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 Hellenistic periods.

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. .