Excavations of the Minoan settlement started in
1929 by Sypidon Marinatos and continued later by Stylianos Alexiou and
the German Archaeological Institute. Several complexes of buildings have
been brought in light during the long excavations in the area, the most
important of them being the "Villa of the Lillies", where it has been
found the famous frescoes with blossomed lillies.
There have also been found buildings of the Late Minoan period as well as an
important Archaic sanctuary dedicated to Zeus Thenatas, situated on the hill
One of the most interesting features about Amnissos is that the name
of the town is mentioned in the clay inscriptions in Linear B' script
found at Knossos; a confirmation of the relative reference of Homer.
It is worth visiting the cave of Eilytheia, some 1 kilometre South to
Amnissos; according to Ancient Greek tradition, Eilytheia was the protector
of confined women and helped them to have an easy and painless delivery.
This cave was considered as the most important place of worship of this
The abundant finds of the cave, dated in various periods, manifest that
the cave was continously in use from Neolithic times up to the Early
Apart from the archaeological sites and monuments it is also worth seeing
the churches of Aghios Nikon and Aghios Ioannis (St.John the Baptist)
A few hotels of various categories as well as some studios and rooms
to let are offered for lodging in the villages. Swimming and sea sport
facilities are available at the beach of both Karteros and Amnissos.
Eating is an easy thing: taverns, restaurants and cafes are ready to
offer their delicacies.
Access from Herkleio is very easy by public buses with frequent service
and taxi, as well as by private or rented car and motorbikes.