After a lazy day around the resort yesterday, recovering from our full day trip to Santorini, today we headed back to Heraklion to explore the ancient Minoan Palace at Knossos.
It’s surprisingly easy to do this trip by yourself on public transport. First, our frequent coach service from Rethymno back to Iraklio, taking roughly two hours and single tickets costing about 8€ each. I imagine any of the large resorts along the North coast would be just as simple to arrange travel from. The coach terminates at Iraklio’s Bus Station ‘A’ near to the port, and the local bus station is immediately adjacent to it. Tickets from the office for either the number #2 or #4 local services to Knossos were only a few Euros each – we got four, to cover our return trips also. The local bus service has to contend with city centre traffic, but soon reaches the site at Knossos, maybe 5km and less than half an hour away.
I’m so glad we packed stout walking boots for the holiday. Although some additional level walkways have been introduced, much of the site involves climbing original stairways and uneven ground. Very little shade around the ruins, and the only cafe is back near the main entrance, so a sunhat and plenty of water are essentials in the full sun. We spent a good few hours exploring, and for the most part we managed to avoid the coach parties being led around the site by their tour guides.
There are plenty of information boards around the site, giving you details about each of the areas in view. Our earlier visit to the Archaeological Museum at Heraklion gave us some additional context to our visit, so I’m glad we saw that first.
Finally a quick spot of souvenir shopping after our visit, along the main road outside of the site, and then the equally easy return journey by public bus services to our resort.