Visiting these ruins which were once the heart of Minoan civilisation is a must if you are interested in ancient history. Although there has been extensive excavation and recreation work on this site, thanks to archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, a lot of ruins remain and we found having a guide was invaluable in helping us negotiate our way around. There is not a lot of signage or information available on site, which again made having a guide that much easier.
The site itself is in a lovely spot, surrounded by tree covered mountains. It is a pleasant site to walk around, although you do need to wear sensible covered shoes as the ground is uneven. When we went, although it was early in the morning, it got very hot; there were not many shaded areas so a hat and some water is a good idea too. Our visit was around three hours and this was probably a good amount of time, although we did feel a bit rushed in places by our guide trying to get everyone in the tour organised. There were quite a lot of other tour groups to negotiate around as well.
While there seems to be divided opinion about the reconstructions, I think they serve to demonstrate the advanced technology of the Minoans and help bring to life their civilisation, rather than just relying on imagination. They were very advanced people, for example their use of light wells to provide light to multi storied buildings. They also employed a complex drainage and water supply system, it is said the Queen had the first flushing toilet, a system whereby continual running water removed the waste.
It is well worth a visit to this historical site which was once the home to King Minos and the ceremonial and political centre of Minoan civilisation. Also, according to legend, home to the labyrinth with the Minotaur. Just being able to walk around the site which is rich in history and myth is incredible.
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