Knossos or Knossos refers to an archaeological site on the island of Crete in Greece. The place is easily accessible, as it is served by many roads in the country.
It is simply a must if you want to visit Crete one day. Indeed, it is the most visited site of the island, because according to the local tourist office, there would be more than half a million visitors per year.
When to visit the Palace of Knossos?
Of course, most tourists (especially parents!) go to Crete in the summer. Between July and August, during school vacations. Is this the best time to visit Knossos (or Knossos), with the crowd and the heat? Not necessarily!
To help you know when to visit Knossos, here is the year-round climate on site:
Note however that of course, you will have less risk of rain from May to September, with only a dozen days of rain between these 5 months on average.
For an optimal visit of Knossos, we recommend the months of May, June and September.
Where is Knossos in Crete?
Located at only 5km of Heraklion from Heraklion, the capital of Crete (where many planes from France land), Knossos is located in the north of the island of Crete!
How to get to Knossos?
To visit the archaeological palace of Knossos, it is first possible to take advantage of the many excursions from the major cities of Crete, such as Heraklion or Rethymnon:
Knossos is only a 15 minute drive from Heraklion, so you can also take the bus and Line 2.
Book your tickets for Knossos online!
Save yourself a long and painful wait in the sun to buy your tickets for the Palace of Knossos Crete. We invite you to book your tickets here to visit the archaeological site:
You will find above group rates, but if you feel like going to Knossos and buying your ticket on the spot, count on tickets starting at 15€ (per person, without guide, etc.).
Knossos opening and closing hours
- During the high summer season, the Palace of Knossos is open every day from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm.
- From November to April, the archaeological site closes earlier: at 5 pm.
- Finally, the Palace is closed in the morning in winter.
Home of the Minoan era
Knossos is an easily accessible and affordable place. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to discover the vestiges such as the palace or the narrow streets of the site. It is a visit not to be missed, especially for history lovers, as Knossos is the most important site of the Minoan period (2700 years BC).
The palace of Knossos remains THE vestige of the Minoan civilization, which ruled the Greek islands (from Crete to Santorini), between 2700 and 1200 BC. At the beginning of the 20th century, the archaeologist Arthur Evans thought he was dealing with a palace of the Mycenaean kings, then realized that it was another unknown civilization.
In reference to King Minos, who once ruled Crete, he named this civilization “Minoan”. The controversial renovation of the vestiges and the representations of bulls have also resurfaced the myth of the minotaur and the labyrinth, very present on the spot…
For photography lovers, the site also offers an idyllic setting. Indeed, you can enjoy a splendid view at the end of the day with a breathtaking sunset.
The only problem is that it is very crowded during rush hour.
A walking tour around Knossos
For those who enjoy long walks, it is possible to make a hike around the archaeological site of Knossos. You can choose the route according to your expectations, there are routes :
- of 4 km,
- of 6 km
- and 12 km according to your desires.
If you decide to live this kind of adventure in Crete, don’t forget to bring your backpack. You can put cards, snacks, water bottles and electronics in this area.
A day trip with the whole family
If you have decided to go with your family, it is possible to organize a private excursion to Knossos on the island of Crete. For example, you can visit the palace very early in the morning and then take a short hike around the site. At noon, it’s time for a lunch break. There is of course plenty to eat around the site. Then, to continue the theme, discover the museums of Heraklion which is next to Knossos.
A small piece of information, you should know that the toilets on the site are not free. So don’t be surprised by this small detail (0,5€ per person).
Knossos: some additional tips
During the summer, the temperatures are very high. You are advised to dress accordingly. In addition, don’t forget to pack products like :
Also bring hats, as the UV rays in Greece are very intense.
In summary, Knossos is a site to visit necessarily during your trip to Crete. You will discover ruins dating from several millennia before our era. It will also be an opportunity to take sensational shots to post on your social networks.
Palace of Knossos: reviews
Need advice on Knossos Palace before visiting? This is perfectly normal. Here are some opinions found on the internet about the famous Greek and Cretan archaeological site:
Is the Palace completely open to visitors at the moment?
The palace is open, but half of the site is closed. We were disappointed by this visit, but to go to Crete without going there, we could regret it ! Then, it is necessary to visit it at the end of the evening, there are less people (it is important at this time!) To minimize the cost of the visit, it is necessary to take a coupled ticket with the museum of Heraklion which is really worth spending time there. It is very very good. At the date of this reply -> 15 € for adults, 8 € for those over 65. Free for children under 18 and students. Combined ticket with the archaeological museum of Heraklion, 16 €. Enjoy your visit 🙂
The visit with a guide
We visited this site with 4 adults. We took a guide for 4 in French for 70 euros. 1h30 of great explanations with a real discovery of this past civilization. I recommend this visit with a guide.
Quick visit of ruins. No more… If you want to do it, take a guide because otherwise not very interesting in itself.
Knossos in group and with children & teenagers
We made this visit during an excursion, in a small group, and with a guide, which is essential. It takes a good 2 hours. The site is huge and we discover and learn a lot of things. Our youngest daughter (12 years old) loved it, we did too, our 2 teenagers (17 and 18 years old) found the visit interesting but long. It’s a journey into antiquity. A lot of reconstruction has been done on the site to make it easier to see things. It is very impressive and rewarding. Unavoidable.