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Private Tours in Greece
Crete-Heraklion ( Half Day Knossos & Museum private tour with licensed Tour Guide )

Description

Duration 4 hours

Pick up points : Heraklion Airport, Heraklion Port, Chania Airport, Chania Souda Port, Agios Nikolaos Port, Rethymnon Port, Hotels and Resorts

If traveling by cruise ship at any of the ports of Crete (Heraklion, Chania Souda, Agios Nikolaos, Rethymnon) you will meet your licensed tour guide, will drive to the renowned archaeological site of Knossos. Your privately guided tour will take you through the fantastic ruins of the ancient palace complex, which served as the administrative and religious centers for the whole region. It has been restored by Sir Arthur Evans and these restorations, though criticized by some for their modernity, help the tourist to both visualize the palace as it was and understand its labyrinthine complexity. The living quarters of the king, queen and members of the royal court, rooms for state occasions, theatre area, store rooms and potters workshops are all within the palace complex.

For centuries the history of the Minoan culture had passed into the realm of legend and remained a distant memory in Greek tradition and mythology. It was not until the beginning of the last century that the history of Minoan Crete was actually pieced together to reveal that the civilization was not one of myth, rather it was one of the most advanced and important in prehistoric times. The amazing archaeological site of Knossos, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Minos, provides the basis of our knowledge about this civilization named after the king of Crete.

The frescoes unearthed show the refinement of their art and use of color and embody the soul of the peace loving, light-hearted, but also powerful Minoans. The original palace of Knossos was raised around 1900 BC. About two-hundred years later it was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt on a grander scale. The final catastrophe occurred around 1450 BC with the eruption of the volcano in Santorini. Despite this blow, people continued to live here until a fire swept through the city around 1400 BC.

After your visit of the Palace you will drive to nearby Heraklion for a visit of the outstanding Archaeological Museum. Unique in its record of the Minoan civilization, the museum houses the findings and treasures from all archaeological sites of Crete. The displays of idols made of terra cotta, marble and alabaster, collections of gold, jewelry, ivory, figurines, sarcophagi and frescoes will give you an insight into this artistic-minded civilization and complement your visit to Knossos.

Following your museum visit there will be free time to explore the town of Heraklion before returning to the port



Tour Breakdown-
From Heraklion Port or Airport
1- Depart and drive to Knossos- 15 Minutes
2- Visit Archaeological site of Knossos - 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
3- Drive to Archaeological Museum - 15 Minutes
4- Visit Archaeological Museum - 1 Hour
5- Free time in Heraklion- 45 Minutes
6- Return to Heraklion port or Airport- 15 Minutes

From Agios Nikolaos Port
1- Depart and drive to Knossos- 70 Minutes
2- Visit Archaeological site of Knossos - 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
3- Drive to Archaeological Museum - 15 Minutes
4- Visit Archaeological Museum - 1 Hour
5- Free time in Heraklion- 45 Minutes
6- Return to Agios Nikolaos port 70 Minutes

From Rethymnon Port
1- Depart and drive to Knossos- 70 Minutes
2- Visit Archaeological site of Knossos - 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
3- Drive to Archaeological Museum - 15 Minutes
4- Visit Archaeological Museum - 1 Hour
5- Free time in Heraklion- 45 Minutes
6- Return to Rethymnon port t- 70 Minutes

From Chania Souda Port or Chania Airport
1- Depart and drive to Knossos- 1 hour and 40 Minutes
2- Visit Archaeological site of Knossos - 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
3- Drive to Archaeological Museum - 15 Minutes
4- Visit Archaeological Museum - 1 Hour
5- Free time in Heraklion- 45 Minutes
6- Return to Chania Souda Port or Airport- 1 hour and 40 Minutes


More about Knossos Palace

Knossos is the site of the most important and better known palace of Minoan civilization. According to tradition, it was the seat of the legendary king Minos. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Ikaros. The site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) until Roman times.
The Linear B tablets (Mycenaean script) of the 14th century B.C. mention the city as ko-no-so.

The palace of Knossos is the largest of the preserved Minoan palatial centres. Four wings are arranged around a central courtyard, containing the royal quarters, workshops, shrines, storerooms, repositories, the throne room and banquet halls. Dated to 2000-1350 B.C.

The Little Palace. It lies to the west of the main palace and has all the features of palatial architecture: scraped wall masonry, reception rooms, a pristyle hall, a double megaron with polythyra (pi er-and-door partitions) and a lustral basin-shrine. Dated to the 17th-15th centuries B.C.

The Royal Villa. It lies to the NE of the palace and its architectural form is distinguished by the polythyra, the pillar crypt and the double staircase, with two flights of stairs. It is strongly religious in character and might have been the residence of an aristocrat or a high priest. Dated to the 14th century B.C.

House of the Frescoes. It is located to the NW of the palace and is a small urban mansion with rich decoration on the walls. Dated to the 15th, 14th-12th centuries B.C.

Caravanserai. It lies to the south of the palace and was interpreted as a reception hall and hospice. Some of the rooms are equipped with baths and decorated with wall paintings.

The "Unexplored Mansion". Private building, probably of private-industrial function, to the NW of the palace. It is rectangular, with a central, four-pillared hall, corridors, storerooms and remains of a staircase. Dated to the 14th-12th centuries B.C.

Temple Tomb. It is located almost 600 m. to the south of the palace and was connected with the "House of the High Priest" by means of a paved street. It seems that one of the last kings of Knossos (17th-14th centuries B.C.) was buried here. Typical features of its architecture are the hypostyle, two-pillar crypt, the entrance with the courtyard, the portico and a small anteroom.

House of the High Priest. It lies 300 m. to the south of Caravanserai and contains a stone altar with two columns, framed by the bases of double axes.

The South Mansion. Private civic house, located to the south of the palace. It is a three-storeyed building with a lustral basin and a hypostyle crypt, dating from the 17th-15th centuries B.C.

Villa of Dionysos. Private, peristyle house of the Roman period. It is decorated with splendid mosaics by Apollinarius, depicting Dionysos. The house contains special rooms employed for the Dionysiac cult. Dated to the 2nd century A.D.

About Heraklion Museum
The Museum was founded in 1883.
Initially, when it was still simply a collection of antiquities, it was housed in two rooms near Agios Minas.
This space, however soon proved to be too restricted to hold the precious objects, which daily grew in number especially after the proclamation of the independence of Crete in 1898. The collection therefore had to be moved to a large sector of the old Turkish barracks.
At the same time attempts began to be made to build a proper Museum and to find a suitable plot of land for the purpose. Eventually, preference was given to the area formerly occupied by the monastery of Agios Frangiskos. The building that was erected was demolished in 1937, however, since it was not proof against earthquakes, and its place was taken by the present Museum.
The rooms were opened to the public after the Second World War, with the material classified chronologically. The building has recently been extended.
The Museum houses ancient objects discovered at the most important archaeological sites in Crete: Knossos, Phaestos, Malia, Tylissos, Gortys, Agia Triada, Mohlos, Gournia , Zakros, in a great number of tombs, in the caves of Kamares, the Idaean cave, the Diktean Cave, the cave of Eileithyia and so on.
The most interesting and best preserved of the finds are exhibited in the 20 rooms of the Museum. Minoan art is nowhere better represented, and this makes the Museum unique and has made it known the whole world over.

Included

Private Vehicle, fuels, tolls (wherever exist), parking fee, English-speaking driver, Professional English or French-speaking guide, insurance covery of the passengers up to ?500,000 in total, VAT and all taxes.


Not Included:
*Entrance fees in archaeological and historical sites, hotel accommodation wherever needed, beverages and meals.

Entrance fee:
Palace of Knossos - per Adult 6 euro
Palace of Knossos - per Child (under 17 with passport) Free

Sundays or Holidays: * Supplement per vehicle 140 euro
* Charge for driver and tour guide based on labor legislation in Greece.


* NOTE: !!! Our Guides are LICENSED and Members of the Union official Guides in Crete.

** NOTE: !!! Our Drivers are Professionals and English speaking.

Important Note:
Please note that not allowed Taxi drivers, Minivan drivers and Bus drivers to do the job of the tour guides, this is prohibited by Greek law.
The tour guide profession is protected by the Greek legislation
Our Company from its establishment until now, works only with official, professional, licensed tour guides.

Please note that in case you may wish to book a private tour through our website, in no way means that you are obliged to follow the exact route of showing the proposed tour.
You have the ability to change the order of the sites, to remove or add attractions, provided it does not exceed the time duration and distances that you have already booked.
We are flexible to any changes that you may wish during your private tour, our aim is your complete satisfaction.
Our drivers and our licensed tour guides are at your disposal in order to provide you with the best service.

If you are interested in booking this Private Tour please fill in these details that follow and you will be informed of the pricing details.

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