Shore Excursion Crete: itinerary
We’ll meet at the port and then drive to Heraklion to make our visit to the famous archaeological site of Knossos. It is the largest Bronze Age archeological site on Greece and is considered Europe’s oldest city.
Our guide will weave together the layers of history that can be found at this fascinating site. As well being the administrative and religious centre of the Minoan Crete, the story of Knossos is deeply rooted in Greek mythology.
According to myth the complex was built by Dedalos, a skilled architect and father of the famous and ill-fated Icarus. The designs were so complex that once inside, it was impossible to find the exit. King Minos (who commissioned the site) then kept the architect prisoner in order to keep the plans secret.
Dedalos built wings for himself and his son Icarus in order to escape from the island. As we now, Icarus didn’t heed his fathers advice not to fly too close to sun. The wax holding the wings together melted and Icarus drowned in the Aegean sea below.
Knossos is also said to be the labyrinth the home of the Minotaur. This half bull, half man creature was killed by Greek hero Theseus.
The site itself began life as a Neolithic settlement in the 7th century BC. The first palace was built around 1900 BC on the ruins of previous settlements. Over time the settlement became more elaborate and complex until it was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC. After number of earthquakes, invasions and volcanic eruptions, Knossos and the Minoan civilisation was over.
After exploring the archeological site we’ll return to the port by bus.
*Shore excursions could be subject to variations due to external causes as Cruise Companies politics, weather conditions, duration of the stay of the ship in the port, legal demonstrations