Heraklion
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Heraklion Culture & History

Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

1. 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.

Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

2. 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.

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

3. 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 Heraklion Port: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

4. From Heraklion Port: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

Explore Santorini by boat on this day trip from Crete. Take part in a guided bus tour of the island, walk through charming villages, and witness stunning views. Your experience starts off from Crete on the luxurious high-speed catamaran "Champion Jet 2." On arrival at Thiras port, you'll board a comfortable, air-conditioned bus with your experienced guides who will provide information about the island and its history. Your first stop is the unique village of Oia. Built on the northern part of the Caldera rim, Oia offers magnificent views of houses studded along the volcanic rock hillside overlooking both the Mediterranean and Aegean sea. Next, visit the island’s capital Fira, where you will have plenty of free time to explore the picturesque alleys, admire the incomparable Aegean architecture, shop, or simply enjoy a drink. Then, you have the choice of spending more time in Fira, visiting the magnificent black beach of Perivolos, or taking a boat tour of the Caldera (subject to availability). Finally, you'll return to the port for the trip back to Crete.

Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

5. Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

Begin the tour at the Peninsula Resort and Spa with a short theoretical introduction and a quad driving lesson before the adventure begins. Follow a beautiful off-road cliff path along the sea and into the heights of Achlada away from traffic and in the midst of the most beautiful nature the area has to offer. Enjoy breathtaking views over Agia Pelagia until reaching Heraklion, then continue to the ancient and abruptly abandoned ghost village of Achlada. Find out more about the background of the village and the traditional Cretan way of life and share a special personal moment with the last two remaining inhabitants of the village. Stroll through this otherwise inaccessible village at leisure. From the heights of Achlada, pass in between the mountains surrounded by breathtaking nature before continuing to Fodele, a traditional Cretan village, also called the village of the oranges and birthplace of the famous painter ‘El Greco’. Explore Crete’s culture and marvel at its local handicrafts. Take some time for shopping and a visit to the museum or to the village’s orthodox churches. Sit back and enjoy a famous freshly squeezed orange juice made from the local orange trees for a more relaxing experience. Return to the hotel at 1.00 p.m., just in time for lunch, or alternatively, there is the possibility to have lunch in a local restaurant and try Greek Meze – a variety of Greek delicacies served on small plates.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Archaeological Site Entrance Ticket

6. 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: Spinalonga Island Cruise and Agios Nikolaos Tour

7. Heraklion: Spinalonga Island Cruise and Agios Nikolaos Tour

Explore Crete on a day tour by boat and bus. Discover the town of Agios Nikolaos, cruise through Mirabello Bay, stop for a swim in Kolokytha Bay, and admire the sights of Spinalonga Island, with lunch included. Start with pickup in the morning. First, explore the cosmopolitan town of Agios Nikolaos, the place where the boat sails from, towards the island of Spinalonga. Enjoy a morning walk and have a coffee around its beautiful port and the lake of the town. On Wednesdays, visitors can also enjoy the traditional bazaar as an additional attraction of this town. At midday, set sail on the boat for the cruise portion of the tour. Lunch will be served on the boat. Enjoy the views while crossing the unique Mirabello Bay, the Agios Nikolaos coast, and Elounda. Then the boat will stop at the beautiful bay of Kolokytha where you can swim and dive from the cruise boat into the crystal clear waters. Next, stop on Spinalonga Island, known as "the island of tears." Take a guided tour with professional guides for about 30 minutes and enjoy some free time to admire the views and take photos. Finally, sail back to Agios Nikolaos, where the bus will drop you back at your accommodation. Basic Meal: Grilled chicken Mixed salad with tomatoes and cucumber Feta cheese Slice of bread Vegetarian option: Tortilla with vegetables Mixed salad with tomatoes and cucumber Feta cheese Slice of bread Vegans may receive the same meal as vegetarians, without the option of feta cheese.

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

8. 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: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

9. Heraklion: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

Venture into the ocean’s depth with a 1-day admission ticket to the CRETAquarium. One of Europe’s largest aquariums, over 2,000 sea creatures lice the CRETAquarium's 60 diverse habitats. Delve into the caves and crevices of the Mediterranean, where stingrays and rock-like scorpionfish slither about. Pop out into the open ocean, where menacing sharks circle, waiting to be fed. Get up close and personal with jellyfish and schools of vibrant tropical clownfish through shallow, open-topped tanks, which allow a new viewing perspective of well known species.  Above all, gain a new appreciation for the unending diversity of the world’s most mystifying environment. When you’ve had your fill of looking at the ocean’s residents, why not pop in for a dip? The CRETAquarium is, fittingly, right on the beach.

Heraklion: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

10. Heraklion: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Explore Heraklion city at your own pace using a hop-on hop-off bus. Enjoy a combo ticket good for 48hours and for 2 different bus lines. See famous attractions, visit the beach of Ammoudara and the Knossos archaeological site. Take your chance to see it all with one combo ticket. Discover the Cretan civilization, history, and architecture and learn all about the old and modern city of Heraklion. Enjoy onboard commentary in 8 different languages explaining important details and facts. On the first route, embark on a 12 stop line that tours Heraklion city over one hour. Get off and on when you please and appreciate hours from 830am until 530pm every day. The second route provides a 6 stop line that leads to Ammoudara beach.

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 590 reviews

A great time for experienced and beginner riders. pre arranged travel is a must though,and it being a farm bug repellent is a good choice. The staff were very friendly and their instructions were helpful,and they accompanied us in case there was any issues. The horses themselves were extremely patient with us (special thank you to Angela Merkel) with many of us making mistakes riding them but they did not mind. A break at the top for a light snack and photos with the view was amazing. Great hospitality all round, especially when we had a travel issue, couldn't thank them enough for the extra mile they went to help us :)

What a lovely family! Irene and her father Gregory are so welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble. I’d definitely recommend a visit to this place.

Super guide en langue FR ! Je conseil vraiment de faire cette visite des 9h pour éviter le monde, c'est beaucoup plus agréable.

He was an amazing guide! Very knowledgeable, answered all our questions, just overall great. I definitely recommend!!

Really interesting history of Cretan civilization. Museum is well organized and the audio tour was easy to follow.