Tips for Visitors
Knossos Crete – Tips for Visitors
- The archaeological site of Knossos is located 5 km south-east
of the capital Heraklion in the central north of the island of Crete in
- See location map below.
- The Palace of Knossos Archaeological site is large and it is very popular. In summer it gets very busy. See the summer queue to the throne room in this picture below:
- The best seasons to see the site are spring and autumn, when the crowds are not so big and the weather is not so hot.
- Always try to arrive early at the site, to avoid crowds and
queues. This is a beautiful natural valley which is best enjoyed without
a thousand screaming kids.
- Leave plenty of time to see the site, and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, if you are a serious history buff.
- If you are only mildly interested in history, allow a good two
hours to visit the Knossos Palace and at least three hours for the
museum in town.
- Much of the site is not covered. Take a hat and sunscreen, and plenty of water.
- It is possible to purchase a combined ticket to Knossos palace
and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum for 15 Euro. This will allow
entry to both places.
- Check the opening hours before departing. Check at your hotel
desk or on the net. Generally the site is open from 8.00am to 8.00pm in
summer and 8.00am to 3.00pm in winter. But check it again, because it
could be a holiday and it could be closed.
There is a local bus that will drop off and pick up at Knossos, it is
easy to catch from Plateia Eleftherias Square bus stop at the Astoria Hotel in downtown
Heraklion. Take Bus No. 2. marked
'Knossos'.The buses come every 20 minutes or so and the trip takes about 20 minutes, as the journey is only 5 km, but it depends on the traffic.
You may want to
hire a car
and simply drive to Knossos from Heraklion, which is only 5 km. You could then continue to Phaistos which is another 60 km, and perhaps stay overnight in Matala Beach on the southern coast.
Day tours to the site can be taken from most capitals on the
island, with a pick up from your hotel. Some tours combine the visit to
Knossos with lunch and a visit to another part of the island, or to the
museum. One advantage of these tours is the local guide with endless
historic knowledge.Consider a 'Skip the Line' ticket during July and August.
Half-Day Knossos Palace Tour
- 5.5 hour tour includes Koules Fortress and Agios Titos church in
Heraklion as well as a guided tour of the archaeological site. See the
controversial reconstructions completed by the archaeologist Sir Arthur
Evans, and hear the stories of the labyrinth from your experienced
Take a Knossos Palace Tour - there are a variety of guided experiences available, from a Skip The Line entry ticket with a guide for 90 minutes, to a 12 hour day tour which includes Knossos and Lasithi Plateau.
Accommodation Nearby to
Hotel Lato in Heraklion Crete overlooks the old harbour and Venetian fortress
is a good central hotel in Heraklion, from here you can be picked up or take bus or taxi to Knossos Crete.
Here is a good tip for those with a tight itinerary in Crete. If
you are landing at Heraklion airport, take a taxi to the lovely rural
village of Archanes, which is only 14 km.
Stay overnight in the delightful studios
Arhontiko Studios Archanes
then take a taxi early in the morning to Knossos Crete, which is 7 km down country roads.
This will ensure you miss busy Heraklion, and see one
of the wonders of this island without any stress or hassle. Now that is
the way to start your holiday in Crete!
The Arhontiko Studios have been situated in a restored historic home within the village
Location of Knossos Crete
This Knossos fresco gives us an impression of the women of the Minoan culture
Minoans at Knossos - the 'Birthplace of Europe'
Map of Knossos Palace