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Karteros%20beach
Karteros beach
Iraklion
at 0km (N)
This 2 km long sandy beach was for years and still is the favorite beach of the people of Heraklion town. It is named after the river "Karteros" which outflows at the west end of it near the airport. The water is clean, the seabed is sandy with smoothly shelving and swimming is safe. The access is free in most parts except for some areas that are reserved for military personnel and the municipal beach "Akti" where visitors should pay an entrance fee in order to use the facilities. At the east end there are some very good taverns offering fresh fish among their specialties and are very popular with locals and tourists alike.

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International%20Airport%20Nikos%20Kazantzakis
International Airport Nikos Kazantzakis
Iraklion ( Nea Alikarnassos)
at 2.3km (W)
Heraklion International Airport, "Nikos Kazantzakis" (Greek: Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου, "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης") or Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport (IATA: HER, ICAO: LGIR) is the primary airport on the island of Crete, Greece. It is located about 5km from the main city of Heraklion.
Heraklion International Airport is is one of the biggest in Greece and receives approximately 15% of the total tourist traffic of Greece. There are many airlines currently operating flights from Athens and Thessaloniki to Iraklion (Olympic Airways, Aegean Airlines and others), while during the high season there are flights from/to Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini and other Greek islands. There are also international airlines that connects Iraklion to other European cities. During the summer season there are numerous chartered flights to Iraklion from all over Europe (mainly Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Holland). During the summer months there is a huge increase in air traffic that peaks in August (approximately 130 flights per day).
Major car-rental companies have desks at the airport. Taxi and public bus are available for transfer from/to Iraklion.

CityCar%20rent%20a%20car
CityCar rent a car
Iraklion
at 4.5km (W)
Since 1985, with hard work, we have managed to become well known and trusted car hire company, not only in Crete but also amongst our numerous customers from Europe and other countries. We are the cheapest in town. We deliver to port, airport and hotels. Full insurance without excess. - New models, Safe Cars, Special Offers.
No deposit required for booking.

Minoan%20Megaron
Minoan Megaron
Nirou Chani, North - East Iraklion
at 4.7km (E)
A Luxurious, two-storey house, built of large ashlar. The walls were strengthened by timber-frames and covered with a thick layer of plaster and marble slabs. The building has a paved courtyard, a shrine, storerooms for agricultural products, a staircase, and rooms with benches. It has been interpreted as a High Priest's house, due to the numerous ceremonial vessels it contained.
The house was probably built in the 16th century. C. (MM III period) and, after its destruction by fire in the 15th century BC (LM IB period), was finally abandoned.
The "Minoan Megaron" at Nirou was excavated in 1918 by St. Xanthoudides. In 1960, under the supervision of the Ephor of Antiquities N. Platon, the site was fenced and the building restored. The monument is consolidated and cleared at intervals by the 23rd Ephorate.

Visiting Hours:
Daily: 8:30-15:00, Monday: closed
Entrance Fee:Free Admission


Heraklion%20Port
Heraklion Port
Iraklion
at 4.8km (W)
The Port of Heraklion is the main and most modern gateway for the transport of passengers and commodities on the island of Crete.
There are three main companies that connect Iraklion to mainland Greece, Minoan Lines, Superfast Ferries and ANEK. During the winter months there are daily trips from Athens to Iraklion. The trip takes approximately 6 - 9 hours by ferry boat. The ships depart Athens in the evening (10.30 p.m.) and arrive in Iraklion at 5:00 - 6:00 a.m. There is also a weekly trip to Thessaloniki. During the summer season all companies operate also an extra daily trip that departs in the morning from Athens and arrives at Iraklion port in the afternoon. Finally various other companies operate ships connecting Iraklion with other island in the Aegean (Rodos, Santorini etc.). Daily cruises are also offered to the island of Santorini.

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Knossos
Knossos
Palace and Archaeological site
at 4.9km (SW)
The famous Palace of king Minos and the centre of the Minoan civilisation 5km south of Iraklion. The Great Palace covered an area of 20.000 sq. meters and had 1.400 rooms. Every section of the Palace had a specific use. In the west side of the Palace were the chambers of the ceremonies, of the administration and of the public storehouse...

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West%20Magazines
West Magazines
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
North of the South Propylaeum, at a lower level there is the start of the corridor that joins eighteen long and narrow storerooms, covering an area of 1300 sq.m.
In the floor of both the storerooms and corridor, there are ninety three rectangular cists, the so called "Kasellas". From the finds it appears they were used for keeping safe precious equipment and vases. There are also even larger cists in the corridor, internally lined, perhaps to hold liquids.
The pithoi (large storage jars) of the "West Magazines" bear witness to the wealth of the palace. The remains of some 150 pithoi were found, although there is room for about 400. Their contents are unknown, although they could have oil, wine, pulses, etc.
At different points of the magazine, clay tablets came to light in the Linear B script with records of an economic character. At the north end of the corridor, a large number of older clay seal impressions and clay tablets in the Cretan Hieroglyphic script were discovered.

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The Throne Room
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
The antechamber of a complex of rooms that Evans named the "Throne Room".
Its name comes from the stone seat found in the room behind the antechamber, and between them were discovered traces of a burnt wooden construction. Today, a wooden seat has been placed here which is a copy of the stone one in the neighbouring chamber. After the antechamber is the central room of the complex. Right and left of the stone seat are yet more stone benches.
Pieces of fresco depicting plants and griffins, mythical beasts with a lion's body and bird's head were found in the same room. The restored fresco is in Heraklion Museum. Evans put a copy in its place. Stone vases for oil, often connected with rituals, were found on the floor. The stone basin you see was actually found in a neighbouring corridor and placed here. To the left, a low partition wall with a purification ceremonies and therefore called them "Lustral Basins".
The central room connects at the back with a series of small, dark rooms which were lit by lamps, as the finds illustrate.
The function of the complex is difficult to determine. Evans believed that the rooms were used for ceremonies with the main figure being the king of Knossos in his religious capacity. However, it seems unlikely to have been a Throne Room in the modern sense of the word.

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The Tripartite Shrine
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
To the south of the Throne Room and the stairs, lies the area that has been identified as a shrine, called by Evans the "Tripartite Shrine" (Evans's restoration drawing). Its facade had columns and was divided into three parts, the central element being the highest. There is a depiction of a comparable shrine on a wall painting now on display in Heraklion Museum. Inside the shrine were found clay tablets in the Linear B script and clay seal impressions which were possibly connected with the archive of a shrine.
The remaining areas behind the "Tripartite Shrine" are thought to have been connected with the sanctuaries of the palace. At the back, two small dark rooms with pillars are known as the "Pillar Crypts". The depresions in their floor are said to indicate that these rooms were used for libations. In another room, two large, rectangular, stone-built repositories were found, sunk into the floor. They were full of clay vases and valuable objects, amongst which were the statuettes representing the "Shake Goddess". The repositories have been interpreted as the "Temlple Repositories".
The stairs on the right lead from the Central court to the upper floor of the West wing. This is largely reconstructed by Evans.

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The Piano Nobile
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
The great staircase and the upper floor to which it leads are largely Evans’ creation. Evans thought that it had a function rather like the first floor of Italian Palazzi of the Renaissance, which was called Piano Nobile. In this instance, he considered that the important reception rooms of the palace would lie on the upper floor. Evans also thought that there existed a shrine, the "Tri-Columnar Shrine", and its Treasury. The basis for his restoration lies in the column and pillar bases and the ritual stone vases found collapsed onto the ground floor, like the alabaster one in the shape of a lioness head. The rectangular building next to the stairs was built a long time after the destruction of the palace. Evans interpreted it as a "Greek Temple" based on finds of the historic period.

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The%20Central%20Court
The Central Court
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
The Central Court (dimensions ca. 50m x 25 m.) is an architectural element common to all Minoan palaces. The Court connects the different wings with one another. There was also direct access from outside the Palace. Part of the paving, which once covered the whole court, is preserved in the northwest and southwest corners, whilst near the "Throne Room", parts of the drainage system can be made out which ensured the evacuation of rain water.
It is thought that the area must have been for meetings and rituals of both a sacred and profane character
The orientation of the Central Court was north-south with a clear view of the sacred Mount Giouhtas, where an important sanctuary was located.

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Villa%20Ariadne
Villa Ariadne
Knossos
at 4.9km (S)
Villa Ariadne was built at Knossos, Crete, by Sir Arthur Evans soon after he discovered the Minoan palace, when the site was his own private property. The villa became home, in turn, to John Pendlebury, who used it as a base for his excavations at Knossos and his explorations of the island. After Pendlebury's death at the hands of invading German paratroopers, the Villa Ariadne was taken over by General Karl Kreipe, who was living there when he was kidnapped by Patrick Leigh Fermor and his team.
Ariadne villa is surrounded by the only existing Greek Edwardian garden, a large oasis of Cretan and other flora and shrubs in specific formations. The garden has been fully studied by the British School of Archaeology with the participation of special architects and agronomists from Heraklion.

East%20Wing%20%2D%20Grand%20Staircase
East Wing - Grand Staircase
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
A large part of the east wing cannot be seen from the Central Court as it is built into the side of the hill on top of which lies the rest of the Palace. It is one of the most interesting parts of the palace because two storeys are preserved below the level of the Central Court. Today, a large part of it has been reconstructed in concrete.
The storeys are connected with one another by means of a system of stairs known as the "Grand Staircase". The staircase was found during the excavation in its original position. There is a total of four flights of stairs, two for each storey. The two lower flights are preserved as they were found. The steps are broad and deep, with a gentle incline that makes for an easy ascent. The staircase is lit by a large light-well and was surrounded by a colonnade of wooden columns.
The Grand Staircase
The Grand Staircase
The Grand Staircase & Hall of Colonades - First floor
The Grand Staircase & Hall of Colonades - Ground floor
A series of corridors, spacious halls and small rooms is connected to the Grand Staircase. Evans, who believed that the Palace was the seat of the king of Knossos, hypnothesized that the residential quarters of the Royal family lay in this part of the site.

The%20House%20of%20the%20Chancel%20Screen
The House of the Chancel Screen
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
This house belongs to the New Palace Period (1700-1450 B.C.) and was functionally related to the Palace. In its restored part with two columns, there was a bench on which some object of worship had probably been set up. There was a paved hall in front with a double pier - and - door partition.

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South East Houses
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
The south-east house belongs to the New Palace period (1700-1450 B.C.). It was well built and decorated with wall-paintings of lillies. It had a pier-and-door partition, a pillar room and storage rooms.
A little behind it are other houses of the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.) such as the house of the "Sacrificed Oxen", named after the remains of a sacrifice found there (horns of a bull and a tripod table of offerings) and the "House of the Fallen Blocks", after the blocks that had fallen from the facade of the palace due to an earthquake.
Next to "South-East House" there are houses of the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.), such as that of the "Monolithic Pillars" in front of the steps. Under the small roof is a Minoan, possibly smelting kiln.

Hall%20of%20the%20Double%20Axes
Hall of the Double Axes
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
The "Hall of the Double Axes" was so named by Evans due to the double axe signs engraved on the walls of the light-well at its rear. He also thought that it was the place of residence of the King of Knossos.
The central area has openings on three sides and is therefore called a "polythyron" (system with multiple doorways). It has a slab floor and its walls were embellished with gypsum slabs and frescoes. The area between the "polythyron" and the light-well was used as a reception hall. Traces of a wooden construction were found here. Evans reconstructed a wooden throne at this spot.
Pictures: 1, 2
According to the archaeological finds, the arrangement of the apartments on the upper floor was similar to those on the ground floor.

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Queen%27s%20Megaron
Queen's Megaron
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
The Queen's Megaron lies in the Royal Apartments next to the "Hall of the Double Axes". It is a smaller room with a similar layout and rich decoration. Evans thought that it must have belonged to the Queen. Fragments of frescoes with dolphins and dancing ladies were found here. The room is largely restored and copies of the wall paintings have been put up on the walls. At the end of the room, a low partition wall with one column created a small space. It was thought that it was the "Queen's Bathroom" since pieces of a clay "bath" were found there.
Pictures:
The Queen's Hall 1, 2,3
A corridor joins the "Queens Megaron" with rooms that have been interpreted as places of preparation and washing.

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Magazine of the Medallion Pithoi
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
The magazine to the north of the Grand staircase took its name from the pithoi (large storage jars) that were found here. The jars have relief disk and rope decoration, a characteristic of the beginning of the New palace period (1700-1450 B.C.). A variety of finds show that the place had also been used as a magazine in the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.).
Next door is the "Corridor of the Bays", where three small openings were used for storage. Many vases and religious artefacts were found here. The magazines were buried at the end of the New Palace period(1700-1459 B.C.).

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School Room & Lapidary's Workshop
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
Here is the so-called "School Room", an area where, according to Evans, scribes were taught to write on clay tablets. He supposed that they kneaded the clay in the built mortar next to the bench. It is more likely, however that it was a workshop for ceramics or wall-painting.
Behind the "School Room" is the "Lapidary's Workshop", where blocks of crude or semi-worked lapis lacedaemoniae (spartan basalt) and stone tools were brought to light.
According to Evans, the main workshop lay on the upper floor from which vases and large stone amphora had fallen to the ground floor.

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The magazine of the Giant Pithoi
Knossos Palace
at 4.9km (S)
Here the excavators found a number of very large storage jars (Pithoi) and Evans named the place the "Magazines of the Giant Pithoi". These magazines are one of the older parts of the palace. The pithoi stand out for their size, the number of handles and the richness of their relief decoration with ropes and discs.
To the right of the magazines a staircase which has been reconstructed by Evans descends to the east entrance of the Palace.
The entrance is a robust construction that gives the impression of a "bastion". From this point it would have been easy to reach an important building of the palatial period, the so-called "Royal Villa" which lies outside the main archaeological site.

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