Cradle of Europe

February 5, 2013

As you might expect, Greece is replete with any number of historical ruins, but few can equal the age of those found in Crete, the center of the Minoan civilization which rose to power nearly 5,000 years ago, and which was the first advanced civilization in Europe. As your private driver and tour guide takes you around the island, you'll witness some of the remains of their once-great civilization. The most famous site is the ruins of Knossos near Heraklion. You'll see reconstructed palaces and baths with murals on the walls, view enormous courtyards and the ruins of an ancient theater. Leaving Knossos behind, you'll be treated to the second-most important Minoan site at Phaestos, on the island's southern coast. Inside the complex, framed by stunning views of the surrounding mountains and countryside, you'll explore a series of palaces built on top of one another as the years passed (and as earthquakes partially demolished older versions). To think that all this was built by a civilization that had already departed the world stage prior to even the birth of Moses, you will end the day feeling that you have well and truly peered behind the veil of ancient history at the remains of an era long-past.

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