Heraklion
Walking Tours

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Our most recommended Heraklion Walking Tours

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

1. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with 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. 

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Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

2. Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you begin your hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

3. From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

Start your day of discovery with a pick-up service. Right after you board your comfortable, air-conditioned bus, you will journey to the southwest corner of Crete to spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape on the way to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4-hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach. Benefit from beach kiosks where you can purchase food and water to rehydrate and re-energize. Situated just off the shore of the main island, Elafonisi can be reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty. Depart by bus at approximately 4:00 PM and return to Heraklion for an estimated arrival time and hotel drop-off at around 7:30 PM.

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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.

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Heraklion: Food Tastings Walking Tour

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

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Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Easy Way Short Hike Day Trip

7. Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Easy Way Short Hike Day Trip

Be picked up at your accommodation and head to Sfakia. Board a ferry to Agia Roumeli, where you’ll begin your hike to Samaria Gorge. Walk for 3km until you reach the national park entrance. Continue your walk to Samaria Gorge. Once at Samaria Gorge, you can choose where you want to explore and for how long. After the walk to Samaria Gorge, walk back to Agia Roumeli. In Agia Roumeli, you can go for a swim, enjoy some coffee or try some local food. Catch the ferry back to Sfakia at the end of the day. Once in Sfakia, take the bus back to your accommodation.

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Knossos Palace and Heraklion Town: Private Guided Tour

8. Knossos Palace and Heraklion Town: Private Guided Tour

Start your day visiting the most important archaeological site on Crete and the second-most visited archaeological site in Greece, the Minoan palace of Knossos. Explore the sprawling 5-acre site as you traipse through the mythical Labyrinth of Homer. Take in priceless historical insight from your personal tour guide into the prehistoric settlement, where the oldest European civilization started and flourished some 5000 years ago. Afterwards, you’ll set off on a sightseeing tour of Herklion, Crete’s capital. Wander through the port town, focusing on the unique Venetian monuments such as the Venetian fountain of Morosini, The Basilica of St. Marc, The Venetian Loggia, St. Titos church, the Venetian Port, and more. Marvel at the ancient city walls and the towering Koules Fortress. Cap things off with a walk inside the town's open-air market for a true multi-sensory experience. Take in the vibrant smells, tastes, and sights, as your guide tips you off to the best stands to sample local Greek street food and produce. Sated in mind and body, your tour will end at the Morosini Lions Fountain.

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Heraklion Area: Secrets of Olive Oil and Wine Tasting Tour

9. Heraklion Area: Secrets of Olive Oil and Wine Tasting Tour

Your day will start with a pickup from your hotel where you will travel to the Archanes region. In a small and friendly group you have the opportunity to visit one of the last olive oil family domains and learn the secrets of Cretan extra virgin oil. You'll also visit a dynamic boutique winery, take a guided tour amongst its facilities and discover more about the magic world of wine production, terroir, and local grape varietals. Partake in a sensational visit to a family estate and a traditional olive mill. The owners will lead you to their production area and introduce you to the fantastic world of extra virgin olive oil. This will be followed by some olive oil sample tasting. You will also have a chance to taste other local products. Next up, meet a promising and dynamic winemaker who will guide you through his winery and domain. Get exclusive access to the facilities and get a glimpse into the production process. Then, after a wine presentation, you will experience a wine tasting featuring 5 different varieties made on the island. After your winery tour, visit a traditional restaurant and taste true Cretan mezze cooking for lunch. Enjoy prepared plates consisting of warm and cold traditional mezzes featuring salads, grilled cheese, olive fritters, different meats and vegetable plates. Whilst here, continue your wine tasting and sample a sweet desert wine to aid digestion.

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Heraklion: Authentic Greek Food Cooking Class

10. Heraklion: Authentic Greek Food Cooking Class

In the serenity of the Cretan countryside, visit a traditional village and see stunning views of the Heraklion prefecture. After a tour of the village and a visit to the Museum of Cretan Folk Art, it will be time to get practical and learn the secrets to some much beloved Cretan dishes.  Try your hand at making sarikopites, delicious Cretan xynomyzithra stuffed cheese pieces with honey and dolmades, stuffed vine leaves. Or why not see if you can make the best tzatziki with stuffed vegetables and grilled lamb to follow? All of course will be accompanied by rich, aromatic Cretan wine. Live a perfect afternoon with a winning balance of activity and relaxation. Immerse yourself in Cretan culture and of course, fantastic food.

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 654 reviews

Knossos was amazing, and our guide brought to life the history inside the myths! I had previous knowledge about both the Minoan civilization and general Greek mythology, but our tour taught me a surprising amount! This is a testament to the quality of our guide!

I can't imagine visiting Knossos without a guide to help bring it to life. My guide was waiting for me at the entrance with my name on a sign - couldn't have been simpler! Worth the extra money to get the most out of this incredible place.

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. She made the experience so enjoyable and gave us insights into not just history but the mythology and facts behind the myths. Awesome!!

More interesting than expected! Vangelis did a good job. Even the kids (13 & 16) listened and talked about it later. Great

Knowledgeable guide, and really interesting history around this ancient palace and civilization!