bougatsa in a family-owned business that has mastered its bougatsa technique since 1922. Consisting of semolina custard, cheese, or minced meat filling between layers of phyllo, bougatsa is a must-taste pastry that you shouldn’t miss while being in the city. Continue to a local market where you’ll meet the local vendors and learn about their products. Sample some of the basic elements of Cretan cuisine such as olives, rusks, and cheese. Become a cheese-tasting expert by receiving local hints and learn how to spot the best local cheeses. Taste the island’s famous olive oil and find out why organic Cretan olive oil is one of the best oils in the world. Sit down for a local organic meat dish or if you want to show yourself how brave you are, sample a dish that is loved by most Cretans: fried snails. Move on to your last stop and taste some local Cretan wines in a family-run shop. Keep in mind that winemaking in Crete has a long history that dates back to the Bronze Age. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide for more tips on what else to see, do and eat during your stay.

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

3. 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: History & Culture Walking Tour with Food Tasting

4. Heraklion: History & Culture Walking Tour with Food Tasting

Explore the historical city center of Heraklion. Visit, along with your expert tour guide, Heraklion’s major monuments; travel through time and its rich history. Discover the past and the present of a city that combines old with new. The 7th labor of Hercules was performed here, the birthplace of El Greco and Nikos Kazantzakis. On this tour hear stories about Heraklion's turbulent past and visit its legendary churches, fountains, and monuments. On this tour you will also get to enjoy local products finger food and wine amidst Venetian monumental buildings. Stroll through off-the-beaten-path areas in the city, learn about the Mediterranean diet. On this 2-hour tour feed your body and mind.

Knossos Palace: Private Guided Tour with Skip-The-Line Entry

5. Knossos Palace: Private Guided Tour with Skip-The-Line Entry

Explore the Labyrinth and Palace of Knossos. Skip the long ticket line upon arrival and you meet your own exclusive guide. This site is home to: the Minotaur, the oldest throne in Europe, elegant wall paintings that inspired art Nuevo works centuries later, huge clay earns, advanced draining systems, and quarters sunk into the earth. Together you will see the oldest civilization unfold before your eyes and you will be able to get the best out of your visit to this magnificent structure. Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, was an astonishing palace, built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, you will have the chance to see the original throne of Minos, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, that were, once upon a time, bursting with Crete’s treasures. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was then immediately built and for more than 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 across four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts.

Heraklion: 2–Hour Cretan Food & Sightseeing Walking Tour

6. Heraklion: 2–Hour Cretan Food & Sightseeing Walking Tour

Feed your body and mind in Heraklion, the capital city of Crete. Visit its major monuments with your guide, discover the the modern aspects of the Cretan diet its connection to the history of the city. Learn how the people of Crete eat, and how Crete's enviable food culture was born. On this Heraklion tasting tour, stop at a Cretan family bakery, the daily meeting point of locals. Taste Greek coffee assorted with kalitsounia (traditional sweet pies with soft cheese filling), raisin pies and cinnamon cookies. Discover the herbs and spices at a traditional Cretan shop, and take the chance to savor Cretan mountain tea. Move on to try organic extra virgin olive oil, considered to be the best in the world, made with varieties of table olives. Try goat–sheep cheese, Gruyere, parmesan, soft cheese and natural yogurt with honey.

Heraklion: Food Walking Tour

7. Heraklion: Food Walking Tour

Discover the delicious offerings of Crete with this Heraklion for foodies tour. As you stroll the streets of Heraklion with your licensed guide, hear about the history and tradition behind some of the island's most beloved dishes. Enjoy a wealth of tastings such as 'bougatsa' (custard cream pie), 'kalitsounia' (sweet mizithra cheese and honey pies), 'dolmades' (rice wrapped in vine leaf with herbs), Cretan olives, 'dakos' (rusk bread with tomato and grated feta) cheeses, honey, seafood dishes and more. Visit artisanal delis and food shops that have been run by dedicated families for generations and taste the products they so lovingly create—a truly decadent discovery of Crete’s indulgent foodie scene. Be sure to come hungry.

Cretan Olive Oil Tasting and Food Pairing

8. Cretan Olive Oil Tasting and Food Pairing

About During the first part, the visitors will taste 3 samples of Savouidakis Extra Virgin Olive Oils which come from Koroneiki variety of Crete and will learn how to recognize their positive characteristics, «fruity", "bitter", "spicy". They will also learn how to recognize a defective olive oil from a quality one -by tasting 2 extra samples- and in the last part of the session we will discuss on how we can make our cooking recipes boost by simply using the right olive oil. What makes this activity unique? If you are an olive oil lover, our workshop is designed for you! Have you ever thought that olive oil could hide so many pleasant flavors and aromas? Did you ever imagine that each food recipe needs its specific olive oil? Have you ever wondered whether the olive oil you choose for your table is of good quality or not? By attending our workshop all the above questions will be answered and you are going to discover the positive aspects of extra virgin olive oil that you did not know they existed. Feel free to enjoy our "Love at First Tasting" experience.

Knossos Palace: Family-friendly Mythology Tour

9. Knossos Palace: Family-friendly Mythology Tour

This family-friendly shared tour for all those fond of Greek Mythology with a touch of Hollywood! Wander, touch, and see for yourself the paths where mythical heroes lived and acted! See the Tridents of Poseidon, a Labyrinth, the stone throne of King Minos and the ancient path to the sea walked by those brought to Knossos for the Minotaur! On this tour your guide will take you through the Palace of Knossos with its numerous chambers unraveling the Greek Myth of the Labyrinth of Knossos and its Minotaur. See the throne of King Minos, the beautiful dolphin apartment of Queen Pasiphae and The road taken by Theseus upon arrival to Crete from Ancient Athens. You have the opportunity to touch, feel, see the Legends and Myths of Ancient Greece and Minoan Crete!

Heraklion Crete: Cretan and Greek Dance Lesson at Arolithos

10. Heraklion Crete: Cretan and Greek Dance Lesson at Arolithos

Start your day of dancing at the Arolithos Traditional Cretan village. Upon your arrival, you will be met by the warm and welcoming staff with a serving of traditional raki and nuts. As you enjoy your local delicacies, your friendly staff will give you a run-down of the 2-hour dance lesson. During your course, you will learn to dance the Greek and Cretan way. Under the tutelage of a professional dancer, you will learn the most famous and popular dances of Greece and Crete. You will be taught how to dance the famous Zorba, Sirtaki, Kalamatianos, Anogianos and many others.   After your dancing lesson, you will take a 30-minutes visit to the Musem of Rural History and Folk Craft where you will learn about the various historical traditions that exist in Crete. At the end of your day of fun, you will be given a CD with Greek and Cretan music for you to take home and enjoy. 

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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

4.7 / 5

based on 654 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!

Our guide was exceptional. Very knowledgeable about Knossos and the Minoan civilization. She was also an excellent listener and was attentive to our questions. She also suggested what we should look for in the museum.

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.

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

Eva was incredible. Tasty spots, good pacing, funny interactions- just a very enjoyable day.