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Phaistos Disk Heraklion Archeological Museum things to do near Knossos

Best Things to Do near Knossos 2024

Although the Palace of Knossos is often thought of as nothing more than ruins, there is still plenty to see and do in the area. In fact, there are a number of activities that are perfect for travelers to enjoy in 2023. From exploring the ancient ruins to enjoying the beautiful beaches, here are some of the best things to do near Knossos in 2023.

Table of Contents

1. Visit the Palace of Knossos

The largest and most important Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete

The Palace of Knossos is an incredible sight! Built in the Minoan period and thought to have been the court of King Minos, this historic palace is the largest and most important Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.

Taking a guided tour here will show you just how impressive and intricate it is with its stunning frescoes, monumental staircases, courtyards and sculptures hidden away in each corner.

Exploring this mythical palace should be at the top of your list for any trip to Crete; knossos has been called home by some of history’s greatest people so it’s worth wandering around for a glimpse into its amazing past.

Plus with all the other activities that can be found nearby in 2023 – including water sports, cheese-making workshops and great local restaurants (or this great afternoon sailing trip) – making time to visit Knossos can make for a unique holiday experience that you’ll remember forever!

2.Take a tour of the nearby city of Heraklion

The capital of Crete and home to many museums and historical sites

Experience the vibrant energy of the nearby city of Heraklion, located just a short distance away from Knossos.

This bustling port city is home to many incredible museums and historical sites, offering something for everyone’s interests. Although it has a rich past, Heraklion still manages to keep its modern edge with bustling nightlife and lively shopping districts.

Take a tour of the archaeological museum with its extensive collection spanning thousands of years or explore the narrow cobblestone streets at one of the city’s colorful markets.

No matter what you choose to do, spending a day in Heraklion will provide an unforgettable experience that will make your trip to Knossos even more memorable!

Get your Knossos Tickets online and save some time by skipping the lines!

3. Go for a swim at one of the many beaches near Knossos

If you’re searching for a slice of paradise near Knossos, then look no further than the beaches in the region. With crystal clear waters, miles of coastline and plenty of options to suit whatever type of beach-goer you are, take some time out to enjoy all that Greece’s sea has to offer.

Knossos nearest beaches:

  • Ammoudara Beach: A sprawling sandy beach with shallow waters perfect for families with young kids. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, and enjoy nearby tavernas and cafes. Located just 7 km from Knossos.
  • Amnissaras Beach: A smaller, secluded beach known for its crystal-clear waters and soft sand. Ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. It’s situated about 10 km away from Knossos.
  • Lygaria Beach: A captivating beach with a blend of sand and pebbles, surrounded by lush greenery. The waters are clear and calm. It’s approximately 12 km from Knossos.
  • Agia Pelagia Beach: A vibrant beach boasting numerous bars, restaurants, and shops. Popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Just about 15 km from Knossos.
  • Heraklion Beach: A city beach providing easy access to all the amenities of Heraklion. Ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and people-watching. It’s about 6 km from Knossos by car. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Knossos to Heraklion and walk to the beach.
  • Chersonissos Beach: A long sandy beach offering plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas for rent. Great for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. It’s located roughly 25 km from Knossos.
  • Malia Beach: A lively beach with numerous bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s a hotspot for swimming, sunbathing, and partying. Situated about 35 km from Knossos.

4. Hike up Mount Ida

The highest mountain on Crete, with stunning views of the island

If you’re up for an adventure while visiting Knossos in 2023, hiking up Mount Ida is an absolute must. Lying near the city of Heraklion, this mountain is Crete’s highest summit, reaching nearly 2000 meters in elevation. Along the way, you will be able to marvel at amazing natural beauty and discover hidden gems like ancient ruins that date back to Minoan times. At the top, you can take stunning photos from different viewpoints and take in 360 degree views of the entire island. With its lush hillsides, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches, a trip to Crete is incomplete without ascending Mount Ida – so make sure to check it out when you’re in Knossos!

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5. Sample some traditional Cretan food

Try dishes like dolma (stuffed vine leaves), kaltsounia (cheese pies), or Souvlaki (grilled meat skewers)

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Crete in 2023, then nothing beats sampling the local cuisine! Traditional Cretan food is renowned for its combination of fresh ingredients and robust flavours. From Dolma – stuffed vine leaves packed with nutritious fruits and vegetables – to Kaltsounia – small cheese pies drizzled with honey – there’s something to tantalize every taste bud. For meat lovers, Souvlaki offers a delicious meal of grilled meat skewers, perfect either as a standalone dish or even as a snack between meals. Visit Knossos in 2023 and sample some of this tasty traditional fare – you won’t be disappointed!

6. Discover the Historical Museum of Crete

This museum offers a fascinating insight into Crete’s history from early Christian times to the modern era. Highlights include two original El Greco paintings and a detailed model of pre-siege Candia, the city of Heraklion during Venetian rule.

Delve Deeper into the Historical Museum of Crete: Spend a few immersive hours in the Historical Museum of Crete to truly appreciate the island’s rich history.

From Byzantine art to folk traditions, from the struggle for Cretan independence to the World War II resistance, the museum narrates the island’s journey through the ages.

things to do near Knossos
Phaistos Disk Heraklion Archeological Museum things to do near Knossos

7. Visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

This world-class museum houses a comprehensive collection of Minoan artifacts unearthed from Knossos and other sites around Crete.

The museum’s 27 galleries display sculptures, pottery, jewelry, and frescoes that span over 5,000 years of Cretan history.

This museum boasts an extensive collection that encapsulates Crete’s history from the Neolithic period to Roman times. Noteworthy exhibits include the Phaistos Disc, a clay disc from the Minoan palace of Phaistos, inscribed with mysterious symbols yet to be deciphered, and the Bull-Leaper, an intricate ivory figurine that provides insight into the Minoan’s dangerous bull-leaping ritual.

8. Explore the  Natural History Museum of Crete

 Ideal for families, this museum offers interactive exhibits showcasing the region’s biodiversity. The earthquake simulator and the Discovery Centre are visitor favorites.

Dive Deeper into the Natural History Museum of Crete: A must-visit destination, especially for families, the Natural History Museum of Crete provides a thorough and entertaining insight into the island’s rich biodiversity. The exhibits are interactive, making the learning process engaging and easy to understand even for young children. 

things to do near Knossos

The Natural History Museum of Crete top exhibits include:

  • The Majestic Deinotherium: This exhibit brings to life the largest terrestrial mammal that ever roamed Crete. It features a life-sized replica of a Deinotherium, supplemented with fossils and insightful details about this captivating beast.
  • The Living Exhibit: Uncover the vibrant wildlife of Crete and the Mediterranean through this exhibit. It houses live specimens such as snakes, lizards, turtles, and birds, enriching visitors’ understanding of their habitats, behaviors, and conservation statuses.
  • The Enceladus Experience: Step into this earthquake simulator to feel the power of a quake. It’s designed based on real seismic data from earthquakes that have struck Crete.
  • Geological and Paleontological Showcase: This display unveils the geological and paleontological wonders of Crete, featuring fossils, minerals, and rocks. It offers insights into the island’s formation and the evolution of its flora and fauna.
  • Interactive Physics Display: Engage with the principles of physics through interactive exhibits. Learn about light, sound, electricity, and magnetism in a fun and engaging way.

9. Enjoy a drink or two at one of Knossos’ many bars and nightclubs 

Perfect for letting your hair down after a day of sightseeing

After a full day of exploring Knossos, why not kick back in one of the vibrant bars and nightclubs we have to offer? With a range of different music genres, our nightclubs always deliver non-stop entertainment until the early hours. 

Some of the most famous nightclubs near Knossos are:

  • Galaxy
  • Themis
  • Sensations
  • Camelot
  • Matrix

Knossos is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history or archaeology, with plenty of other activities and attractions nearby to keep everyone happy. Whether you want to explore the ancient ruins, take a dip in the ocean, hike up a mountain, or simply enjoy some traditional food and culture, Knossos has something for you. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to this beautiful island of Crete today!

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