The Most Dramatic Minoan Palace in Crete


Updated 04.12.2012

   Faistos Palace, one of Crete’s five big palaces, has been considered
by many as the best preserved Minoan palace. It has a remarkable
location, surrounded by the Messara plateau and the circling
mountains. It is only five kilometres to the sea from the palace.
Faistos Palace is on top of a hill, quietly reminding us of the
ancient life of the Minoan people.

Panoramic image to the Messara plateau from Faistos hills.


   Under excavation since 1884, which began with F. Halbherr and A. Taramelli from Italy, the palace has been kept in its original form and shape. There are no structures based on imagination built afterwards, only the original buildings. Like other palaces Faistos has also been built further after the Minoan period, but the later parts have been skillfully joined into the original palace.

   Faistos, like all city states, participated for example in the legendary Trojan War, and it was a very important city state during the Dorian era. It blossomed during the archaic, classic and Hellenistic eras and was partly destroyed in the third century BC by Gortys, after which it was still an active center in the Roman period. The Minoan period is found in the lowest layers, the more easily damageable excavation areas have been covered in the southern side.

   Faistos is easy to travel to and a very pleasant site to explore. It is situated some 65 kilometers from Heraklion, an hour and a half drive from Rethymnon and a fair hour drive from Heraklion. From the souvenir shop you can buy a copy of the famous Faistos disc, which has so far escaped all interpretations.

Additional Information:

Book a HOTEL near Faistos.

Coordinates for Faistos Palace: 35° 3’6.47″N 24°48’48.85″E