The Ancient city of Phaistos
With Zaros as a base, it is easy to visit most of the
archaeological sites of the Heraklion area. Phaistos, just
south west of Zaros, is probably the second most important
archaeological site after Knossos. Excavations have uncovered
important artefacts and remains from the Minoan, Geometric and
The palace complex is located in the Messara Plain around 55km south of Heraklion and quite close to further archaeological sites of Agia Triada, Gortyn and Matala. The palace at Phaistos comprises royal quarters, store rooms, a lustral basin, shrines and workshops. The first palace was built in around 2000 BC founded by the mythical Minos himself.
In 1700BC it was destroyed by an earthquake but rebuilt very quickly afterwards. In 1450BC it was destroyed again by a natural disaster, rebuilt and then destroyed again at the beginning of the first century BC by the neighbouring Gortys. Thus its history spans prehistory from 6000 BC to 1st century BC.
The Villa of Agia Triada, the small palace, is believed to have been the summer residence of the ruler of Phaistos and is located on a hill with a panoramic view over the fertile plane of Tymbaki. .