Crete tourist guide

The best Polish website dedicated to the Greek island Crete and to a small extent of continental Greece. You will find useful information related to visiting Crete that goes beyond the offer of optional tours. On the website you will also find descriptions of the most interesting places that we visited by visiting this largest Greek island. The content complements the current news, photographs and recipes of Greek cuisine.

Knossos - concrete excavations

Beginnings of the excavation - the Evans era

It is 1878, when a Greek merchant and antiquarian Minos Kalokairinos discovers the ruins of Knossos and performs the first works revealing part of the western facade of the palace. However, it was not until 16 March 1900 that Sir Arthur Evans, after purchasing the whole hill, carried out extensive excavations discovering perhaps the greatest treasure of Crete. This English gentleman, thanks to his own large financial outlays, in a few months discovered a significant part of the building, which was appointed by him the palace of Minos. However, Evans did not conduct these excavations alone, because he was a typical self-taught person who did not have adequate theoretical knowledge. Knossos was supported by experienced archaeologist Dr Duncan Mackenzie (known for example from excavations on the island of Melos) and Fyfe architect from the British School in Athens.

Knossos

Knossos is more than a thousand interconnected rooms with very diverse functions, ranging from craft workshops to food warehouses and rooms that perform religious functions. The most famous of these is the central Throne Room, decorated with very characteristic and recognizable paintings. Unfortunately, the current frescoes are largely a vision of two painters (father and son bearing the same name), Émile Gilléron, who, on the order of Evans, recreated wall paintings of poor remnants as they survived.




Knossos - a maze of a thousand rooms

The Grand Palace was built for almost 300 years, starting from 1700 BC. During this period it was subject to unavoidable reconstructions. The present remains of the palace depict its ruins from the late Minoan period. In the space of about 24,000 m 2 , the theater, many warehouses and around 1,300 rooms were located, which were connected by corridors running in different directions of the palace. This building had 4 separate entrances, which were separate main gates for each side of the palace.


Stairs at the Theater
Stairs at the Theater

The palace was very functional in terms of functionality. With the help of a complicated water supply system, many rooms had access to running water. In Knossos there is also one of the first toilets, in which the shell was rinsed with water. Due to heavy rains that haunt this place, the palace was equipped with a complicated drainage system.

Red columns

One of the more characteristic elements associated with the Knossos Palace is the red columns. Although they are currently made of concrete, they were originally made of cypress trunk. In contrast to the stone columns typical of Greek architecture, the columns from Knossos are narrower at the bottom and wider at the top. The reverse proportions of the columns result from the fact that before setting in a stone pedestal, the trunk was rotated. This action was to prevent the re-development of the felled tree.




Throne Hall?

The room, which is the central part of this Mycenaean palace, was described by Evans as Throne Room (or Throne Room). On three sides of the room there are plaster benches, and an alabaster seat, built in the northern wall, which Evans pointed out as a throne. This room is decorated with frescoes depicting two griffins in a lying position. These mythical animals have a special meaning in the culture of the Mycenaean Greeks. Among other things, based on these frescoes, scientists presume the purpose of this room. According to the two most popular theories there was the seat of the king or a priestess (this is supposed to be a heraldic arrangement of painted griffins), or it was a room of a religious character (the griffin symbolizes divinity in this case).

Throne Hall
Throne Room with an alabaster trone

How to visit and how to get there

Knossos is one of the flagship monuments visited by tourists, it is also the most popular estatejsce, to which organized trips go. In the high season you have to reckon with a large number of people and a large crowd in what more attractive parts of this extensive excavation. For sure, you should not be surprised by the queue to the Throne Hall. It may happen that you will be forced to stay a dozen or a few dozen minutes long in the long tail of other tourists willing to visit this room. Well, in the height of the season, the legend of the labyrinth of Knossos attracts a really large number of people and the only sensible way for a relatively comfortable tour is to come to this place in the early morning hours, or more or less at lunchtime.




Independent access to Knossos is not a major problem. Regardless of where you are, you should follow the New National Road to Heraklion , then, approximately half way along the beltway surrounding the city, take one of the exits towards Skordalou Thanasi. After about 300 meters you will reach the road (named Knossou Leof) that connects directly to Heraklion from Knossos, about 3 km away. Anyway, it will be rather hard for you to miss the right exit and the road to Knossos, because the access is very well marked with the appropriate direction indicators.

A view of the excavations at Knossos

Emerging car parks are the announcement that you are approaching excavations. Owners of some car parks do not charge, and the only salary they expect (but do not require) is to use the services of their tavern. Ultimately, this is not such a bad deal, because drinking something cold (for example Frappe) after a visit to Knossos is even indicated. Due to the vastness and heated open space, exploring the maze of Minos can get really tired. It's hard to rest here from the sun's rays, so take a bottle of mineral water with you.

Visiting Knossos is quite expensive, the ticket costs 15 €. Paid toilets are also paid, although the principle of grace is accepted here. As for Crete, it is quite peculiar and unique, because nowhere else did we meet with a similar approach. On the plus side, quite long hours of making excavations available to visitors can be considered. This place is open during the tourist season from 8 am to 8 pm. In Knossos there is no ban on taking photographs, and the use of the camera does not involve any additional fees.

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Interesting places on Crete

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Knossos
Knossos

Knossos

Knossos is one of the flagship monuments visited by tourists, it is also the most popular place where organized trips go.

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Heraklion
Heraklion

Heraklion

Heraklion (Iraklion) is the largest city of Crete. With almost 140,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest Greek city.

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Margarites
Margarites

Margarites

Dozens of craft workshops located in this small mountain village make Margarites one of the four main centers where traditional Cretan ceramics are made.

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Heraklion - airport
Heraklion - airport

Heraklion - airport

International airport. Nikos Kazantzakis in Heraklion is currently the largest airport in Crete.

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Heraklion
Heraklion

Heraklion

Heraklion (Iraklion) is the largest city of Crete. With almost 140,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest Greek city.

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Moni Arkadiou
Moni Arkadiou

Moni Arkadiou

The date of the foundation of Moni Arkadiou (Arkadi) is not exactly known. According to tradition, the name of this church refers to the name of the Emperor Arkadiusz, who supposedly was to be its founder.

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Moni Arkadiou
Moni Arkadiou

Moni Arkadiou

The date of the foundation of Moni Arkadiou (Arkadi) is not exactly known. According to tradition, the name of this church refers to the name of the Emperor Arkadiusz, who supposedly was to be its founder.

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Rethymnon
Rethymnon

Rethymnon

Rethymnon with around 40,000 inhabitants are the third largest city of Crete. This place was populated already in the Minoan period. Historically, the city was an important commercial center.

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Thrapsano
Thrapsano

Thrapsano

Thrapsano is a small town inhabited by slightly over 2,500 people, the vast majority of which until recently maintained their activity as a potter.

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Skinaria
Skinaria

Skinaria

Skinaria is a small beach located along a small bay, whose outlet on both sides ends with a rocky coast. It is still a little-known place overlooked by mass tourism

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Skinaria
Skinaria

Skinaria

Skinaria is a small beach located along a small bay, whose outlet on both sides ends with a rocky coast. It is still a little-known place overlooked by mass tourism

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Jaskinia Idi
Jaskinia Idi

Jaskinia Idi

According to Greek mythology, Zeus hid (and perhaps even gave birth) in the Ida cave. This myth is the greatest asset of this cave, which is not as interesting and beautiful as the Dikte cave.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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Tripiti
Tripiti

Tripiti

Tripiti is a small beach covered with a mixture of gray sand, gravel and stones. Despite the fact that the beach is unorganized and has a semi-natural appearance, one small tavern works here.

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Plakias
Plakias

Plakias

Plakias is a perfect place for people who like to spend time hiking. In the area of the town and the surrounding area, there are several hiking trails that lead to interesting beaches.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Preveli monastery
Preveli monastery

Preveli monastery

Currently, the lower monastery is still not open to the public and is not used by the monks. The buildings of the upper monastery have undergone partial renovation and are the main seat of the Preveli monastery.

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Gorge Kourtaliotiko
Gorge Kourtaliotiko

Gorge Kourtaliotiko

The Kourtaliotiko Gorge, also known as the Asomatos Gorge, is perhaps one of the most spectacular natural attractions available in the central part of Crete.

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Minoan Agia Triada
Minoan Agia Triada

Minoan Agia Triada

Agia Triada is a small Minoan archaeological site in the south of Crete, located near Timpaki, located on the western slope of the hill about 40 meters above sea level.

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Fajstos
Fajstos

Fajstos

Około 60 kilometrów na południowy zachód od stolicy Krety - Heraklionu znajdują się ruiny drugiego co do wielkości starożytnego pałacu - Fajstos.

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Melidoni Cave
Melidoni Cave

Melidoni Cave

Currently, Melidoni Cave (originally called Gerontospilios) is associated mainly with the tragic events that took place here in 1824.

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Koules Fortress
Koules Fortress

Koules Fortress

This fortress is a perfect example of Crete's multiculturalism. Located today in Greek hands, it was built by the Venetians, but is called a name taken from the Turkish language.

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Archeological museum
Archeological museum

Archeological museum

It is one of the most important and largest museums in Greece and one of the most important in Europe.

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Tylissos
Tylissos

Tylissos

Tylissos is one of the few places in Crete that has kept its name since ancient times.

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Damnoni
Damnoni

Damnoni

Plaża w Damnoni jest położona po sąsiedzku z Plakias - popularną turystyczną miejscowością

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Agios Pavlos
Agios Pavlos

Agios Pavlos

Agios Pavlos is a small town located on the southern coast of Crete near Saktouria.

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Triopetra
Triopetra

Triopetra

Triopetra is located at the foot of the Siderotas mountain about 52 km south of Rethymno.

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Agia Galini
Agia Galini

Agia Galini

gia Galini (Αγία Γαλήνη) jest jednym z najpopularniejszych nadmorskich kurortów na południowym wybrzeżu Krety.

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Skinakas Observatory
Skinakas Observatory

Skinakas Observatory

The observatory is located at the top of the Skinakas mountain at an altitude of 1750 m. The idea for its construction was born in 1984.

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Armeni
Armeni

Armeni

The Late-Romanesque cemetery in Armeni is located on the outskirts of this town, located less than 10 km south of the center of Rethymno.

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Military Museum
Military Museum

Military Museum

The museum presents the dramatic history of Crete written over the last several hundred years.

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Argyroupolis
Argyroupolis

Argyroupolis

The modern settlement known as Argyroupolis was built on the site of the ancient city of Lappa (also called Lambi)

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Lentas
Lentas

Lentas

Lentas is a good idea for those who want to get away from villages steeped in industrial tourism.

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Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos
Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos

Labyrinthaki and Labyrinthos

This ancient quarry, consisting of two parts by modern times, is called Λαβυρινθάκι and Λαβύρινθος.

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Archeological Museum in Eleftherna
Estiatorio Chrisopigi
Estiatorio Chrisopigi

Estiatorio Chrisopigi

If anyone of you is looking for a good restaurant near Matala and Kalamaki, then we would like to recommend estiório Chrisopigi.

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Gortyna
Gortyna

Gortyna

Gortyna is considered one of the most extensive excavations in Greece.

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Psiloritis - Timios Stavros
Psiloritis - Timios Stavros

Psiloritis - Timios Stavros

Psiloritis (Timios Stavros - Holy Cross) is the top of the highest mountain of Crete, rising to 2456 m above sea level.

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Rouvas Gorge
Rouvas Gorge

Rouvas Gorge

Rouvas Gorge is one of the most interesting places in this part of Crete. The interesting trail leads in a perfect way to the changing appearance of this gorge.

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Matala
Matala

Matala

Matala is one of the most popular towns not only of the southern coast but also of the whole of Crete. In the 1960s and 1970s, this small fishing village was a mecca for hippies.

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Monastery of Odigitrias
Monastery of Odigitrias

Monastery of Odigitrias

The Odigitrias Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries of southern Crete. Unfortunately, in terms of popularity, he is far from other Cretan monasteries.

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Kali Limenes
Kali Limenes

Kali Limenes

Kali Limenes (meaning Dobre Porty or Piękny Przystanie) is a coastal town located in the Asterousia Mountains on the southern coast of Crete.

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Vathipetro
Vathipetro

Vathipetro

In addition to the famous grand palaces on the island in the Minoan period, a number of smaller residences were created. One of the most important examples is the Vathipetro discovered about 5 km north of Archanes, on the southeastern slope of Mount Juchtas in the central part of Crete.

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Komentarze

Maciej Bogacz
Maciej Bogacz
2011-09-30 13:01:49

Ceny

Bilet wstępu kosztuje 6€, ale jeśli jesteś studentem lub osobą uczącą się wejście masz za darmo. Wystarczy tylko pokazać polską legitymację studencką lub szkolną i osoba w kasie podaruje Ci darmowy bilet i powie "Miłego zwiedzania" w naszym języku ;) Toaleta nie jest już co łaska, przyjemność ta kosztuje 0,50€.

Anna Gajowniczek
Anna Gajowniczek
2012-09-12 15:10:20

Wrażenie

Każdy ma własne zdanie , dla mnie to nie było zwiedzanie atrakcyjne. Moze kiedyś coś tam było fajnego, teraz kamień na kamieniu. To miejsce potraktowałam jako coś do "zaliczenia". Generalnie mnie nie porwało wcale. Trzeba mieć sporo wyobraźni żeby coś wykrzesać. Wg. mnie przereklamowane a jedzie się tam ze względu na ....historię .

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Káto Zákros (Ζάκρος)

Káto Zákros (Ζάκρος)

Redirected from the site - Káto Zákros (Ζάκρος). Zakros is the fourth-largest Minoan palace in Crete in importance and size. This latest found, built on the east coast of the island is located in the village of Káto Zákros. Rocky mountains surround the ruins of the palace complex with the remains of a once thriving city, built on a fairly hard-to-reach and inhabited area. Paradoxically, Zakros, being several centuries ago, a city with extensive contacts with other countries, was (and is actually still) the most isolated Minoan center on the island.

Tylissos

Tylissos

Tylissos is one of the few places in Crete that has kept its name since ancient times. Between 1200 and 1000 BC, many settlements were abandoned by their inhabitants, who founded new villages in more inaccessible areas. Tylissos is an exception because it was inhabited all the time, thanks to which cultural continuity was maintained and the development of the religious center took place.

Excavations at Trypitos

Excavations at Trypitos

When, in 1960, heavy building equipment entered the small headland of Trypitos next to Sitia, no-one expected the land to hide the ruins of the ancient Hellenic city. To this day, this area is still being examined by archaeologists, and the found treasures feed the resources of the Archaeological Museum in Sitia. These niche excavations located just off the road to Vai are a must stop for any archeology enthusiast.

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