Phaestos was the most important Minoan palace city after Knossos and its ruins are almost as impressive. Plus, they are much less crowded.
The site of the ruins of the Minoan palace of Phaestos, on a hillside overlooking a broad valley, is quite impressive in its own right.  gr16 092816361 s Gorgeous bougainvillea at the entrance  gr16 092816411 s General view over the ruins. The "current" palace was built around 1700 BCE after the earlier one was destroyed by an earthquake.  gr16 092816420 s a cr Original paving stones  gr16 092816460 j
The Grand Stairway is indeed monumental.  gr16 092816481 s At 5 pm, the stones of the Grand Staircase almost glow.  gr16 092816490 j The Propylaeum was a kind of porch.  gr16 092816530 j Roofless remains of a room with basins.  gr16 092816561 s a
Basement rooms held storage jars like these.  gr16 092816562 s a The vast central court.  gr16 092816570 j Stumps of former pillars and, behind. light from the setting sun illuminates the theater area.  gr16 092817000 s a This was a great time of day for visiting Phaestos (Merci, Guide Michelin!) with the light slanting in and making contrasting bright and dark spots.  gr16 092817060 s a
Remains of square pillars around the central court.  gr16 092817081 s a Golden pillars frame a corrider to the North Court.  gr16 092817101 s a A column of the Formal Doorway  gr16 092817092 s A 3500-year old sewer.  gr16 092817100 j
Another basement storage jar ( pithoi ).  gr16 092817111 s a Nothing like evening light on stones, trees and mountains.  gr16 092817210 s Shadow of the photographer on the 3500-year old stones.  gr16 092817220 s Flagstones of the Central Court  gr16 092817231 j
A hallway leading into the light.  gr16 092817292 j Path leading downhill beside one of the ring-shaped Kouloures, probably storage areas, belonging to the old palace.  gr16 092817333 j Downhill are more ruins.  gr16 092817311 j Swedish tourist in Phaestos  gr16 092817312 j
The Theater Area.  gr16 092817320 j Paving stones of the theater area.  gr16 092817322 j American tourist surveying the theater area.  gr16 092817343 s-r-a Evening falls on the theater area, so we must leave.  gr16 092817350 s a