Heraklion Private tours

Our most recommended Heraklion Private tours

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. 

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

2. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket & Private Guided Tour

Settlements in Knossos date as far back as the Neolithic period. Neolithic remains from around 7000 BC are found throughout Crete. Explore the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization and enjoy a skip-the-line tour of the Knossos Palace. The Knossos Palace was built from 1700 to 1400 BC. Advanced architectural techniques were used in its construction, and sections of the palace stood up to 5 stories high. It featured 1,300 rooms connected by corridors, and a theater and extensive storerooms, which held large clay containers of oil, grains, dried fish, beans and olives – often with gold hidden beneath.

Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos

3. Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos

Receive a short 30-minute tour on your arrival at the museum of rural history and folk craft in the Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village. Traditional Cretan cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. Here you can learn from the masters while they create famous Cretan dishes which you can participate in before making your very own. You can create stuffed vine leaves, stuffed vegetables, pork with wine sauce, lamb with green beans, traditional Cretan ntakos, tzatziki and sarikopites, and coiled cheese pies. Afterwards, you can sit down to enjoy the dishes you have prepared with local wine and mineral water. Participants will also receive a cooking certification document, which has been authorized by the Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village.

From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

4. From Rethymno: Knossos & Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Following pick-up from your hotel in Rethymno, travel along the northern coast of Crete by comfortable bus. Make your way to the archaeological site of Knossos, where King Minos built his palace. Get a 2-hour guided tour of the monument, designed by Daedalus in such an intriguing way that no visitor was said to find their way out without the help of a guide! Journey through the incredible history of King Minos and the Minoan civilization, and hear about some of the legends of Crete at what was once the island's largest palace. Then, drive to the ancient city of Heraklion to take a guided tour of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Learn more about the island at what is considered to be one of the finest museums in the world dedicated to Minoan art with its many galleries of historic frescoes, jewelry, statues and more. Get some free time for coffee or lunch, and shop for souvenirs in the city center before the return journey to Rethymno. 

From Heraklion: Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace Private Tour

5. From Heraklion: Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace Private Tour

Embark on a private day trip and leave Heraklion to explore the archeological site of the Palace of Knossos. Learn more about Cretan history at the site, take in the art and architecture, and relax while absorbing the local atmosphere and admiring the local villages. Journey through East Crete and admire the sights of the Lassithi Plateau and its forests and fertile land. Discover quaint villages, learn more about the local lifestyle, and see Cretan art and the remnants of the Byzantine Empire. Tuck in to delicious local food at an eatery recommended by your guide, and enjoy authentic Cretan food while on the tour. Amble in the footsteps of gods to the Cave of Zeus. Plunge into the mythical birthplace of the god Zeus sense the sanctity of this ancient site. Luxuriate in the eternal magnificence of the Minoan ruins and frescoes while in Knossos Palace. Succumb to the personalized service of a top history-archaeology guide and be stimulated by eclectic information and a stress-free pace in all archaeological areas.

Heraklion: Private Sailing Boat Trip to Dia Island

6. Heraklion: Private Sailing Boat Trip to Dia Island

Charter a sailing vessel privately and escape to the seas. From Heraklion, sail to unique and beautiful Dia Island, where you will have plenty of free time to swim, fish, and snorkel. Several hours later, continue on to another bay, where you will swim in crystal blue waters or take some time to relax in the shade. If you're lucky, you might even spot some dolphins and sea turtles. Relax and spend the day enjoying life while setting sail on the Sea of Crete.

From Chania: Private Local Highlights & Knossos Palace Tour

7. From Chania: Private Local Highlights & Knossos Palace Tour

We have designed this unforgettable trip to submerge you into an authentic way of life in one of the island's most beautiful regions while gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between history, stunning escapes, gastronomy, and the authentic Cretan local lifestyle. You will also visit the world-famous Palace of Knossos, where your expert guide will ensure skip-the-line access to all archaeological areas, key pieces of information, and extra-personalized attention. Then, from the history and cultural experience, you will be immersed in another time wandering the unspoiled Cretan landscape along with authentic layers of flavors, wines, and village life of the island of Crete. Enjoy personal pick-up and drop-off with a premium vehicle at your full-day disposal, like a true VIP

From Chania: Full-Day Heraklion Highlights Tour

8. From Chania: Full-Day Heraklion Highlights Tour

Explore the oldest civilization in Europe on a full-day tour from Chania. Enjoy a guided tour of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, and wander through Heraklion Town. Begin your tour from your accommodation in Chania, and as your drive, learn about the myths of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur or the story of Daidalos and Ikaros. In Heraklion, head to the Palace of Knossos and explore the ruins. Next, visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and admire over 15,000 ancient Greek artifacts. Afterward, enjoy a walking tour of the town of Heraklion. Discover a Venetian fortress at the entrance of the harbor, gorgeous Neoclassical buildings and Byzantine churches.

Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

9. Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

Explore the history of Crete on this tour from Heraklion. Soak up local culture at the villages of Mochos and Krasi. Find out where the mythological figure Zeus was thought to have been born. Travel to the archaeological site of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up in a comfortable van from your accommodation in Heraklion. Sit back and relax on the way to the traditional mountain village of Mochos. Admire its narrow alleys, cobbled streets, and colorful gardens.  Continue to Krasi village to view a Platanus tree that is 2,400-year-old. Stand in the shade of this tree which is locally known as the Writer's Tree. Travel to the cave of Diktaion Andron, which is believed to be the birthplace of Zeus. Have the chance to purchase tickets to go inside the cave. Admire views of the Lasithi Plateau before heading to the archaeological site of Knossos. Buy a ticket to the site to see richly colored frescos amid the remains of this Bronze Age palace. Purchase a ticket to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to explore collections of Minoan art and artefacts. Feel free to stop and purchase lunch during the tour. Return to your accommodation in Heraklion at the end of the tour. 

Crete: Private Ship Wreck Scuba Dive at Kaloi Limenes Beach

10. Crete: Private Ship Wreck Scuba Dive at Kaloi Limenes Beach

Discover a shipwreck during 2 scuba dives with an instructor. Head over to Kaloi Limenes Beach, gear up, and swim through the now bustling aquatic life living around the cargo ship wreck. Tuck into local snacks in between your dives, reenergizing yourself. Drive through varying landscapes, past mountains and traditional villages before arriving at Kaloi Limenes Beach, where the "Byron I" cargo ship wreck is laying down on the sea floor. During your dive briefing learn the history of the wreck. The "Byron I" was a cargo ship carrying 11,000 tons of sugar. On January 17, 1985 the ship sunk in bad weather conditions, dropping its sugary cargo around it. Luckily, the crew managed to survive and was saved from the wreck. Nowadays. this 100-meter ship wreck is home to divers aquatic life, from groupers to octopuses, and from moray eels to lionfish, and more. Dive in crystal clear waters with great visibility, making this dive site a unique place for underwater photography. Tuck into a delicious local snack with fruits and drinks between your 2 dives, and enjoy a debrief with your instructor after both dives, as your dive log is filled out.

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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

4.7 / 5

based on 207 reviews

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.

My wife and I had a wonderful afternoon with Evie. We toured the rustic village, prepared some food and dined outdoors in the courtyard overlooking the valley and could see Heraklion off in the distance. There were just the two of us and it was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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

10/10 very knowledgeable. you need a tour guide to understand Knossos.