Distance: 6km (12km return)
Crete’s biggest and best preserved Minoan site lies five kilometers southeast of Heraklion. A vast monumental palace, with four wings built around a spacious central courtyard, Knossos is believed to have been the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos. Remarkably sophisticated, it included ceremonial spaces, living areas, storage rooms, elaborate decoration, and a complex drainage system. Although excavations show that there was a palace here as early as 2000 BC, what you see today dates mainly from 1450 BC, with some slightly over-imaginative reconstruction from the early 20th century, plus replicas of many of the frescoes (the originals are in Heraklion Archaeological Museum).