Crete’s must-see historical attraction is the Palace of Knossos, 5km south of Iraklio, and the capital of Minoan Crete. Combining a visit here with a spin around Iraklio's excellent Archaeological Museum is highly recommended.

To beat the crowds and avoid the heat, get to Knossos either bang at 8am – and stay a few steps ahead of the arriving tour buses – or later in the afternoon, when it's cooler and the light is good for photographs. Reckon on a couple of hours to do the place justice.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Knossos.