Heraklion Educational activities

Our most recommended Heraklion Educational activities

Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

1. Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided tour of Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, once an astonishing palace built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, get the chance to see the original throne of ‘’Minos”, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, Crete’s treasures pantries, and the water-management systems. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was built immediately, the most monumental of all, and for over 300 years it represented the pre-eminent center of power in Bronze Age Crete. The new palace was an imposing complex with important architectural innovations, splendid frescoes adorning the walls, hundreds of rooms distributed in four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts. Learn how during the last decades of the 14th century BC, a series of earthquakes led to the final destruction of the palace. 

Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

2. Heraklion: Archaeological Museum & Knossos Ticket with Audio

Experience Ancient Crete at your own pace with a combined e-ticket for the island's top two archaeological attractions, the Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Experience two captivating self-guided audio tours on your smartphone. Receive your ticket in a separate email from our local partner, and download the app and audio tours onto your phone prior to your visit. Then travel back in time to experience the grandeur of Crete from the Minoan period to Roman times. Put on your headphones and discover the Palace of Knossos and the exquisite artifacts exhibited in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Through the power of storytelling, learn interesting facts and hear little-known stories from ancient times. The content of the tours is the result of in-depth research, squeezed into brief original stories that will make your visit both engaging and informative. The audio tours can be used repeatedly and anytime, before or after your visit. This is an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into ancient Crete and the Minoan civilization, and to engage with your surroundings in an entirely original way.

Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

3. Crete: Palace of Knossos Ticket with Audio Tour

Enjoy an exciting visit to Knossos Palace, Crete’s most famous historical attraction, with a skip-the-line e-ticket, including a compelling audio tour downloadable on your phone and a detailed map of the site. Lose yourself in the audio tour's storytelling and immerse yourself in history as you walk around this iconic site. Visit the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located just south of Heraklion, and see the evocative setting, complete with impressive ruins and brightly-colored frescoes, come alive through an engaging narrative that sheds light on various elements of Minoan culture. The cupbearers and procession frescoes at the South Propylaeum, which depict scenes from everyday life and the ceremonial activities in Minoan Crete, provide a great insight into the aesthetic ideals of the time. Follow the evolution of Minoan fashion, learn about the popular hairstyles of the people, and discover the beauty products locals used to touch up their look. At the West Magazines, where the storage facilities of the palace are located, gain an understanding of the well-organized bureaucracy that supported the palace organization, the earliest forms of linear writing, as well as the Minoan economy and trade networks. Discover the copy of the “Prince of the Lilies” at the South Entrance Corridor and gaze out on Mount Juktas, perfectly framed by the eroded walls of the palace. Visit the Queen’s Megaron, embellished with famous blue dolphins fresco and equipped with a bathroom and a toilet room, where you can find out everything about the bath habits in the Minoan era.

Heraklion: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

4. Heraklion: CRETAquarium Admission Ticket

Venture into the ocean’s depth with a 1-day admission ticket to the CRETAquarium. One of Europe’s largest aquariums, over 2,000 sea creatures lice the CRETAquarium's 60 diverse habitats. Delve into the caves and crevices of the Mediterranean, where stingrays and rock-like scorpionfish slither about. Pop out into the open ocean, where menacing sharks circle, waiting to be fed. Get up close and personal with jellyfish and schools of vibrant tropical clownfish through shallow, open-topped tanks, which allow a new viewing perspective of well known species.  Above all, gain a new appreciation for the unending diversity of the world’s most mystifying environment. When you’ve had your fill of looking at the ocean’s residents, why not pop in for a dip? The CRETAquarium is, fittingly, right on the beach.

From Heraklion: Elounda and Spinalonga Full-Day Tour

5. From Heraklion: Elounda and Spinalonga Full-Day Tour

Journey back in time and explore the ancient civilizations of Crete on a private full-day tour to Spinalonga. Drive along the north coast of the island and get an amazing view of the Selinari gorge on the way to the small fishing village of Elounda, known for its gorgeous beach. Board a boat to the small island of Spinalonga, and learn the local history dating back to Ancient Greece. Take a guided tour of the island to explore how it served as a natural defense for the ancient city of Olous and was later used by the Saracens as a hide-out for their pirates. Discover the remains of the Venetian fortifications and learn more about the period of Ottoman rule. Proceed to the sandy Bay of Kolokitha where the boat will be anchored. Enjoy some free time to swim in the crystal clear waters and feast from a BBQ lunch. Return to Elounda to take the bus to the pretty town of Agios Nikolaos, where you can browse the shops and visit the bottomless lake.

From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

6. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Lasithi Plateau on a day trip from Heraklion. Admire the remaining windmills and the drainage system that dates back to the Venetian Empire. Pass through traditional villages such as Psychro. Visit the Dikteon Cave, where Zeus is said to have been born. Continue to the village of Tzermiado and enjoy lunch in an authentic tavern before going to the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery, known for its remarkable murals. Next, visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos and learn the legend of the settlement at sites such as the Throne Room and Royal Chambers.

Crete: SSI Open Water Diver Certification

7. Crete: SSI Open Water Diver Certification

Start your scuba adventure in the sunny Mediterranean sea, with the SSI Open Water Diver program. Have some fun in the sun in Mononaftis beach, on the northern coast of Crete, and work towards a certification that lets you dive anywhere in the world. Join an international class with a multilingual instructor, and enjoy 2-3 action-packed days of diving and making friends. Online training is combined with 4 in-water practice sessions to ensure you have the skills and experience to feel fully comfortable when geared-up in the water. The SSI online training program lets you study at your own pace. You can complete the academics online when you sign up, and then attend review sessions at the Dive Center in Crete. In the water, you’ll experience everything you learned through the online sessions, hands-on and head-first. After your open water dives and passing the final exam, you’ll be a certified diver. The SSI Open Water Diver certification is recognized worldwide, so your diving possibilities are limitless. Take some time to explore the rest of the island, or head off on your next adventure.

Heraklion Crete: Cretan and Greek Dance Lesson at Arolithos

8. Heraklion Crete: Cretan and Greek Dance Lesson at Arolithos

Start your day of dancing at the Arolithos Traditional Cretan village. Upon your arrival, you will be met by the warm and welcoming staff with a serving of traditional raki and nuts. As you enjoy your local delicacies, your friendly staff will give you a run-down of the 2-hour dance lesson. During your course, you will learn to dance the Greek and Cretan way. Under the tutelage of a professional dancer, you will learn the most famous and popular dances of Greece and Crete. You will be taught how to dance the famous Zorba, Sirtaki, Kalamatianos, Anogianos and many others.   After your dancing lesson, you will take a 30-minutes visit to the Musem of Rural History and Folk Craft where you will learn about the various historical traditions that exist in Crete. At the end of your day of fun, you will be given a CD with Greek and Cretan music for you to take home and enjoy. 

Heraklion: Kotsanas Ancient Greek Technology Museum Ticket

9. Heraklion: Kotsanas Ancient Greek Technology Museum Ticket

Visit the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology in Heraklion, a sister museum to the one in Athens. The museum studies, highlights, and presents the technology of ancient Greeks. Its vision is to promote the technological miracle of the Greek antiquity. Robotics and computers, steam-driven and gas propulsion, automotive and automatic navigation, automation and automation programming, telecommunications and encryption, geodesy and mapping, utilization of hydraulic and wind energy, the application of belt conveyance, gear pair and chain drive and many other sciences and techniques all emerged in Ancient Greece. Learn about different mechanisms through informative and interactive exhibition displays. Discover how similar the technology of the ancient Greeks was to our early modern technology. The exhibits are accompanied by rich audio-visual materials. Check out the projecting stations with video and animation as well as documentaries in which the exhibitor explains the function and the use of the mechanisms.

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Frequently asked questions about Heraklion

What are the best day trips and excursions from Heraklion?

The best day trips and excursions from Heraklion are:

Chania

Other Sightseeing Options in Heraklion

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What people are saying about Heraklion

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 421 reviews

The booking process & communication before the trip were very smooth. Meeting our Guide was very straightforward too. The tour itself was excellent. Our Guide was an archaeologist who really knew her stuff and so the whole experience was very informative. She had pictures to show us what the palace would have looked like and explained what we could learn from the palace and what was most definitely myth! When we came out there was a massive queue of people waiting to get in so booking a Guide and a morning skip the line ticket would be my recommendation. Our tour started at 11 & it was fine but you could tell it was getting busier - so go early.

Absolutely brilliant tour around Knossos Palace. Would absolutely recommend this. Katerina the guide was incredibly knowledgeable and funny. Really brought the history to life. The group size was a total of 5 so we could always here and move about without getting separated. The instructions for meeting were spot on and informative with contact info if you ever needed help.

Chatzigeogiou was our excellent English speaking guide at Knossos. She was knowledgeable and she answered all of our group’s questions clearly. The group size was small, but she took care ensure everyone in the group was keeping up and learning together. She was lovely with our children too. Highly recommended. And thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

The audio guide was great and so helpful compared to just walking around on our own. There were a few closed viewpoints in the audio which made some of the directions confusing, but overall we had a great experience and it was super interesting and informative.

Akrivi was an amazing guide! Very knowledgeable and did a great job tying together the history and mythology of Knossos.