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Knossos Crete – Tips for Visitors
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. To get back to Heraklion, take the same bus back. The bus stop is just outside Knossos gates - again they depart regularly and the trip takes approx. 20 mins.
Head to the new Heraklion Archaeological Museum at 1 Chatzidaki St near Plateia Eleftherias Square to see the magical artwork and artifacts which were found at Knossos and which start to unravel the mysteries of the Minoan culture.
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.
See tour details below.
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 history guide.
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, Zeus Cave and Lasithi Plateau with traditional lunch in a small village.
Self-Guided Audio Tours - skip the ticket lines and enter the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum with a combo e-ticket. Explore the sites at your own pace with self-guided audio tours.
NB: you need to have your own smart phone and headphones.
The Hotel Lato 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!
See the location of the Knossos Palace archaeological site on the map below.
Take a 1 hour flight from Athens to Heraklion with Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, with many flights available per day.
Or take a 9.5 hour overnight ferry from Pireaus port of Athens to Heraklion port.
More on flights and ferries below.
Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.
When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and an easy online booking procedure. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid or non-hybrid vehicles.
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