Palace of Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Summary of Highlights: Palace of Knossos, Heraklion Archaeological Museum and the village of Arolithos.
Approximate Duration8½ hours
For a chance to explore both the amazing Palace of Knossos and the renowned Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, join us on this full-day excursion. An additional highlight of your outing: an al fresco lunch in a Cretan village, complete with local entertainment.
Your adventure begins at the pier, where you will board your air-conditioned motor coach for the approximately 45-minute journey to the Palace of Knossos. English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans began excavations here in 1893. The careful unearthing of the site continued for 35 years, revealing a maze of rooms, stairways and corridors. More than a kingly residence, the compound served as the center of the Minoans’ administrative and religious activities and housed the royal workshops.
During your visit, walk through the many portions of the palace that have been rebuilt from the remnants found during excavation. You will see the Royal Quarters, the Throne Room and Antechamber, and the Queen’s Apartment, where the wall above the entrance is decorated with a reproduction of the famous dolphin frescoes. Other buildings on the site include the Small Palace, the House of the High Priest, and the Caravan Serai.
Even as you leave the site, your Knossos Palace discovery continues as you make a stop at the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, which houses marvelous frescoes from the palace.
Not far from the museum is the traditional village of Arolithos. Here, under the shade of a plane tree, relax over lunch and enjoy a folkloric show of Cretan music and dance. Afterward, feel free to stroll the town’s narrow streets, getting a taste of life in a charming Cretan village.
On your return journey to your ship, take in the sights along a beautiful coastal road.
As this excursion involves extensive walking over uneven surfaces, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. It is recommended that guests wear flat, comfortable shoes. The order of sights visited may vary. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.