No visit to Crete is complete, of course, without a trip to the Minoan palace at Knossos, which was inhabited continuously from the Neolithic period until the 5th c. AD. The palace was built on the Kephala hill and had easy access to the sea and the Cretan interior. The partly-restored palace is what's left of the headquarters of the Minoan civilization that flourished in Crete in the second millennium BC. The remarkable civilization that grew up in and around Knossos included amenities such as indoor plumbing and a high degree of artistic excellence which can be seen in the preserved frescoes. The civilization based at Knossos maintained a powerful navy that made it the ruler of the eastern Mediterranean. It's intriguing that the discovery of the palace at Knossos is just over a century old, the result of the labours of the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. The palace and its contents offer a vivid picture of what life was like in that long-ago era. Knossos palace lies just five kilometres south of Heraklion.