Phaistos Palace, Kaliviani Monastery & Matala Tour


Phaistos Palace (2 hours)

Phaestus (Phestos or Festos) was a Minoan city on Crete, the ruins of which are located 55km south of Heraklion. The city was already inhabited since 6000BC and prospered concurrently with the city of Knossos, till the 1st century BC.

Phaestus is famous for its Minoan palace, which is a visitable archaeological site and receives thousands of visitors every year. The palace of Phaestus was built on a low hill in the plain of Messara, with panoramic views to the surrounding area. It is the second largest after Knossos and occupies an area of ​​18 acres.

The palace of Phaestus was built in about 2000BC, according to the legend, by Minos. The palace’s king was the brother of Minos, the mythical Rhadamanthys. Rhadamanthys was second son of Zeus and Europe and was known for his righteousness. Indeed, he is considered the writer of the Cretan Code, the first standards of Justice, which was later adopted by the Spartans. Due to his fairness, after his death, he was assigned as a judge in Hades (like his brother Minos).


Kaliviani (Mother Mary of Kalyvia) Convent (1 hour)

The women’s coenobitic Monastery of Panagia Kaliviani (Mother Mary of Kalyvia) is located at the site of a men’s monastery from the Byzantine era that was destroyed by the Ottomans. The 14th century chapel of Zoodochos Pigi has survived.

The present-day catholicon of the convent, which is dedicated to the Dormition of Mother Mary, was inaugurated in 1927. In 1956, the then-Bishop Timotheos Papoutsakis decided to establish charity foundations within the Monastery, which was converted into a convent. Thus, an orphanage, a home for the elderly, a centre for adolescent protection, a centre for child protection and a sewing – tailoring school were founded.

At the same time, there are also handicraft workshops, a religious – folklore museum, a school for the foundations’ children, etc. The convent continues to engage in significant charitable work to this day.


Matala (2 hours)

The Matala caves offer an extraordinary sight. Some caves hewn in the prehistoric years were used by the Romans mainly as tombs. Currently, they are open to the public, as an official archaeological site. Public toilets and showers are available just by the entrance. Apart from the historical value of the region, what makes it special is its location itself.

In the deep blue of the Libyan sea, across the African coast, minerals in white hues and the scents of the Mediterranean vegetation. It’s been a source to inspiration for many. That might have qualified Matala as an international meeting point for the hippies in the ’60s and ’70s. Nowadays, there are facilities for accommodation, food, and excursions nearby.


Tour details

Phaistos Palace (2 hours)
Kaliviani Monastery(1 hour)
Matala (2 hours)
Return trip (1 hour)


  • 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: 6 Hours

Cost: 185 Euro

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