MINOAN MAGIC – THE SECRETS OF THE LABYRINTH

Only few kilometres south of Heraklion city is located Knossos, the capital of King Minos and the centre of the magnificent Minoan civilization. During our visit at the site, we will explore the palace and you will hear with details about the way of life of the Minoans, their history, the myths, religion, organization of their society and achievements.

You can plan your day and visit the palace of King Minos either as a small group or simply request a private tour. You can request to meet the guide at the site or choose transportation arrangements, with either a small company SUV or the company van. Apart from just visiting the archaeological site of Knossos you can combine other sites close by, such as the winery of Boutari near Scallani, the winery of Miliarakis at Peza, the village Archanes (with the palace excavated by archaeologist Sakellarakis and the sanctuary of Anemospilia on Youchtas hill) and the city of Heraklion – for a city tour and perhaps a visit of the new reorganized Minoan collection at the archaeological Museum of Heraklion).

Choose the date and send us a request. Plan the tour, choose the sites… You decide the pace.

The Palace of Knossos – a short introduction

The palace was never just the residence of a monarch. It contained rooms that might have been suitable for a royal family. Most of the structures, however, were designed as a civic, religious and economic center.

The term, palace complex, is more accurate. Anciently Knossos was a town surrounding and including Kephala Hill. This hill was never an acropolis in the Greek sense. It had no steep heights, remained unfortified, and was not very high off the surrounding ground.

Minoan architecture differs radically from that of Antiquity, which is defined by harmony, simplicity and the clarity of outline.

Minoan architecture took shape in the Middle Minoan period (1900 BC) through a series of innovations including columns, light-wells, polythyra and the addition of rather peculiar features such as door frames near corners, alternating columns and pillars and staircases leading from one floor to another.

The features of palace architecture are repeated in villas and private residences, which often resembled miniature palaces. The facades, with their monumental entrances and roofs of varying heights were both impressive and picturesque. The external mass was softened by the light and color, the contours made looser and perfectly adapted to the surrounding nature.

Discovery and excavation

In the course of the Bronze Age a sophisticated civilization was born on Crete. Sir Arthur Evans, the first excavator of Knossos, named the civilization Minoan after king Minos, ruler of the seas and legislator, who, according to the legends of ancient Greece, was king of Knossos.

Minoan civilization covers chronologically the passage from Prehistory to Proto-history and our knowledge on this civilization derives mainly from archaeological data, at least until the time of archive organization of the palace written tablets. Still these first piecemeal examples of writing are not yet adequate neither appropriate to shed light on all aspects of Minoan civilization.

Evans divided the Minoan civilization into three sub-periods on the basis of the stylistic changes of the pottery. His comparative chronology included an Early (3000-2100 BC), a Middle (2100-1500 BC), and a Late Minoan period (1500-1100 BC).

Since this chronology posed several problems in studying the culture, professor N. Platon has developed a chronology based on the palaces’ destruction and reconstruction. He divided Minoan Crete into Prepalatial (2600-1900 BC), Protopalatial (1900-1700 BC), Neopalatial (1700-1400 BC), and Postpalatial (1400-1150 BC).

Follow the experienced guides /archeologists of our team in the quest of the Labyrinth, the secrets of this magnificent civilization, the Minoan…

The tour includes:

  • The entrance fees of the sites per person (Knossos or the museum).
  • Bottle of water per person.
  • Maps and plans of Heraklion and Crete.
  • Transportation with our company car.
  • The services of a qualified professional guide / archaeologist of our team.
  • Pick up and Drop off from the port of Heraklion (or your hotel in the area of Heraklion).
  • Any fuel and parking costs, all taxes and VAT 24%, invoice will be provided by our travel agency.
  • Liability insurance by Interamerican.

The tours do not include:

  • No lunch (Lunch can be arranged upon request – either in one of the wineries or a local tavern).
  • No personal expenses.

Other options / combined tours:

  • Knossos and Lassithi plateau: This tour is a combined tour of the palace of Legendary King Minos and a visit of the Cave of Zeus at the plateau of Lassithi.
  • Knossos, Anemospilia and the village of Archanes.
  • Knossos and wineries of Heraklion area.
  • Knossos, village Archanes, Vathypetro Minoan winery and a visit of the monastery of St. George Apanosifis .
  • Knossos, Mirtia (visit of the museum of Kazantzakis) and visit of the monastery of Agarathos.

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