Knossos Palace, Agarathos Monastery, Ostrich Zoo Park, Goat Milking & Cheese Making Tour


Palace of Knossos (2 hours)

Crete’s most famous historical attraction is the Palace of Knossos (k-nos-os), the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located 5km south of Iraklio. The setting is evocative and the ruins and re-creations impressive, incorporating an immense palace, courtyards, private apartments, baths, lively frescoes and more. Excavation of the site started in 1878 with Cretan archaeologist Minos Kalokerinos, and continued from 1900 to 1930 with British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans who controversially restored parts of the site.

Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site in Crete and is considered Europe’s oldest city. Follow our guide through the Palace of Knossos and travel back in a time to when the Minoan Civilization ruled supreme throughout the Aegean. Legend has it that in a labyrinth on the grounds of Knossos Palace roamed a creature that was half bull and half man. As you explore the stone corridors, you will quickly understand why the ancient people believed that this was where the legendary Minotaur lived.


Agarathos Monastery (1 hour)

The fortified monastery of Agarathos is located 23km east of Heraklion in a wooded location at an altitude of 538m near Episkopi. The monastery, especially during the Venetian Era, was one of the richest in Crete owning several other monasteries in Heraklion and Lassithi prefectures. It is considered the first in the hierarchy of the monasteries of the island.

The name is taken after the plant Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa), named agarathia in Cretan dialect. According to the tradition, below such a plant a monk found once the icon of Panagia (Virgin Mary) and he later built the church of Panagia on the same site. In front of the church you will see a pomegranate tree with a candle near its trunk. The pomegranate is said to be the initial plant of agarathia, which was turned miraculously to a tree.

Many great personalities have connected their names with Agarathos. Among them is Meletius Pigas (later Patriarch of Alexandria), Cyril Loukaris (later Ecumenical Patriarch), Yerasimos Paleokapas (bishop of Crete) and the scholar Joseph Vryennios. In the Ottoman period, Agarathos played an important role in the revolutionary movements against the Turks.

The church of the monastery is double-aisled, with one aisle dedicated to the Assumption (celebr. 15 August) and the other to Saint Menas (celebr. 11 November). There is a very old icon of the Virgin Mary. Visitors of the monastery can be hosted in the guesthouse and the dining room of the monastery and admire the library with the old manuscripts. Outside the monastery, there is the old church of St. Raphael.


Ostrich Zoo Park, Goat Milking & Cheese Making Tour(2 hours)

Ostrich Zoo Park
In a specially disagnated area you can admire the largest birds on earth, as well as many other animal and bird species. The ranch is situated at 15 km from Heraklion city, Crete in a natural, green environment. We offer to our visitors and especially children the chance to observe it and get acquainted with these so inquisitively watched animals.

Goat Milking & Cheese Making
In this tour you will get the chance to milk a goat and learn the secrets of creating cretan cheese. All Cretan cheeses are made from either sheep’s or goat’s milk or a combination of both.

Here’s a short list: Graviera, perhaps the most famous of Crete’s cheeses, ranges from sweet, when young, to nutty and resonant, when aged. Kefalograviera, harder and more piquant than graviera, is a table cheese that is often also used in baked dishes like pastitsio and moussaka. Myzithra, a fresh whey cheese, relatively low in fat, and similar to ricotta. Staka, a cholesterol-rich delicacy only found in western Crete, which is prepared from the cream skimmed off the top of sheep’s milk.


Tour details

Palace of Knossos (2 hours)
Agarathos Monastery (1 hour)
Ostrich Zoo Park, Goat Milking & Cheese Making (2 hours)


  • Round-trip transportation from / to your hotel.
  • Certified English/German speaking driver.

Not Included:

  • Tips for guide and driver (non-compulsory).
  • Personal expenses during tour (drinks or food).
  • All entrance fees, all taxes.
  • Certified English/German speaking guide.

Duration: 5 Hours

Cost: 160 Euro

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