Minotaur island and other legends

Ancient and suggestive alleys
Massive Venetian walls
The palace of Knossos

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A striking view

A few words will suffice to describe everything you can experience in this ancient land, amidst the wonders and splendour of an island-jewel embedded by nature in a fabulous sea.

Let an MSC Mediterranean Cruise make your trip to Heraklion, on the island of Crete, an authentic Work of Art, full of many legendary artworks, palaces and sculptures to admire. Discover fantastic mythological men, gods and monstrous figures with their tales of enduring love, passion and jealousy.

An MSC Excursion will take you through the ancient picturesque alleys in the town centre, in a maze of ancient and modern sights, between highly poetic and spiritual historical sites and nightlife venues, and craft shops scattered in the squares and streets. The Venetian-style features and the many bas-reliefs on the buildings make the old town particularly interesting. The Morosini Fountain in Piazza Venizelou with its eight pools adorned with beautiful aquatic mythological figures is equally delightful. 

The massive walls surrounding the city, outlining the profile of the 16th century Venetian Fortress are an artistic and architectural spectacle. At first sight, arriving with your MSC Excursion, you will realise how difficult the town was to conquer, protected by its deep moat around the castle, also known as Megalo Koule. 

With another MSC Excursion, you will reach the most majestic archaeological site in the heart of the island, on the heights of Kefala, where Zeus was hidden by his mother Rea so that his father, the titan Chronos, could not devour him. You will breathe in the sacred atmosphere of this place, home to the palace of Knossos, the most imposing in the Minoan civilisation, and Minos' legendary labyrinth, that imprisoned the Minotaur, monstrous outcome of the love between his wife, Pasiphae, and a bull.

Must see places in Heraklion

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    Under the protective wing of the gods
    Under the protective wing of the gods

    It would take a lifetime of island-hopping to fully appreciate the 227 inhabited Greek islands scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
    With sapphire water lapping at rocky coastlines sprinkled with secret coves and sandy beaches, they are the stuff of dreamy travel posters, the very definition of the eulogized Greek summer of sun, sea and sand.

    For anyone with a cultural bone in their body a cruise to the Greek islands cannot fail to inspire. Every culture has left its mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes. 

    But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek islands holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing.
    Sprawling, globalized Athens is an obligatory, almost unavoidable introduction to Greece: aside from the show-stopping Acropolis it offers a truly metropolitan range of cultural diversions, from museums to concerts; well-stocked shops; gourmet restaurants and stimulating clubs.