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Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

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canada
posts: 25
reviews: 1
Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

We are off a cruise ship landing at Ayios Nikolaos early in the morning. We are looking for a good and reliable English speaking guide who would pick us up at the port and take us to the Palace of Knossos and Heraklion, tour the area with us and then take us back to the ship. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Devizes, United...
posts: 39,283
reviews: 310
1. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

Hi there

Rather than pay for an expensive guide, and car why not do it yourselves? Buses regularly run from the main bus station in Agios Nikolaos straight to the main bus station in Iraklion, from where the #2 service runs out to Knossos every 20-30 mins.

So, see Knossos first, take the #2 back to the bus station, and use that as a starting point for your walking tour of Iraklion's antiquities.

Everything at Knossos is well labelled in English, no need for a guide at all, just buy the booklet from the kiosk.

canada
posts: 25
reviews: 1
2. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

Thank you for your reply. This sounds like a good idea. How far is the bus terminal from the port? How long would it take the bus from the port to the main bus terminal in Iraklion and how often does it run? How long would it take from the main bus station in Iraklion to Knosses and how often do the buses run for our return trip to the port at Agios Nikolaos? If we find that we are running out of time do you know if there would be taxis available from Iraklion back to the port and our ship and do you have any idea what it might cost?

Sale, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Crete
posts: 7,273
reviews: 59
3. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

How far is the bus terminal from the port? about 15 minutes walk. the bus station is about 600m inland.

How long would it take the bus from the port to the main bus terminal in Iraklion and how often does it run?

Bus runs from the bus station not the port, current (winter) timetable is here, 2nd one down, time 90 minutes, €7.10:

bus-service-crete-ktel.com/timetabledet.php…

Expect more buses in summer. the link will update when the timetable changes.

How long would it take from the main bus station in Iraklion to Knosses and how often do the buses run for our return trip to the port at Agios Nikolaos? Probably 20 minutes or so from Her to Kno, Buses back - see timetable above

If we find that we are running out of time do you know if there would be taxis available from Iraklion back to the port and our ship and do you have any idea what it might cost? Yes, but expensive - I would say about €85-90.

Hope this helps

Steve.

London, United...
posts: 10,714
reviews: 8
4. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

I hesitate to query my fellow DA's suggestion of going it alone, but although I started to make the same suggestion myself yesterday, I deleted.

If the ship was docking at Heraklion it might be fine, but she has to get from Agios Nikolaos to Heraklion and Knossos and back. For someone not familiar with Crete, and with a limited time between docking and departure, I think it might be a stressful day.

A guide is probably the better idea - all the way in a car, no time wasted, and no worries about missing the boat.

Edited: 1:04 am, February 19, 2012
swindon,england
posts: 797
reviews: 64
5. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

To be quite honest,if i were docking at agios nikolaos and had limited time to spend on crete i would not bother with knossos palace[greek disney world],i don't like giving negative feedback on a wonderful island but knossos for me was a big let down.

We visited knossos last year as with a lot of visitors i wanted to view the ancient remains which always looked pretty spectacular in books,but to be honest in my opinion most of knossos looks like it has been built within the last couple of decades[i know its been restored etc]but still we were quite dissapointed.I am sure i will get some flak for my opinions,but only trying to maybe save a wasted journey tha may dissapoint.spinnalonga would be my choice if in agios nikolaos.

Sale, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Crete
posts: 7,273
reviews: 59
6. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

<<spinnalonga would be my choice if in agios nikolaos.>>

Mine too, a nice letsirely day out, no worries about time etc., and very easy and cheap to do without an organised tour. But OP presumably regards Knossos as a 'must-see'.

I tend to agree with Alabastron, when you add up all the component bus fares etc., the savings may not be worth it when compared to a tour which will surely be available from the boat, but I think a private guided tour will be much more expensive. There are also strict rules about which guides are allowed to give tours round sites.

Surrey
Destination Expert
for Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Crete
posts: 5,600
reviews: 113
7. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

Hi there

My choice would be to visit Spinalonga too, and then perhaps lunch in one of the tavernas in Plaka and perhaps a swim too before lunch on the small beach in Plaka ?? before returning to Agios, where you could visit the Archaeological Museum which is approx 10 mins walk from where the ship docks - and then if you have time an ice cream or coffee around the lake before wandering across the road to board the ship.

Sale, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Crete
posts: 7,273
reviews: 59
8. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

<<letsirely>

leisurely!!

Doh!

Sale, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Crete
posts: 7,273
reviews: 59
9. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

Hi Ruthie,

Clearly it's your call, but MG's suggestion sounds like a good day out, unless you have a particular desire to go to Knossos. My wife and mother-in-law did a similar trip to Spinalonga last May, and really enjoyed it.

London, United...
posts: 10,714
reviews: 8
10. Re: Palace of Knossos and Heraklion and surrounding area

But if you have never been to Crete, and if you think you really want to see Knossos (as against just ticking the box that says you've been there, done that) that's what you ought to do.

Some people are disappointed in Knossos, and the restorations are a bit naff, but on the whole it is a fascinating site, and if you really look around at all of it, not just the "palace" and the "throne room" but take your time to wander around the whole of the ancient city, you'll see places where people lived and worked, and it has a powerful atmosphere if you let your imagination work. The pottery workshops are especially touching, I think.

The best time to experience Knossos is in the early morning, before the crowds arrive and before the heat of the day sets in. If your cruise ship docks early, and you can organise a tour to get you on your way quickly, you could have a memorable experience.

Seeing Knossos is greatly enhanced by (a) reading about it before you go and (b) visiting the archaeological museum in Heraklion. The main museum is still closed for renovation, but the exhibition of selected artifacts nearby shows all the major pieces, and is excellent.

Have a nice day whatever you decide to do.