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Visiting the Palace of Knossos

Like apparently everyone else in the world, we will be spending 2 weeks in Greece in May, 1 of those weeks being on Crete. We plan to visit the Palace of Knossos and thought about hiring a private guide but the price tag seemed rather over the top at 150.00 Euros for 2 hours (although they would do pick ups but we pretty much think we'll have a car from Chania and stop there en route to Heraklion). My question is: are there reasonable tours/guides one can book at the site and visit with a group as opposed to a private guide and still get a good tour? RS doesn't seem to say much about that: he gives you his DIY tour which is cool but I would prefer a person talking.
Thanks for any advice.

Posted by
4806 posts

Most places I have been in Greece, and as I recall at Knossos, there are licensed guides at the site, offering tours, I imagine at prices much better than 150 euro. I suppose it is a bit luck of the draw, but for what you are looking for, perfectly fine.

Posted by
2416 posts

At Knossos, as noted, licensed guides usually hang around the gate... a guide wait until he/she gets 8 people or so, then charges abut €10=12. If there are 5 or so, and the guide isn't yet ready to go, you can huddle with the others & convince him/her.

Posted by
2416 posts

Another Knossos Tip -- the cruise crowds during the weeks can be massive .... you avoid them best by reaching Knossos at 8 am, to be 60-90 minutes ahead of the mobs.... or else go at 2:30 pm or later, when they've mostly left. Y ou might consider going first, in the AM, to the amazing Herkalion museum to see the exquisite works of art, jewelry & sculpture created by the Minoans ... you can easily spend 2 hours there. THen , after lunch, get the local bus (30 minutes) to Knossos, and when y ou see half-walls, and clay-brick ruins, your knowledge of those artifacts will help you imagine the original.

Posted by
13933 posts

I was there a couple months ago. I went to the archaeology museum in Heraklion first and had a better appreciation of the ruins than if I'd done it the other way around. I lucked out at the ruins, met a multi-generational Israeli family at the entrance and was able to join them - the "patriarch" is an amateur archaeologist and gave a wonderful tour. I do think you need a guide to appreciate what you're seeing.

Posted by
51 posts

Thanks everyone for the great advice. I think we will hit the museum in the morning and then make our way to Knossos and get a guide there.

Posted by
742 posts

Bear in mind there has been much controversy over the work of the archeologist Arthur Evans who began excavation of the site in 1900 and interpreted what he "Thought" the original site looked like. His recreations and paintings have been debated for decades.

Most people agree that any archeological site discovered should be left in the condition it was found rather than "thinking" what it would have looked like in it's original state.

I've never been there but any time a archeological site is discovered it should be left as it was found rather than thinking what it would have looked like.

No one knows what the original looked like, what the intentions of the builders thoughts were or even what the colors represented.

While Evans' work is to be admired . . . he should not have interpreted what his opinions were and left what he found as they were.

And that's true for any ancient archeological site!